The Letter to the Hebrews Message 24
III. Exhortation to believers 10:18—13:17 He began with an –
A. Exhortation to Faithfulness. 10:18-39 Pay careful attention!
1. Severity. A Word of Warning. 10:19-31
Paul reminded them of the blessing of salvation, and also the responsibility and accountability that came with the blessing. He wrote of the –
a. Permission we have to come into the presence of God. 10:19,20
b. Purpose. ‘worship’ 10:21 “…with our high priest…”
c. Preparation – we must know that we are prepared by faith in God through
d. Perseverance. 10:23 “…holding fast the profession of our faith without wavering…”
e. Practice our faith and provoke others to do the same. 10:24,25
Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 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.
Why should we exhort one another to be faithful to God? Because we know the
f. Principles of God do not change. 10:26-31
Paul reminded them of the consequences of willful sin. Their punishment would be –
Their punishment will be –
Their anticipation will be –
3). Agonizing. “a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
This morning we turn to the exhortation to –
2. Service. Hebrews 10:32-39
To help them to be steadfast, Paul told them they should –
a. Remember. 10:32-34 To think back on –
1). Their salvation. 10:32a The difference salvation made – ‘illuminated’
John 1:4-5 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
Those close to you did not understand why a change took place in your life.
The difference in Saul’s life – As he approached Damascus, thinking he would be welcomed into the city with open arms of those in power, but then he was led into the city by the hand, and eventually he escaped from the city through a window, sitting in a basket. How the attitude of the world changes when their accountability to God is revealed!
2 Corinthians 11:32,33 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me: And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.
The right hand of friendship had become the murderous hands of hate!
Paul called on them to remember –
2). Their stand. 10:32b “…ye endured a great fight of afflictions.”
Refer to the testimony remembered by Paul to Festus and King Agrippa in –
Acts 26:20,21 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me.
They should also remember –
3). Their suffering. 10:33,34a
a). Their personal testimony. 10:33a “…ye were made a gazingstock..”
Acts 26:22-24 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles. And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.
This testimony declared by this aging man on the stage in front of an illustrious audience must have been truly theatrical.
“…ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions…”
b). Their partnership in ministry. 10:33b,34a
They suffered loss because of their love of the brethren –
Acts 17:5-9 But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus. And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things. And when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go.
“…and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods…”
What do your family and friends think of you because of your love of the brethren? The evidence of salvation is that problems are faced and faith –
b. Remains – Confident and consistent. 10:35-39
In these verses, Paul quoted the words of the prophet Habakkuk which he wrote at the time of the Babylonian capture of Jerusalem. The Jews were in great affliction and though they deserved the judgment of God, Habakkuk was asking why a much more ungodly people were being used in the judgment. He did not comprehend what God was doing and he was asking for answers.
Habakkuk 1:1-4 The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.
His world was turned upside down! Can you understand how he feels?
God answered Habakkuk, telling him that the Righteousness of God would be revealed and they needed to simply trust Him and live according to His Word.
Habakkuk 2:2-4 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
The Christians in the early church were facing trials and trouble from those around them and they also wondered when they would be delivered from the affliction – when would life get better? As God told Habakkuk to wait on the Lord, Paul told them to wait on the Lord.
In conclusion, Paul challenged them to remain –
1). Confident. 10:35-37
a). Possession. 10:35 Salvation.
“Cast not away therefore your confidence…” God is not going to cast you out, don’t you cast yourself out and quit!
b). Patience. 10:36a Enduring affliction. “ye have need of patience..”
c). Promise. 10:36b, 37 Do the will of God, looking for the sure appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ.
2). Consistent 10:38,39
a). In these verses are two directions –
(1). Backward. Notice the words associated with this direction –
Draw back, no pleasure, perdition.
(2). Forward. Going forward is inferred by the word “shall live”. The words associated with this direction are –
The just, faith, believe, saving of the soul.
b). In these verses there is one conclusion –
We, the illuminated (saved) do not draw back (lose our salvation), but are of them that believe to the saving of the soul (eternally secure in Christ).
He will come in truth and justice and all of our questions will be answered.
Are you living for Him and looking for His coming?
The just shall live by faith!
Where is your faith placed today?
Are you trusting in yourself or are you trusting in God?