The People of the Order of His Priesthood (10:19-39), cont’d.
They Are Called to Live a New Way of Life (:19-25), cont’d.
- We Grow Close because of the Stimulation of our Love (:24-25). Having been raised a Jew and having participated in all of its ceremonies and rituals…it would be difficult to leave those things behind and to identify with this small group of Christians. Some of them had already begun to go back to the Jewish services and to not attend the services with other Christians. Paul tells them to encourage each other to be loving and to do good deeds. They will need each other…the encouragement, the love…as the pressure to recant and return to Judaism increases.
A Warning Against Believers Who Would Return to Judaism (10:26-35)
With those thoughts in mind…Paul gives another warning to these Jewish believers. It is a warning against forsaking Christ and returning to their former faith, Judaism. He warns them to not do so…
Because there is no other means of forgiveness (:26-27)
He tells them that if they “go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth”…they do so being fully aware that there is no other way that their sins can be forgiven (:26). And, they know that if our sins are not forgiven they will certainly face judgment (:27a). So, no matter how difficult things may be, why would they ever do that?
Because of the terrible wrath of God’s judgment (:27b-31)
Notice how Paul describes this judgment…
- “the fury of a fire” (:27)
- “without mercy” (:28)
- “Vengeance” (:30)
- “terrifying thing” (:31)
Surely, when one of these believers contemplates the consequences of not believing in Jesus and having to face the judgment of God they would never choose to reject Him.
Because they have already proven that they can be faithful (:32-34)
Paul reminds them of all that they have been already through because of their faith in Jesus. Surely they realize that they have a proven track record and can find confidence in the future because of their faithfulness in the past.
Because they will receive God’s future reward (:35-39)
This endurance of persecution is not for its own sake…there is a reward in store for those who continue until the end. It is the promise of God…the promise of eternal life. Paul tells these believers that even though he felt the need to write them about these matters…he is confident that they will not “shrink back”…but will have “faith to the preserving of the soul”.
Prayer: Lord, please help my faith. Help me to have faith that perseveres...no matter what.