The Book of Hebrews #20 chapter 6:9-12
The Book of Hebrews
The Tragedy of Rejecting Revelation #3
Hebrews 6:9-12
          
Let’s return tonight for the third time to Hebrews 5 and 6.  Remember we are ain a section beginning in chapter 5, verse 11 and runs through chapter 6, verse 12 that is a warning to those who are close to salvation but are lost.
 
So often there is confusion and debate about these verses because we assume they are written to believers, but I am convinced they are addressed to those who are lost.  They were close; they had tasted the things of God and rubbed shoulders with the Spirit, but hadn’t made that all-out profession of faith in the Lord that brought them all the way into salvation.
 
And yet even though they were very close, to turn around and walk away makes it impossible, as we saw in 6:4 to 6, for them to be renewed to repentance.
 
Now, we are working on an outline that has taken us a while to cover.  First of all, we saw the problem.  He wanted to talk to them about Melchizedek, but they were dull of hearing. They were still playing around with the fundamentals of Judaism rather than seeing them fulfilled in Christ.
 
They couldn’t understand the pictures, much less the Word.
 
 
And the solution to the problem was to leave the fundamentals of Judaism and move up to the fullness of Christianity.
 
Then he says, "Here's the power," in verse 3, "And this we will do, if God permit." He acknowledges that anything that is to be done is to be done only in the permissive will of God. Divine enablement will allow them to go to maturity and allow him to continue to write the things he desires to write.
 
Then we come to the warning in verses 4 and 5. If you continue to reject Christ, it is impossible to be saved because you wind up agreeing with those who crucified Jesus.  You take your stand with them and openly ridicule and reject Him as Messiah.
 
Then he gives the illustration of the earth bringing forth both fruit and weeds and that’s the way it is with the Gospel.  Some accept; others reject.
The grace of God rains upon the earth. Some men hear the Gospel, and they believe, and they bring forth fruit. Some men bring forth nothing but thorns and briars, and they're cast in a fire and burned.
 
Now tonight we’re going to look at verses 9-12 where we find
 
6.  The Example
 
Verses 9-12
 
It’s important to follow to whom the author is speaking.  He’s been talking to those who are openly rejecting Jesus.  Then notice the change in the way he addresses his words in verse 9.
 
So in verses 9 and 10 he’s talking to the church.
 
Then in verse 11 and 12, he returns to his comments to the lost, and especially those who are close.
 
See the two different groups?  They are there all the way through the book of Hebrews.  And it’s easy to tell the Christians from the non-Christians.
 
One group was still playing around with the pictures of Judaism.  They had gotten close enough to taste the heavenly gift and the Word of God and experience the work of the Holy Spiri.  They had seen the miracles and witnessed the power, but the were thorns and briars close to being burned up.
 
The other are characterized by the classic hallmark identifiers of Christians: faith, hope, and love.  Did you notice that?  Look at verse 10. You see it in the middle? Love. Look at verse 11, at the end, hope. Look at verse 12, at the end, faith. They had 'em all. They were Christians and it was obvious.
 
And the writer’s desire is that those to whom he is writing who are not saved will come to be just like those who are by receiving those things that “accompany salvation”.  Let’s zero in there for the remainder of our time.
 
What are the things that accompany salvation? Go back to chapter 5, verse 12, and just kind follow it through, and I'll show you what He means. They are the things that are in contrast to all the previous characteristics of the unsaved.
 
 
 
One of the things that accompanies salvation is
 
- Maturity instead of Infancy
 
Those who are saved are on solid food, not milk.  They are not inexperienced when it comes to righteousness.  In fact, they are perfectly righteous. That accompanies salvation, the righteousness of Christ.
 
Accompanying salvation is
 
- Repentance toward God through Jesus Christ unto life instead of repentance from dead works
 
It’s not a negative, but a positive. It’s not just faith in God, but faith in God through Christ.
 
- Internal regeneration and transformation, not external ceremonial religion
 
There is more to a relationship with God than just ceremonial washings and outward religion. It’s not a symbolic laying on of hands to the head of a goat to transfer sin, but laying hold of Christ, the sacrificial Lamb of God.
 
Accompanying salvation comes a
 
- Full knowledge of Resurrection based on the work of Jesus Christ instead of a simplistic truth about a future day when we stand on the earth.
 
Salvation, verse 4 of chapter 6, is not just being enlightened, but being changed, made new creatures.
Not just tasting salvation, but feasting on it, taking it in completely. Not just partaking of the Holy Spirit, but having the Holy Spirit indwell. Not just getting a taste of God's good Word, but drinking it in. Not just seeing a miracle, but being one. These are the things that accompany salvation, the better things than all the things listed characteristically of the unbelievers.
 
