The following passage has struck terror into the heart of many a poor soul:
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. (Heb. 10:26-27 ESV).
What does it mean? Is anyone who sins “deliberately” beyond hope of salvation?
That hardly can be the case, since the Bible teaches that God is willing to forgive us of all sin (cf. Tit. 2:14; 1 Jn. 1:9), provided we submit to Heaven’s plan for pardon.
The key to this passage is in understanding that the recipients of the letter to the Hebrews were on the brink of renouncing Jesus as their Messiah and Savior. They were being tempted to revert to the Mosaic regime in anticipation of some other Redeemer yet to come.
Since the supposed other savior-to-be would provide the real cleansing, some labored under the illusion that they could thus plunge themselves back into a life of sin until the remedy arrived.
A consideration of certain grammatical forms within this text is essential to grasping the significance of the inspired admonition.
The verb “sin” (hamartanonton) is a present tense participle, which conveys the concept of a continuing and habitual life of sin. It suggests a resolute action of abandonment of moral and religious restraint.
This reckless course, it should be noted, is pursued by one who has “received the knowledge of the truth.” The Greek term for “knowledge” is a strong one. The thought might be paraphrased as “[we] very well knew the truth.”
Thrusting gospel truth from his mind, the apostate wantonly turns his back on the Savior.
When one embarks upon such a course, while anticipating another future deliverer (who does not exist), what hope has he? None!
That this represents a clear example of one who falls from the grace of God is evident from the subsequent context. The transgressor is described as one who has “trodden under foot the Son of God, and counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy [or common] thing” (Heb. 10:29).
This describes those who had been sanctified by Christ’s blood, hence were Christian people (cf. 1 Cor. 6:11; Eph. 5:26). But now they are close to renouncing their allegiance to the Lord (cf. 2 Pet. 2:2b).
Their looming fate is a “fierceness of fire” that will consume God’s adversaries (Heb. 10:27), a “sorer punishment” than that of mere death (Heb. 10:28-29).
Could they receive pardon if they turn back to the Lord? Of course they could, if they but would. <Wayne Jackson>
When Will It Be Time?
We go see our parents, children, and grandchildren. We go to school. We go to work. We go out to eat. We go see our friends. We go to a ballgame. We go to a movie. We go to a party. BUT ARE WE STILL NOT GOING TO AN ASSEMBLY TO WORSHIP GOD? By what rational would we use to excuse ourselves?
Our God has given us the very life we have and has made provision for our sins. Our Father sent His Son and our LORD came willingly to offer Himself in our stead. (John 3:16 & John 10:17-18) Will we continue to abandon the physical assembling togethering of local Christians in one place?
What is keeping us from being active and enthusiastic about coming together? Are we afraid that we might catch COVID? Are we afraid that we might give COVID to someone else? Don’t attend if you are sick or showing signs of being sick, but do not use what might happen to keep you from glorifying God in congregational worship. Every minute we live, every time we walk outside, every moment we are in a crowd, there is a possibility of something bad happening. Live for eternity and rise above the cares of this world (Col. 3:2).
Our current technology is wonderful for shut-ins and those who are ill, but it cannot replace the superior benefits of physically coming together. One of my great fears when COVID hit, and members and churches were trying to figure out how to respond, was that some would never come back. I don’t know if that will prove to be the truth, but I do know that there are some who are still staying away and they still use COVID as the reason.
I know that each church and each member has to make decisions that are not always cut and dry. My purpose and hope from this writing is to encourage each person to look into themselves. If you are not coming faithfully, please reevaluate you life and choices. <Terry Starling>