“For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body. Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others.” God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this too.” 2 Cor. 5:9-11 (NLT)
This is the last of the four part series on Hebrews 10, and the message is very clear that we have a responsibility in our Faith to be just, righteous and, fearful of failure. Starting with were I left off, “The Lord will judge His People. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.” <(Hebrews 10: 30b-31) I want to empathize the importance of being righteous in our faith. Both in what we truly believe and in how we express that belief. The writer reminds us, “But recall the former days when you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated.” Hebrews 10:32,33. (ESV) and in the Book of Revelation 3:2,3 “Wake up; revive what little you have that is left: it is dying fast. So far I have FAILED TO NOTICE ANYTHING IN YOUR LIFE THAT MY GOD COULD POSSIBLY CALL PERFECT, and yet do you remember how eager you were when you first heard the message? Hold onto that. Repent! If you do not wake up, I shall come like a thief, without telling you at what hour to expect me.” (Jerusalem Bible) Is it then enough to simply say, I believe or are we to be held accountable for our faith?
Wake up! Relive your Faith! Be renewed in the Same Spirit that drew you to Christ! Strive for perfection in Christ. Never say, I am saved, that is good enough for God! Do not believe that you have all that you can for Christ. You will never be perfect but you are being perfected. Every day your faith should be stronger, more endurable and more refined. You will face hardships, doubts, conflicts but these are not to weaken your faith but to build Faith. I recall that in my youth, I had the biblical knowledge and instructions. I was taught the Word and the Life of Jesus. Bu there was not faith. But when I surrendered to Christ my life, my very being, everything changed. Faith came in abundance. Faith was born into my being. Nothing could prepare me for the overwhelming joy I felt having received Faith. I faced many hardships, many loses, many trials and often mocked for my understandings, even expelled from a church. But Faith endured, Faith grew, Faith brought understanding and peace. So again I say,wake up! Wake up to the reality of your Faith as a free gift, an enduring gift an everlasting gift, lest it be wasted and dry up into dust. Be eager as you were when you first believed, in fact, be even more eager, more enthralled by God’s Beauty and Grace.
For our faith to be superior, to be held worthy to God, it must then be viable and constant. It must not weaken or be diluted with false assumptions of small expectations. For our Faith to be true and honest, it must flourish, not slacken or fade. There is no grace in standing in contentment with being unconcerned with spiritual maturity. Faith must be as a flower, growing in the Son-Light, watered by the Holy Spirit. If it is NOT standing in the Light of God’s will and fed by the Holy Spirit, it will fade away, it will die and then you are left without Faith at all. But if you strengthen you Faith with constant love, obedience and willingness to do God’s will at all times, then it will grow, and be more vibrant than ever. If in the face of the struggles of the world, you rely on your faithfulness and the grace of God to see you through, you will be better for it. If you expose yourself to public ridicule for His sake and if you stand with your partners in Faith, you will beheld in high account with Christ in the Judgement. But if you remain silent, if you step back from your Faith and do little,then your Faith will die, and you with it.
The writer expresses his (or hers, it is unknown who wrote it but Priscilla is suggested by some) knowledge of commitment by the Hebrew believers as being devote. The write continues with, “For you had compassion for those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. Hebrews 10:34,35 ESV. To much effort is placed on worldly possessions in today’s churches. We are more concerned with worldly acquirement and material wealth than on the spiritual gifts we have received which can not be stolen or destroyed.
Don’t throw away all the blessing you have by the obsession of possessions. In this age of plenty,forget the wealth, the “toys” the mega TV and I-phones and the X-Box 4. They will not provide you with one iota of blessings that is greater than the ones you received the day you first believed. Trials, turmoil, persecutions build faith. If it does not then your faith was immature or false. If you are fearful of the spiritual villains in the street. and lock your hearts door because you might die tonight, then where is your true Faith? Is not the reward of Heaven far greater than the trial and persecutions on Earth? Where is the Faith you received from the sacrifice of Jesus? Where is the Faith of the Cross? Is not the assurance of Christ’s offering of Salvation, perfect Atonement enough to build your trust in the will of God and to seek after Him in all the ways of your life? I speak to those who have once heard the Word and accepted it but still do not rely fully on Christ. Do not be like the people predicted of in 2 Thes. 2:3-12. beginning with, “Let no one deceive you in any way.” and ends with “in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Hebrew goes on, “For you have need of ENDURANCE, so that you have done the WILL of GOD you may receive what is Promised. For,
‘Yet a little while and the coming one will come and will not delay;
but My Righteous One shall LIVE BY FAITH,
and if He strikes back,
My soul has no pleasure in him.” Hebrews 10:36-38 ESV
Do not rely on the weapons of man to defeat the weapons of Satan. Do not place your hope on armies,governments, or even your own self, but place your Hope and your Faith in Him who is coming again. Don’t lock your doors against the enemies but welcome them that you might share the Glory of Your Salvation and Faithfulness. Do not fear the unknown strange, but embrace Christ in every situation. Do not place your faith in mortals nor the material things built by mortals but in the Eternal and the things of eternity. Do no let fear rob you of the pure joy of Salvation. Faith must not weaken under trial, it must grow and be stronger. Faith must be superior to the World! Faith is the weapon that can not be defeated if it is founded on the Holy Spirit. Endure through Faith, do not let the things that die and decay,destroy you. Be bold, be encouraged,be forceful through prayer. Always place Faith foremost in the struggles that surround you. For it is as the writer says; “But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but those who have faith and preserve their souls.” Hebrew 10:39
Thus this lesson is made complete,when we turn from the ways and desires of the world and turn solely to Christ Jesus. Relying not on the ways of men, but on the Pure and Holy Assurance that the Sacrifice of Jesus atones for us the place of Faith that withstands all oppression. That by the Celebration of Christ’s offering on our behalf, we receive the fullness of Faith to set aside the failing of mankind so that we can live in Superior Faith in the Living God who comes for us. The Righteous One who brings Salvation and Eternal Life to those whose Faith endures all things. Amen