HEBREWS 10:19-39 (NIV – UK)
A call to persevere in faith
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ [Deut 32:35] and again, ‘The Lord will judge his people.’ [Deut 32:36; Psalm 135:14] 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering.33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For,
‘In just a little while,
he who is coming will come
and will not delay.’ [Isaiah 36:10; Hab 2:3]
‘But my righteous one will live by faith.
And I take no pleasure
in the one who shrinks back.’ [Hab 2:4]
39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
Throughout Hebrews so far we have been told of the wonderful things Jesus has done for us by his blood (v. 19). We have heard these things – we have had them proclaimed to us – and now something is required of us – a response.
One thing is for sure – we don’t want to be the one who has ‘trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace‘ (v. 29). The day of judgment is something we will all have to face – and on that day (v. 27), to ‘fall into the hands of the living God’ and his judgment without the blood of Jesus will be a ‘dreadful thing’ (v. 31).
But Jesus offers a way out of that dreadful fate – he offers himself to us so that we are able to ‘draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water’ (v. 22). It’s for this reason that we can ‘hold unswervingly’ (v. 23) and in full confidence to the hope we find in Jesus.
As that Day approaches – as the Church we are given the vital task of spurring one another on, loving one another, meeting with one another and encouraging one another in Jesus (v. 24-25) – until He comes again!
Question: What is your response to Jesus? How seriously do you take the command to spur, love, encourage and meet with fellow brother and sisters in Christ?