Hebrews Lesson 39: The Power of Knowing Jesus :: By Sean Gooding

Chapter 10:32-39

“But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: 33 partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; 34 for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.

35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: 37 ‘For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.’ 39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.”

More and more as I read these passages, I am convinced that Paul was the author. In the verses we explore today, you will see that the author commends the readers for how they treated him. In verse 34, they ‘had compassion’ on him in his chains. One can argue that most, if not all of the apostles, did endure prison at one point or another. But when we pair this evidence with the structure of the writing and the pure knowledge of the Old Testament, I am convinced more and more that this is Paul.

And what a writing about Jesus this entire book is! No Jew, no Hebrew, and now, no Gentile could claim ignorance of the person and purpose of our Lord Jesus. He came to pay for my sins and yours, a once and for all payment that transcends time. A payment that cannot be exhausted and that cannot expire for those that fall under it, and a hope that brings back life to the dying masses around us.

In lesson 38, we talked about what happens when a person rejects the Gospel, the free offer of the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. That person then has no other options and no way to appease the pure Holiness of God the Father. There is no hope then for that person; there is only judgment and then Hell. Today we will explore the opposite; we will explore what happens to that one who accepts the free gift of salvation.

  • We become illuminated, verse 32

For the very first time, we can truly see the world as it is. This can be disheartening to some, and at first, one can be a bit disoriented. This kind of change is very hard. We go from being comfortable citizens of ‘earth’ to being uncomfortable aliens from another world.

1 Peter 2:11 (AMP) says this: “Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers [in this world] to abstain from the sensual urges [those dishonorable desires] that wage war against the soul.”

We are now aliens, and this can be a bit tough at first; there may be a cost. Some friends will go or leave. For others, we will have to limit our contact. Some will think this is just a phase and wait for us to come back. Places we used to go to, things we used to do, etc., will begin to feel foreign, and the Holy Spirit in us will begin to talk to us about the world around us. We stop believing everything we hear, and we have questions. That is wonderful; we want to know more and more about the Lord.

If we are truly seeking, God will lead us to a good church, one that teaches the Bible in its entirety, one that magnifies Jesus and not the pastor, one that is honest about the flawed people in the pews, and one that longs to love Jesus more, and by doing so, becomes more and more obedient.

  • We become compassionate, verses 33-34

We begin to feel for our brothers and sisters around the world. We have a dear family that serves the Lord in Pakistan, and they like to communicate. They are in a predominately Muslim world, and there are not many Christian ministers to talk to, so they talk to me a lot. Sometimes late at night, they talk about the pain of seeing the people they try to help. I have never seen these folks face to face, but they love Jesus, and they preach Jesus was crucified and resurrected; they are a part of my alien family, and one day when the Lord returns, I will see them, and they will know me and I them.

We see the lost around us, and we want to open their eyes for them and show them what they are missing. We hurt for their hardness of heart. We ask God to soften their hearts and open their eyes as He did for us. We become more and more thankful that we saw the light.

  • We become Heaven-minded, verse 34

We begin to think about meeting Jesus one day. We think about the judgment that we will go through. No, not one about Heaven and Hell, but how we managed the life that God gave us. We are told this in 2 Corinthians 5:10 (NIV): “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”

All of us will give an account of the stewardship that we lived with when we got this new life from Jesus, this new sight, this new heart, this new eternity. How did we obey the Lord? Did we lay up treasure in Heaven? (Matt. 6:19-21). Did we love each other as Jesus loves us? (John 13:34-35). I can go on, but you get the point. Here is not all there is; we begin to live and love like there is more.

  • We become Focused on Jesus’ return, verse 37

Jesus promised He would come again and get us. Acts 1:11 (NIV), “‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

This echoes the promise He made to His disciples in John 14:1-3 (NIV), “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

We begin to look for Jesus; we see the signs of the times, and we rejoice, even amid harsh and troubling times. Jesus will come soon and set everything right. Or, we will go to Him and escape this mess. Either way, WE WIN! Jesus be praised.

God bless you,

Dr. Sean Gooding
Pastor of Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church

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