The Book of Hebrews #44 chapter 10:26-39 pt. 2
The Book of Hebrews
Responding to the New Covenant (pt. 5)
Hebrews 10:26-39
 
Turn once again to Hebrews 10 and we’ll continue our study of what it means to reject Jesus as Savior and Lord.  Last week we began looking at the nature of apostasy and we discovered that an apostate is someone who has received the knowledge of the truth.  That's found in verse 26. 
 
There is a second critical word contained in that verse and that is the word “willfully." There is not only a reception of the truth, there is a rejection of the truth.  This is the person who says, “I hear what is being said.  I've considered it.  I understand it. I don't buy it," and walks away.
 
Now, if you have the truth and you know it’s the truth and you don't want it, there's no hope for you. What more can God do than show you the truth? What is there left for Him to display? What information don't you know? If you walk away from that, that's the end and as the remainder of the verse says, “It's impossible to be renewed unto repentance.”  And in a word, that's apostasy.
 
Now, there are two things that stand out in the verse here about apostasy.
 
First, it's voluntary.
 
We sin willfully. It is by one’s own accord or decision. It is opposed to the sin of ignorance or the sin of weakness. It is the sin that is all planned out.
It's as different from the sin of ignorance and weakness as first degree murder is different from involuntary manslaughter. It's a plotted and planned sin. It’s voluntary.
 
The second thing standing out here is that
it's habitual.
 
The structure of the verse implies that it is not a one-time mess-up.  This is a studied and consistent and repeated forsaking of the only means of grace.  The sin here is not only the renunciation of the truth, but it is a continuation in that renunciation.
 
Now all of us have either known people who got away from the Lord for a while, or maybe we’ve been there ourselves.  Andy Christian is susceptible to times when sin enters, and we drift off, and perhaps we forsake the assembly for a while. But that's not apostasy. It's apostasy if it continues, if it's habitual. If it's a habitual and willful decision to turn your back on Christ, that's apostasy.
 
And you know as a Christian, if you're really a Christian, when you drift away, it just bugs you to death. It's not a willful thing. It's a hard thing to do. But for the apostate, he makes his mind up, and he willfully turns around and walks away.  And that is a very serious sin.  Let me remind you of what Paul says to Timothy in II Timothy 2:12:  "If we deny Him, He also will deny us." Now, that's an apostate. If you turn your back and deny Him, He'll deny you.
 
And I like what the 13th verse adds to that.
 
2 Timothy 2:13: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.”
Sometimes as Christians our faith runs low.  We run out of faith. We find it hard to believe God for certain things, and we're really on a shallow end of our faith. But when that happens, we are still secure because we are His child.  He is faithful to us, even when we are out of faith.  You see, being out of faith is not the same as denying the faith. 
 
This is the prayer of the man who had a demon-possessed son and the disciples couldn’t help and he asks Jesus if there is anything He can do. Jesus said, “Anything is possible for those who believe.”  And the man says, “I do believe.  Help my unbelief.”
 
That’s what Paul is saying to Timothy.  Even when you want to believe and can’t, God is still faithful to you.  You may be faithless at some point in your life but He is faithful.
 
That’s the difference between a believer and an apostate.  If a person persists in deliberate and willful sin of denial and rejection, He's an apostate because the truly saved will continue even if they have periods of doubt. 
 
I John 3:9, "Whosoever is born of God does not continue to be committing sin, for His seed remains in him, and he cannot continue to be committing sin, because He's born of God." You see? If you're born of God, you cannot continue to be committing sin. But if you're an apostate, you continue to be committing sin.
 
And remember, the author is helping his audience to understand the nature of apostasy. You’ve either received the truth or you’ve rejected the truth.
 
That's the nature of apostasy. Let's quickly look at
 
2. The Results of Apostasy
 
There are two results of rejecting Christ. 
 
First, No Sacrifice for Sin Remains. 
 
verse 26
 
Now that is a indescribably important thought because the only way anyone will ever get into the presence of God is if he gets his sins removed.  And as we’ve already seen in this study, the only way to get your sins removed is by sacrifice.  Remember, without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. So there must be a sacrifice for sin.
 
