“For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. And again, ‘The Lord will judge His people.’ 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
The context of a passage is so very important. One of the biggest issues that we have in many modern ‘sermons’ is that the verse is often taken out of context. The speaker/preacher is not looking to develop the text of the message and see where the scripture is going and teaches. Rather, he (or she, too often in modern churches) has a topic, and they use a verse to blame the topic on. No matter what the scripture says, they have a point to make, and context should not get in the way.
Why this preamble? Well, it is important to get the context of what we have been speaking about for weeks; Jesus is the only means of salvation. His death, burial, and resurrection are the only currency that God acknowledges, and all others are of no help. The keeping of the Law cannot help you, and any other kinds of ‘traditions or religious’ practices are useless for you or me to be saved.
This book is primarily targeted at the Hebrew people, and they had been given the Law. In the Law, they missed the entire story of Jesus, and instead of being exporters of God’s righteousness, they hoarded it and, frankly, completely hid it in traditions that made it even harder to get and understand. The purpose of the Law was to show men and women that they needed a Saviour. They needed a sacrifice to help them since they were incapable of keeping the Law.
- Willful Disobedience, verse 26
I am in the process of reading through the book of Matthew. In chapter 8, we see an encounter with Jesus and two demon-possessed men. They are dangerous, and the people of the nearby town are terrified. But these men meet Jesus, He casts out the demons, and heals them completely; however, the people of the neighboring town came, saw the men, and instead of rejoicing for them, they asked Jesus to leave. He did (see Matthew 9:1). What a sad state; they had God there, they had the healer of all manner of diseases there, the Savior of mankind there, and they asked Him to leave.
In like manner, Paul (who I think is the author of Hebrews) lays out for the last ten chapters the fact that Jesus is our High Priest and our Sacrifice and that with His own blood, He has paid for our sins. His atoning blood, His atoning sacrifice, and His atoning life are all that we have to be saved. ALL else is futile. No mere man, no mere human high priest, no mere spiritual guru can offer what Jesus offers. He and He alone as the only begotten Son of God, the one who is perfect, yet died as a sinner and then rose from the dead – that Jesus is the only offer of salvation to the whole world, Jew and Gentile alike. There are NO OTHER means of salvation. There is no other sacrifice for our sins; it is finished and done.
Those who reject Jesus’ loving and willing sacrifice are now under God’s wrath in that they have spat God’s Son and His pain and suffering on their behalf. By going back to animal sacrifices, you are diminishing the power and importance of Jesus’ blood sacrifice. The only thing left for you is God’s wrath. You, my friend, are in a dangerous place. God will allow you to deride Him, but when you deride His Son, you messed with the wrong Heavenly Father.
- Willful Reaction, verse 31
God’s reaction to your willful disobedience and willful dismissal of His Son’s suffering and sacrifice will not go unnoticed and unpunished. Once you have rejected Jesus, you have chosen to come out from under God’s grace and be subject to His wrath. There is no in-between. When you hear the Gospel, the Holy Spirit brings to light three things, John 16:8,13,
“And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” (NKJV).
The Holy Spirit tells you the Gospel is true, and then you have the choice to follow His leading or to reject it. He reminds us that we are sinners, He reminds us of the righteousness of God (and lack of our own), and that there is a judgment to come. When He does this, we choose whether or not to accept the offer of salvation – acknowledge that it is true, that we are sinners, that God is righteous, and that we deserve judgment. When we come to this understanding, we can then call on God’s mercy and ask Him to cover us in Jesus’ righteousness, forgive all of our sins (past, present, and future), and we are born again (John 3:3).
Sadly, many reject this call; they know, they see, and they simply reject God’s gracious gift. I have seen it happen. Paul tells us that the only thing left for those that reject Jesus’ offer of salvation is God’s vengeance. I shudder just writing this. Please do not reject Jesus.
I will leave you with these two verses to ponder and maybe to share; govern yourself accordingly.
2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
Galatians 3:13 “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’).”
God bless you,
Dr. Sean Gooding
Pastor of Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church
How to Connect with Us
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MississaugaMissionaryBaptistChurch
Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org