The Book of Hebrews #41 chapter 10:19-25 pt. 2
The Book of Hebrews
Responding to the New Covenant (pt. 2)
Hebrews 10:19-25
Last week we began looking at the two possible responses to salvation.  The author of Hebrews is trying to convince these Jews to come to Christ and his message has led to this invitation.
First, he deals with the positive response of saying yes to Jesus by using three statements that begin with “let us”. The first one deals with faith.  We saw that in verses 19-22. Faith says, "Let us draw near with a true heart and full assurance of faith," and the result of that is having God satisfied and ourselves cleansed.
The second thing he addresses is hope.
verse 23
"Let us hold fast the profession of our hope."
KJV uses “faith”, but the word literally defines as “to anticipate with pleasure”.  Most translations use hope instead of faith.  There is a vital connection there anyway because our faith always ends in hope.  Or to put it another way, the end result of our faith is hope.  You see that thought in the remainder of the verse.  The reason we have hope is because of the faithfulness of God.
Therefore, "Let us hold fast the profession of our hope without wavering." Why? "For He is faithful that promised."
Now remember, we must go back and try to hear that as a 1st century Jew who is considering the validity of Jesus as Messiah.  What he is saying is two things:  First, Jesus is trustworthy.  He is faithful.  And secondly, it’s one thing to profess faith in Jesus, but the validity of your faith will be revealed if you continue. That’s why he says, "Hold fast the confession."
You know as well as I there are a lot of people who go around confessing Christ, but they don’t practice the faith or hold fast the confession.
So the author says, "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope and don’t waver.”   Now keep in mind this is the human side of eternal security.  From God’s side, we know the Bible teaches that if we're God's, He holds us.
But there's a human side to the paradox.  It’s the same thing that confuses people about election and predestination. God chooses us to be saved.  You can’t deny that.  There is too much Scriptural support for it.   And yet there's a sense in which we choose whether or not we will be saved of our own will.   Someone has said when we enter heaven, there will be a gate that says, “Whosoever will may come”.  And when you pass through and look at the other side, it says, “Chosen from the foundations of the world.”
There is God’s perspective and then there is our perspective.  On the one hand, we are secure forever by the power of God, and yet that doesn't mean that we can just do anything we want to do. There's a sense in which there's a human responsibility to security, too.
In a sense, we validate our security by holding fast to our confession.  John said it this way in 1 John 2:19:  “They went out from us but they were not of us.  For if they had been of us, they would, no doubt, have continued with us. But they went out from us demonstrating they were not of us.”
A true believer will hold fast. That's a sign of his belief. Jesus said, "If you continue in my Word, then are you my disciple for real." That's what he's saying.  I know that creates a dilemma for some of us who have relatives that used to go to church and used to be active and aren’t anymore.
But if these Scriptures are true, they are either wandering for a time and will return, or they will commit the sin unto death or they are lost.  Christians stay with the stuff.  That’s what he is saying.  Don't just come up and say you believe.  Hold fast.
Apparently some of these Jews who had made professions of faith were getting shaky and starting to return to Judaism. And He says, "Hold on. You've come this far. Don't forsake it."
How sad it is that many come to Christ and say they believe, and they're gone so very soon. That brings to mind the parable Jesus told in Luke 8 about the sower and the four types of soil.  Some fell by the wayside. It was trampled underfoot and the birds ate it." That's a person who doesn't even hear. It doesn't even register. The gospel means nothing.
Some fell on stony ground and it had no roots and when the heat of the day hit it, it withered and dried up.
There was an initial response, but it wasn’t real.  It had no roots.
Some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked it." That’s persecution and difficulties.  That’s where many were in the bookof Hebrews.  They were being persecuted and forsaken and ridiculed for their belief in Jesus, and there was the danger of turning away from Christ.
Then there was the seed that fell on good soil and became productive.  And the danger here was being in the third group.  There are all kinds of people who say they believe, but it isn't real if they don't hold fast.
Jesus saw it all the time.  In John, chapter 6, you've got a multitude following Him. They thought it was the greatest thing that was going on. Free food for everyone!  And they followed Him as long as the groceries kept coming.
In fact, in chapter 6, verse 14, they wanted to make Him a king. But by the end of the chapter, Jesus has explained what it means to be a part of the kingdom of God, and by verse 66 we read, "From that time, many of His disciples went back and walked no more with him.”  They'd come all the way up, but they turned their backs.
James says the same thing James 1:22 when he says, "Be doers of the word, not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." It's so easy to come all the way up and be a hearer and never really make it your own.
Listen:  You can always tell a true believer, because he's around at the end.
So here the author says, “Hold on to your hope.”
What is hope? Hope is simply the trust that God will keep His promise and do what He said He’d do.  That's what it is. In so many words, he says, “Hold on to your guarantee”.
Is God going to keep His promises? Look at verse 23:  “He who promised is faithful." God keeps His Word. Paul said in I Thessalonians 5:24, "Faithful is He who calls you, who will also do it."
So the second positive response, then, is hope.
Back in a simpler day, a dad dropped his little boy at the five and dime store and said, “Look around for a while.  I’ve got to go to a meeting.  I’ll be back to get you in about an hour.  Be waiting out in fron t of the store.
During the course of that hour, his car broke down and he couldn't get to the boy.  Long before the day of cell phones and all of that, he had no way to contact his boy.  Several hours went by before he could return to that corner.
But when he got there, there was his little boy waiting on him, kind of rocking back and forth on his heels, looking in the window of the store.
His dad ran out and threw his arms around him and kissed him and said, "Son, I’m so sorry I was delayed.  Weren't you worried? Did you think I was never coming?"
And the little guy looked him in the eye and said, "No, dad. I knew you were coming. You said you were."
Dear friend, that's how God is. You know what? It may seem like a long time, and it may seem painful in the meantime, but He'll be here. And it'll all be just like He said it would because He's faithful. He promised.
And so if you believe and your faith is real, you'll hold on. That's what He's saying. Faith and hope.
Next week we’ll look at love.
Let’s pray.


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