Epistle to the Hebrews (12:25-29)   Leave a comment

Epistle to the Hebrews

Epistle to the Hebrews

Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven! When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.”This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain.Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire.” Hebrews 12:25-29

Once again, our author wants to stress on the danger of heedlessness. Our churches are plagued by lethargy. What does that mean? It means that many hearts are hardened to God’s warning. There’s overconfidence and negligence. There’re many warnings the bible gives about obedience, holiness and faith and these were not given to just to fill up space on papyrus. For example, one who has a hardened heart is  someone who reads the verses 25-29 of Hebrews 12 and it brings not the soul to self examination.  Our author mentioned several times in previous chapters about the danger of heedlessness. Once again he insists “Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking“. If there was no danger there would be no warnings.

Moses was just a feeble and sinful man like us. Moses gave the law and had much authority.

Jesus said:

Yet it isn’t I who will accuse you before the Father. Moses will accuse you! Yes, Moses, in whom you put your hopes. If you really believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me.” John 5:45

However, an Israelite could perhaps stand before God’s throne and discredit Moses as a witness because Moses was also a sinner.  But how will you do that if you stand face to face with the Son who testifies that you rejected Him?

We know that Jesus will stand as advocate for those who have put their trust in Him. But behold! God has also appointed the Son as Judge.

In addition, the Father judges no one. Instead, he has given the Son absolute authority to judge, so that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son is certainly not honoring the Father who sent himAnd the Father who sent me has testified about me himself. You have never heard his voice or seen him face to face,and you do not have his message in your hearts, because you do not believe me—the one he sent to you.” John 5:22,38

Do you understand that there will be no appeal when the Son will judge? The Son has been appointed by the Father and He will be a blameless judge. One can try to discredit Moses as witness but no one will be able to discredit the Son’s authority.

The Son’s mission on earth was not to judge but to save. However, His blood, Word and scars will stand as witnesses against those who rejected Him. God will ask “I have given you my Son, why did you reject Him?”

God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. The bible tells us that we are already judged for not believing in the Son. The issue here is not about all the sins we did but about this gross sin of rejecting the Son.

 There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.” John 3:18

The Son purged out the sins of the whole world(John 1:29 , 1 John 2:2) no matter how big they were. But if there’s a sin which could not and cannot be removed, it is the rejection of God’s Son as Lord. Ignoring Jesus’ work on the cross or turning away from Him is equal to judgement. There was no escape when the Israelites disobeyed the Mosaic law. They were punishments which went as severe as stoning. How do you think you’ll escape the Son’s wrath (see Book of revelation)?

God provided Jesus as the Good Shepherd.  If you have not been able to reach green pastures whilst others did, will you be able to stand before God and say that the Shepherd was not capable to feed you? You are either His sheep or not.  If you’re His sheep you will follow Him.

Jesus said: “The sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.” John 10:4

Moses was an imperfect leader but not so with God’s appointed Shepherd. A mercenary does not owe the sheep and will not care for them as the owner would. Moses and Joshua were servants God appointed to take care of His flock. But they were like hired hands, they were not the shepherd of these sheep. Jesus is the owner and He  even gave His life for them.

The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep.” John 10:14

We have seen that it was terrible event when God spoke from Sinai. The final judgement will come and heaven and earth will pass.

I watched as the Lamb broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became as dark as black cloth, and the moon became as red as blood. Then the stars of the sky fell to the earth like green figs falling from a tree shaken by a strong wind. The sky was rolled up like a scroll, and all of the mountains and islands were moved from their placesAnd they cried to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb ” Rev 6:12,16

Everything that is temporary will be removed. This world we are living in is soon going to be shaken (Rev 8:5). At God’s voice, the earth foundations will be removed and it will crash everywhere. This is a recurrent reminder in our epistle. The new Jerusalem of Revelation 21 is where God dwells and will never last (Rev 22).

Our author ends this chapter with these strong concluding words:

“Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire”

Let us consider the glory and holiness of our God. Our God is a holy God, he is a devouring fire and His holiness will consume His enemies. So let’s worship God with holy fear. He is calling us to come to Him to Mount Zion with a heart of worship.

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Posted August 24, 2013 by Cedric in Theology

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