The Book of Hebrews #45 chapter 10:26-39 pt. 3
The Book of Hebrews
Responding to the New Covenant (pt. 6)
Hebrews 10:26-39
We have been studying, from the 10th chapter of Hebrews the subject of Apostasy: The Negative Response to the New Covenant. The focus of the author’s comments is the one who has received the knowledge of salvation and understands it, but rejects it.  And by definition, that is an apostate.  That’s what we looked at last time in verse 26.  So far, we’ve identified the nature of apostasy and then began looking at the results of it. 
We saw, first of all, if you refuse Jesus, there is no sacrifice for sins, and because of that, judgment awaits.       
Now, tonight, we’ll pick up right there because beginning in verse 28, the author provides an illustration for what he’s just said. 
verse 28
Now he is drawing a comparison.  They wanted to return to the law and for 10 chapters he has been demonstrating the Christ is superior. 
So he continues in that same vein of thought.  If a man lived in disobedience to the law of Moses and two or three witnesses confirmed his disobedience, that man died.
Notice Numbers 15:30-31
In other words, if someone sins willfully and with premeditation,, a sin against knowledge, that man was cut off and treated as an outcast. 
Then keep reading verses 32-36
Now here was a man who was executed for violating the Sabbath by picking up sticks.  Now here’s the point:  if God, under the law of Moses, will execute a man for picking up sticks if it breaks His law, you better believe He's got some kind of punishment in mind for the man who rejects Jesus Christ. And when the author of Hebrews says, there is nothing left except a fearful expectation of judgment, you better believe that’s exactly what is going to happen. 
When God makes a law, God expects that law to be obeyed. That’s exactly what verses 28-31 of Hebrews 10 are talking about. 
If a guy got stoned for picking up sticks, imagine what's going to happen to the guy that tramples Jesus Christ under his feet.
Let6 me straighten out one of the common misconnections about God that believes in the age of grace God goes a little easier than He used to. 
Listen:  God deals stronger with sin in this age, the age of grace, then He did in the age of law. There is nothing in Old Testament times to compare to the severity of judgment revealed in the New Testament. You got that? Nothing! Why is that?  It is because there is nothing worse than sinning against the grace of God.  People say, “Oh, in the Old Testament, God was so harsh.”
The worse thing Old Testament people ever experienced doesn’t begin to measure up to what is promised in regard to sinning against the knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Hebrews says it straight up:  the punishment for refusing Jesus and trampling under foot His blood will be worse than what they experienced back then. 
No doubt, there is a doctrine of punishment in the Old Testament, but it's not nearly as severe as the doctrine of punishment in the New Testament because they weren't sinning against full light. They didn’t have nearly as much information as we do. 
And God still judged them very severely.
But it’s not nearly as severe as what is awaiting the man today who comes to a full knowledge of Jesus Christ mentally and never makes a real decision to commit his life to Jesus Christ. That man will find himself in the Judas portion of Hell, the severest punishment God has ever reserved.
If you have been favored with the knowledge of the gospel, if you have been enlightened by the Holy Spirit, if you have professed to be a Christian and then despised His Lordship, denied His authority, broken His commandments, walked with His enemies and you've done it all willfully, then you deserve to be with Judas in the hottest place in hell.
I want you to understand it's a privilege for you to be here tonight and to hear the truth of Jesus Christ as it's been a privilege every time you heard it.
I wish more Christians understood that. 
But I’m afraid many mistake privilege for security. Privilege can give you the severest kind of damnation if you don't receive the privilege that God has granted. The tragedy of Judas is what he might have been and that's the tragedy of every man who comes to a full knowledge of the truth, turns around and walks away.
God is not more tolerant of sin today; He's less tolerant, because men have no excuse today.
Want proof?  Look at Acts 17:30
In the Old Testament, God overlooked a lot of things because they didn't have the indwelling Spirit and they didn't have a full revelation, but God's not overlooking sin anymore.
He has set aside a day in which He will judge the world.  And the judgment is for those who’ve rejected Jesus as Lord and Savior. 
This rejection is classified in three statements.
First of all, these people have
- trampled the Son of God underfoot
That reminds me of Philippians 2:9-11 where God promises His Son exaltation.  God said of His Son that He was well-pleased.  God has given Him the name above every name.  He is worthy, according to the Revelation, to receive glory and Honor. 