The only sufficient sacrifice for sin is the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. If you reject that, there is no other sacrifice for sin. If you turn your back on Jesus Christ, you shall die in your sins and the ultimate destination of those who die in their sins is eternally separation from God in hell. 
 
So from a Christian perspective, that is an extremely strong statement.  But it was also a powerful statement to the Jew because these Jewish people to whom He was writing were considering returning to Judaism.  Now the central feature of Judaism was their sacrificial system.
 
And what he is saying to them is, "Don't go back to those sacrifices because they are obsolete and insufficient.  They were only partial and temporary when they were in operation. But they're not even in operation anymore. They're pointless.
If a man turns his back on Jesus Christ, there is no other sacrifice for sins. If his sins aren't sacrificed for, he'll never enter God's presence.  To walk away from the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is to be outside of grace.
 
So that’s the first result of apostasy.  You reject Christ, you don’t have a sacrifice. 
 
Second, Certain Judgment is Promised
 
Verse 27
 
Now think about how judgment works in our system.  The greater the offense, the more sever the judgment.  If apostasy is the worst sin a person can commit, then obviously it carries the worst penalty.   
 
That’s what the apostate can expect.  All he has to look forward to is judgment. And God views the one who knows the truth and walks away as an enemy. The word used to describe them is "adversaries."
An apostate is an adversary.
 
And it's especially sad because an apostate starts out to be the closest friend and ends up being the worst enemy. There's no greater sinner that ever lived than Judas. Why? He feigned friendship and then denied the Lord.  There is nothing more disgusting than the betrayer’s kiss.
 
When you think about it, apostates can only be produced in the presence of Christ.  They are developed in church under the teaching and preaching of the Word of God.  That’s the only place they can grow. 
 
And for those who have been closest to the light and the truth to kiss Jesus on the cheek and walk away and finally reveal themselves to be the enemy of God is to deserve hell. 
 
And it will happen.  In fact, it is described in this verse as “certain”.  It will happen.  The question is aske din chapter 2, “How shall we escape if we neglect this great salvation?”  And the answer is, “You can’t”.  It’s certain.   
 
That’s one thing an apostate can be sure of.  If you can’t be sure about Jesus and trust Him, then you can be sure of judgment and judgment is described here as devouring, fiery indignation. 
 
It is promised to all the rejecters of Jesus Christ that they will be burned with fire. In Matthew 3:12, it says, "who shall purge His floor, gather His wheat into the granary, but He will burn the chaff with unquenchable fire."
 
In chapter 13, verse 36, another picture of the judgment. It says, "Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house, and His disciples came unto Him saying, 'Explain unto us the parable of the tares of the field.'"
 
"He answered and said unto them, 'He that soweth the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world. The good seed are the children of the kingdom. But the tares are the children of the wicked one. The enemy that sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age. And the reapers are the angels.'"
 
"'As, therefore, the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this age. The Son of Man shall send forth His angels. They shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend and them who do iniquity, shall cast them into a furnace of fire. There shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.'" That's judgment, fiery judgment.
 
Verse 47, "The kingdom of heaven is like a net, which was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore, sat down, gathered the good into vessels, and cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the age. The angels shall come forth, separate the wicked from among the righteous, cast them into the furnace of fire. There shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."
 
We find in Mark, chapter 9, more. Let me read it to you. Verse 43, "And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off. It is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched, where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off. It is better for thee to enter lame into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched, where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out. It is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."
 
The promise is judgment of fire. You say, "When does that judgment come?"
 
Well, I believe for an unbeliever it comes when he dies. But the great holocaust of fiery judgment comes yet even at the end time. As we read in II Thessalonians, chapter 1, verse 7, "And to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power." Judgment.
 
And so to the apostate is the promise of absolute and certain judgment. It's a sad thing when you look at apostasy, and you see people who stand on the edge of it. And I say to you tonight if you have never come to Jesus Christ, repented of all the sin of your life, cast yourself on His mercy, and if you know the truth, you're in danger of being an apostate.
 
And the hottest hell is reserved for those who have kissed Jesus with a Judas kiss.  Take the warning of the Word of God. Don't sin willfully after you've known the truth. Don't turn your back on Jesus Christ and walk away. Do the opposite. Draw near with faith. Hold fast with hope. Consider one another with love. Come to Christ.
 
Let's pray.
 
 
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