November 11, 2023 at 1:21 pm
For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. ~ Hebrews 10:26-31
Evil deeds that God does not forgive
We like to study each verse of the Bible separately. But sometimes that method is not right. Each verse belongs in a longer passage. And sometimes we must understand the whole passage before we can understand the separate verses.
Hebrews 10:26 has caused difficulties for many people. The problem is that every Christian sometimes does wrong things on purpose. And that situation is what the verse seems to describe. That is why we need to look at the whole passage. Clearly, the author does not think that all Christians have lost their relationship with God.
We will find our explanation in Hebrews 10:29. There the author will explain what these people have done. But in Hebrews 10:26 the author just explains their attitude. On purpose they decided to do something that they knew to be very wrong. They have acted as if the most holy things are completely without value. And they intended to do that.
People’s attitudes matter very much to God. And that is especially true when they do wrong things. God allowed people to offer animals as sacrifices (gifts to God) when they did not do those wrong things on purpose (Numbers 15:22-29). But God did not accept sacrifices when a person decided on purpose to oppose God. If someone hated God so much, they could only expect punishment (Numbers 15:30-31).
Like everybody else, Christians do evil things. Their behaviour becomes even worse when they do those things on purpose. They ought to know what God’s law says about those things. So they should be humble, and they should confess their evil deeds to God. And when they do that, God promises to forgive (1 John 1:8-10).
Three men who received God’s mercy were Manasseh, Nebuchadnezzar, and Saul (afterwards called Paul). They all had done terrible things against God’s people, God’s house, or both (See 2 Chronicles 33:1-9; 2 Chronicles 36:17-19 and Acts 22:4). But afterwards, they changed their attitudes. They became humble in front of God. And each of them decided to serve God (2 Chronicles 33:12-13; Daniel 4:28-37; Acts 22:6-16).
When God shows no mercy
These men had made themselves enemies of God. They deserved only his anger and his judgement. But instead they received his mercy.
But we must not imagine that everyone will receive God’s mercy. If people do not change their evil attitudes, God will never forgive them. If human judges do not punish God’s enemies, then God will certainly issue his judgement against them. And then there will be no mercy.
Blasphemy against God’s Holy Spirit. Christ said that God never forgives this sin (Mark 3:29). ‘Blasphemy’ means evil words, but the person’s attitude matters very much too. We can see that from Hebrews 10:26. This is the attitude of someone who hates God with a complete hate. And that is not just an emotion that will change. It is a decision that the person has made on purpose. That person never wants God to forgive him; and God will never forgive him.
Through history, there have been many Christian leaders who have urged Christians not to be loyal to God. Or, they have acted in a manner that can spoil people’s relationship with God. Jesus warned that this is a very terrible thing to do (Mark 9:42).
· A Christian leader who decides not to teach the truth about the Bible ought to be afraid. He has offended both against God’s holy Word and against God’s holy people.
· Someone who uses his connection with a church in order to satisfy evil desires ought to be afraid too. God’s church is holy and the people in it are holy, too. In other words, they belong to God. The person who offends against even one of them, offends God (Mark 9:42).
· Sometimes people see something that God has done by his Holy Spirit. They know that it is God’s work. But they pretend, on purpose, that it is not God’s work. Such people ought to be afraid. You can read what Jesus warned about such behaviour in Mark 3:22-29. Everything that God does is holy. And if a person laughs at it, that person insults God.
· Someone may want to have more authority in the church. So he acts as if Christ is not really important in the church today. That person speaks about the great things that he himself has done, instead of the greatness of Christ. Such a person insults God’s Son. And God’s Son is very holy. God is angry with such behaviour.
· And some church leaders are afraid of what other people may say. So they decide not to speak about Christ’s death. Instead, those leaders ought to be afraid of God. Christ’s death is very holy and it makes people holy. There is no other way that God will save people. Christians ought to declare it at every opportunity (2 Timothy 4:2). They must never neglect the message of the cross (1 Corinthians 1:18).
God has many ways to warn those who do such things. But some people still decide, on purpose, that they want to do these things. They will certainly not avoid God’s punishment.
From: usefulbible.com – by Keith Simons
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