We must determine to stand firm in Christ during difficult times.
When the apostle Paul returned to Jerusalem to attend the Feast of Pentecost in the late spring of AD 58, the leaders of the church in Jerusalem said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are who believe, and they are all zealous of the Law” (Acts 21:20). We do not know where the Jewish believers in Jesus as the Messiah resided, to whom the letter to the Hebrews was sent. However, it is evident that many of them were tempted to defect from their newfound faith in Jesus. Therefore, the writer to the Hebrews sought to dissuade them from defection, providing for our study this exhortation to persevere in faithfulness to Christ.
1. DRAW NEAR TO GOD
A. Be Fully Assured
Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
…….Because of the Supreme Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we can now enter into the presence of the Lord with boldness. We have now been sealed with and by His precious blood of atonement. When we step into His presence, He doesn’t see our sin anymore, only the blood!
10:20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
…….What a transition for those who knew the Messiah was coming, “that new and living way”, and now they could all take part in His work!
10:21 And having an high priest over the house of God;
10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
…….What an encouraging invitation, “Let us draw near”. Come on the writer is saying. You don’t have to stand on the outside gazing in, wishing you were thought worthy enough to enter in. Take off the old man who constantly tells you your not worthy, and put on the new man of sanctity and purity and enter the presence of the Lord!
B. Encourage One Another
10:23 Let us hold fast [possess, retain, keep safe] the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
…….I love this scripture here! It is part of the great commission to live as brothers and sisters in Christ! Personality should never get in the way of us loving one another!
10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
…….People this isn’t just talking about at church. Listen to what the commentator Mathew Henry wrote: The communion of saints is a great help and privilege, and a good means of steadiness and perseverance; hereby their hearts and hands are mutually strengthened. To exhort one another, to exhort ourselves and each other, to warn ourselves and one another of the sin and danger of backsliding, to put ourselves and our fellow-christians in mind of our duty, of our failures and corruptions, to watch over one another, and be jealous of ourselves and one another with a godly jealousy. This, managed with a true gospel spirit, would be the best and most cordial friendship.
2. ABSTAIN FROM SIN
A. The Consequence of Continued Sin
10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
…….This scripture needs no notes. It’s as cut and dry as it gets.
10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
…….For the the life of the believer, the one time sacrifice of Christ is a continual work, totally opposite of the old covenant. It is a daily work that actually works. For those who sin “willfully”or by way of premeditation, the sacrifice for salvation remaineth no more or, is removed. This is where allot of people get caught up. Some folks that taste of salvation feel that they can’t fix themselves because they can’t totally reject sin. When temptation comes they fail and slide right back into the state of man that in the past held them captive. They find no way of escape because they don’t seek for it.
For a person submerged in salvation, the one who is totally sold out by the transformation of forgiveness, being now led and empowered by the Spirit of Christ, finds a love so deep that he/she knows for a fact that the old life is nothing in comparison to what they have now in Jesus! And, their relationship remains this way because they continue in that Spiritual state. Just as a lost individual seeks after the pleasures of this world, the saved one seeks after the things that pleases the Lord and in that finds perfect pleasure!
This reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures: 2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death…….No man or spiritual force can convince me that I had it better off in that world, not a chance!
B. The Nature If Continued Sin
10:28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
…….The writer hear refers to the Old Testament punishment for Sin of those who rejected God by breaking covenant with Him and worshipping false gods. This sin was punishable by death, “without mercy” as commanded by the law of Moses. But, because the sacrifice of Christ causes a much more powerful work from within, and the conviction thereof is so continuous and His mercy which was offered so freely has been rejected, and, the opportunities of salvation had been so obvious for a lifetime, how much sorer (aggravated) punishment will be paid to those who reject and walk away from it. Why? The next part of the verse gives us the example of what that life is thought equal to. It is compared to walking right over the precious and Holy being of Jesus himself. No different then the soldier holding the whip, or the crowd who had been healed by his miracles, or the High Priest who knew within that Jesus was the very Son of God, but murdered him anyways.
10:30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
…….You may think to yourself, this sounds pretty scary. Well it definitely is!
3. STAND FIRM TO THE END
A. The Reward if Righteousness
10:32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated (inwardly immersed by the light of Christ, which is impossible to hide), ye endured a great fight of afflictions;
…….Though the fight in the time of the Apostles was so intense and even life threatening, the Americanized tribulation is on a different scale. I would say it is more of a mental fight than anything else. There are some people who had great loving and friendly relationships at the time of salvation that had to be severed. Many experienced being insulted and threatened by these same people for standing up for the faith and standing against sin. Thankfully, some folks have never had to experience this. Many by the grace of God we’re raised totally in a Christian home and never exposed to the world or worldly friends and family. How grateful it must be to be to know that your parents did everything they could to keep you spiritually safe! Thankfully, on the other end of the spectrum, there are people who have been exposed to only having worldly friends and family, and in your crucial decisions of separating from this world, you found your relationship that much greater in the Lord!
I can’t not put this note in here: Listen to this parents…..
One of the scariest thoughts to ponder my mind is for my children in the future failing to demons that I allowed in the home while their raising. My thoughts may be, “I could have and should have destroyed those demons long ago, and now my adult children are suffering. What a deep regret that would be!
10:33 Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.
…….In this enduring of afflictions, we find ourselves having companionship with people of like battles. It is encouraging to one another to see us make it. “We are overcomers by the word of our testimony“.
10:34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.
…….Every child of God knows within that every fight is worth the reward!
10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
…….The remembering of afflictions and how God brought you through built faith and confidence that He will always do so. In the loneliest social times, we learned to draw closer to our Lord and doing so we found much comfort.
B. The Basis If Faithfulness
10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
10:37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
Heb 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
…….We must continually draw near to God. James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.
People of God, no matter the cost, no matter the battle, no matter the loss or affliction, we must together persevere! If and when you feel discouraged and for some reason it seems you can’t get ahold of God, reach out to someone. We are in this together and there will be hard times, but at the same time the good times will out weigh the bad. When you keep your trust in God He will always see you through.