By now, most of us have stretch marks on our brains from working through Hebrews! The audience it was written to was steeped in Jewish history, culture and religious traditions. The writer wants them to see that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah who came to fulfill the promises of the Old Testament. On Monday Kim posted a good overview of the role of priests and how Jesus became both our High Priest and final sacrifice. I want to take a few moments and examine a verse that at first glance can be troubling. “Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies.” (Hebrews 10:26-27 NLT). This is not saying that if we sin after accepting Jesus that we are doomed, not at all. We see this clearly in places like 1 John 1:9 for example, “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” (NLT) And later in Hebrews we see in chapter 12 that God treats us like a parent who disciplines unruly children. No, what this passage is saying is that there is a severe consequence for those who clearly understand who Jesus is, what He did and what He offers yet decide to reject Him. Deliberate rejection of Him leaves no option but separation from God forever once this life is over. Those who willfully reject Christ have made a clear decision that they want nothing to do with God and His ways. For people like this heaven would be miserable because it is all about Jesus, the one they are clearly disinterested in knowing or following.
Those of us who have surrendered our lives to follow Jesus as our Savior and Lord have no reason to fear God’s judgment. Not because we have it all together but because Jesus does. He has paid the penalty for sin on our behalf and we receive this gift when we accept Him. Praise God!