But here, He is trampled underfoot. 
Now this is the second person of the Trinity; the exalted Son of God. And the picture is of someone who is intentionally stomping all over the Son of God.  
What does it mean to "trample underfoot?  Think about it this way:  If you walk down the street and you see a ten dollar bill, chances are you will stop and pick it up.  If you are walking down the street and you see a slug or a spider or worm, you will walk right on by it and never give it another thought,  maybe even stepping on it as you go.
Essentially, that's exactly what this is saying.  The thought is that of worthlessness.  There are men who walk along and they look at Christ and they consider Him to be nothing more than a slug and walk right on by or maybe even kick it out of the way.  After all, it's just a worthless thing, not even worthy to be bent over and picked up. That's what it means to tread under feet the Son of God. Don't even bother to stoop to pick it up. Don't pay it any attention because it’s worthless.
Once Christ came, the awfulness of apostasy lay not so much in breaking the law, but in trampling the love gift of God underfoot as a worthless thing.
The second phrase is
- has counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing.
Now the pronouns in this verse need clarification.  The first “he” is the apostate.  The second “He” isChrist. 
Let me try to explain that. The apostate hasn’t been sanctified or he wouldn’t be an apostate.  I believe that he's talking here about Christ with the pronoun He. The One Who is sanctified by His blood is Christ.  It helps to remember what the word “sanctified” means.  It means “set apart."
When Jesus was praying in the Garden, according to. John 17:19, He said, “And for their sakes, I sanctify Myself that they also might be sanctified." In other words, Christ set Himself apart so they Yyou and I could be set apart. 
Now, how was it and with what did He set Himself apart?  According to this verse, it was “with His blood”.  And when you read it that way, it makes perfect sense.  And it will make even more sense when we get to the next phrase. 
Here’s the sense of this verse so far.  A man who is an apostate has no respect for the Son of God.  IT doesn’t matter what God has exalted; it’s considered worthless to the one who rejects Christ. 
In fact, he considers the blood of the covenant with which Christ set Himself apart an unholy thing. But the blood of the covenant was sacred. It was the blood that was shed on the cross by Jesus Christ. By that shed blood Christ was set apart to God as the perfect sacrifice.
As the writer has already told us, Jesus entered into the Holy of Holies with His own blood and sprinkled it on the mercy seat. But the apostate considers that to be no big deal. 
Then look at the third phrase:
  • Insulted the Spirit of Grace
Now here is why I think the phrase above is talking about Jesus being sanctified. The first statement was a rejection of God who exalted the Son; then there is a rejection of Christ who set Himself apart as the perfect sacrifice.  And the third thing the apostate does is reject the Spirit. 
Now that's apostasy: total rejection. It's the rejection of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And that makes a critical point. 
With other religions, when men reject them, that’s what they reject.  They reject a religion.  But with Christianity, it’s not a rejection of a religion.  It’s the rejection of a person.  Christianity is not a system.  it's a relationship.
And a man who rejects it rejects God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. He rejects the Trinity. He personally rejects them.
Now, notice the word “insulted”.  This is the act of a man who has been convicted by the Holy Spirit to understand the great love of God that allowed His Son to come and die on a cross in his place. 
This man turns his back and insults the Holy Spirit and walks away and rejects the whole deal. 
No wonder he asks, “How much worse do you suppose the punishment will be for the person who does that?”
Then verse 30 takes it a step further.
That is a quote from Deuteronomy 32:35-36 that talks about the vengeance of God. 
Now, if God took vengeance on the Jews, His chosen people, in the Old Testament when they broke Moses' law, what kind of vengeance is He going to have on those who are the enemies of God who reject Jesus Christ? That's what he's saying.
Vengeance belongs to God. He "is longsuffering.  He is not willing that any should perish.  HE desires that that all should come to repentance.  But if a man turns his back and walks away, vengeance is left. And I say to you, tonight; be warned, because
verse 31
Christians know what it is to be in His hands because the Bible indicates that we're in the hollow of His hand. That's far different than the apostate falling into the hands of judgment. And so we see the nature of apostasy and the results.
Next week we’ll look at the deterrent to apostasy.
Let’s pray.