And notice the little phrase at the end of verse 9, “though we speak in this manner”.  It seems to me that is included to reassure Christians who are reading and hearing what he’s been saying.  They might be tempted to think they could lose their salvation or they had missed the boat.
 
And this little phrase is his way of saying, “Listen beloved brothers and sisters in Christ; don’t mishear what I’ve said. We’re confident about you and what God has in store for you so don't take the words I’ve been speaking to the lost to refer to you. The warning is for them, but I put it in this letter to you all, because I know they're among you."
 
Then verse 10, He says, "There are no questions in God's mind about who's real. He knows you're real and He won't forget you. Your name is in His book. So relax.”  He always knows His own. Don't worry about the Rapture. If you're a believer, you won't get left. It can't happen.
 
There is all kinds of evidence they were saved.  Look at verse 10.  They worked; they loved, they ministered and they were still at it.  All kinds of preaching in those verses and I’ll resist the temptation to elaborate.
 
 
Suffice it to say they loved the Lord and let that spill out in service and ministry to others and it provided the evidence of their salvation.
 
And the real icing on the cake is found in the word saints.  He's speaking positionally. It means holy ones.  , They were 100 percent, pure, absolutely righteous in Jesus Christ positionally."  So here we see the proof that they were for real. Loving God and serving each other.
 
Now, having determined that these are believers, He then uses them for an example to the others.
 
verse 11
 
Now He goes back to this group of Jews who were close to salvation and says, "Now, the rest of you need to take a look at the beloved follow the example they are setting.  We want you to come to the same full assurance of hope unto the end.
 
The only people who really have hope are in Jesus Christ .  So He's saying, "Come to Christ that you might have hope for the future." There's no hope apart from Jesus Christ; and then you can do what Paul said in Romans 12:12, you can rejoice in hope.
 
And notice in verse 11, the word diligence. Diligence is an interesting word that carries the idea of speed or hast.
 
He's saying that when it comes to following their example, you need to do it with speed and that it can be done with speed.
 
When it comes to salvation, not only do you need to get there quickly, it can come to pass quickly.
 
Now beyond that, there is another application of this word and it is the idea of trembling or to be in fear with the idea being to run in fear.
 
So the interpretation of the verse could be "We desire that every one of you do show the same speed in view of imminent disaster."  In other words, if you don't come to Jesus Christ, you're going to fall away into the ultimate disaster and perish suddenly.
 
So He's saying, "You unbelievers need to look at those Christians. See what they are and come to Christ fast."
 
Then verse 12, notice the phrase, "Do not become sluggish."
 
This is the same word found in chapter 5 verse 11.  There it’s translated “dull of hearing”.
 
Now watch what happens:  He says, “Don’t be dull of hearing”, then he makes then he makes the whole cycle of the argument and comes back and says, "Don't be dull of hearing.”
 
In fact, he says, Don’t be dull of hearing.  Instead be an imitator of those who are saved because their faith is real. Follow them, and come to all the promises that salvation brings."
 
And with that we come to the close of this warning and by th4e way, it’s a simple warning. It doesn't have to be confusing.
It's a warning I can give to every person who is here tonight, either for his own life or to pass on to someone else because of its urgency. If you've at the edge of a decision to receive Jesus Christ and you've never made that decision, you're going to find the longer you reject, the longer you neglect, the harder your heart becomes; and you're in danger, as He said in an earlier warning, of falling away, having an evil heart of unbelief, and departing from the living God.
 
You're in danger, as he says here, of becoming spiritually stupid and then not understanding anything, and then finding that you've lost a grip on the basics, and you can't handle any of the truths that the Spirit of God desires to teach you to bring you to Christ; and then you're in danger of falling away and never being able to be redeemed again, because you rejected the revelation of Jesus Christ and there is nothing left for God to tell you.
 
But in a compassionate appeal at the end, He says, "To you Christians, don't you fear. God won't forget you." And then to the rest, "Look at those true ones. Pattern your life after them. Be mimics. Follow them."
 
That kind of clears it all up, doesn’t it?  If you're a Christian here tonight, are you the kind of a Christian of whom the Holy Spirit could say, "I want to use you an example for others to follow?" If you're not a Christian, I pray God that somehow tonight the Spirit of God will bring conviction on your heart, and you'll not reject the Lord Jesus Christ a moment longer.
 
Let's pray.
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