Epistle to the Hebrews (3:12-19)   Leave a comment

Epistle to the Hebrews

Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God.You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. Remember what it says: “Today when you hear his voice,don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled.” And who was it who rebelled against God, even though they heard his voice? Wasn’t it the people Moses led out of Egypt? And who made God angry for forty years? Wasn’t it the people who sinned, whose corpses lay in the wilderness? And to whom was God speaking when he took an oath that they would never enter his rest? Wasn’t it the people who disobeyed him?So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter his rest.” Hebrews 3:12-19

In the previous post, we had an introduction to the dangers of having an unbelieving and stubborn heart. Repent today was the author’s directives. The author took the people of Israel as example to expose his point. The Hebrews could easily identify themselves to these examples because they knew what God did for their fathers. Now the author moves from the Israelites and address himself to Christians(brothers and sisters). Next warning. Be careful he says of not stopping to believe and turning away from the living God. I hear over and over again that a Christian cannot lose his salvation. Listen, I’m 100% sure that God will never abandon/forsake me. But if I want to take the foolish decision to turn away from Him, He won’t force me to remain in His presence. God is not a beggar. The author is addressing himself to Christians who want to stop to believe and not to people who never knew Christ. As we read in 2 Timothy 2:11:

This is a trustworthy saying:If we die with him,we will also live with him.If we endure hardship,we will reign with him.If we deny him,he will deny us.If we are unfaithful,he remains faithful,for he cannot deny who he is.”

We are often unfaithful but He remains faithful to us and don’t forsake us. But if we deny Jesus, He’ll deny us.

Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.” Mat 10:33

If we Christians stop to believe in Jesus or deny Him through the way we live or what we say, we’ll never enter the heavenly rest.

So the author says : Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God.You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.” Stopping to believe is what makes us turn away from God. Incredulity is a sin because we infer that God is a liar. The author goes further and says “warn your fellow brethren TODAY”. These Christians were quite discouraged and perhaps wondered if God was still with them. Beware of being deceived by sin because it hardens the heart little by little. As we saw in Timothy “For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.” We need to persevere and remain in Christ as we read in John 15. Remain in me and I’ll remain in you. If we do not remain in Christ, we are cut off and thrown away. Let’s not take lightly these warnings. Many doctrines out there want to infer that no matter what a Christian does he’ll go to heaven because of Jesus’ sacrifice. May I ask why Christians ask to repent when they live in sin then? May  I ask why Paul warned in his Epistles that if Christians continue to live in sin, they won’t have part in the kingdom? Why do we see so many warnings regarding sin in the bible if there’re no consequences of being separated from God?

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division,envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” Gal 5:21

And again talking to Christians: “You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him.” Eph 5:5

Be careful about those who think that once we are saved we are forever saved and can live as they wish. Once we are saved we are forever saved IF we remain in Christ, obey His teachings and persevere. We need to keep running towards perfection. As Paul said :

 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing.I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” 1 Cor 9:24

We don’t do good works to be saved but once we are saved we should work our salvation i.e. show evidence through fruits.

Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” Phil 2:12

Those who could not entered God’s rest were those who sinned, stopped to believed and disobeyed Him. Disobedience occurs when we hear but refuse not listen. Let’s be careful . God saved Israel from the Egyptians, showed so many evidence of His presence and promised Israel Canaan. But not everyone were able to enter God’s rest. It was only those who continued to have faith, persevered and obeyed God. It’s the same for us Christians, God saved us from our sins and we need to continue to persevere, have faith and obey God.


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