The Book of Hebrews #46 chapter 10:26-39 pt. 4
The Book of Hebrews
Responding to the New Covenant (pt. 7)
Hebrews 10:26-39
 
We are in the closing thoughts of an appeal to come to Christ and be saved and avoid becoming an apostate.  So far, the author has talked about the nature of apostasy.  It happens for a number of reasons, but the author underlines the fact that it is be choice.  It is a willful sin against knowledge that occurs by continually and habitually rejecting the truth. 
 
Then we saw the results of apostasy. It leaves you without a way to be saved.  And it results in judgment because you’ve rejected the work of God, the Sacrifice of Jesus and the conviction of the Spirit. 
 
 Tonight we will see   
 
3. The Deterrent to Apostasy
 
How does a person avoid becoming apostate? Two things and here is a positive encouragement not to go back if you know the Truth.  Number one is
 
- remember
 
Verse 32
 
Remember when you first became aware of the gospel and heard about Christ. He’s not talking about being saved, but just becoming aware of the facts. For many that is a very exciting time, just kind of flirting with the idea of being saved and trying to believe and accept if it’s ture.
But something was really going on there and you could sense it and you showed up and you liked it. That’s what he’s talking about.  Remember those things.  Look back and pick them up again and refresh your memory. 
 
In fact, the the word means remember one by one, the things you felt when you first came, how exciting and how fresh and how real and how it seemed like maybe this was answer to your problems.
 
Now that is a critical time.  Remember what he had just said in
 
chapter 3: 12-15
 
These folks were extremely close.  Notice the second part of verse 32
 
They were so visibly identified with the church, they got some of the abuse and persecution. There is an interesting word translated “struggle”.  It comes from our word for athletics.
 
These folks were intent and intense. 
 
Verse 33
 
The word spectacle is where we get the word “theatre”. You were out on stage. You were a spectacle just with the rest of us. You weren't ashamed then.
 
Remember what it was when you first began, how fresh and how wonderful and you weren't afraid. You had such a good start.
 
Verse 34
 
Here the writer gets personal. Apparently, they had communicated somehow to him in some kind of prison situation. They had known about this writer being in a situation of confinement and had showed compassion.
 
They were so involved they had suffered personal loss and he just says, “Remember all that”? 
I mean, you took a lot of stuff in those days. I mean, it was exciting in those days. Remember?
 
And what he is calling on them to think about is the eternal side of things.  The suffering and persecution and trouble down here is not all there is too it. 
There is something better than the worldly goods.
 
They were taking your property and you were a gazingstock, you were a spectacle, and this was going on, and all of the time you were really willing to be this. Remember?
 
Verse 35
 
Don't throw that down the drain. You were confident then; don't lose out. You looked ahead and you thought, wow, this deal's got something good in it, hang onto it. So the first deterrent is remember.
They were all caught up in the things, but something happened.  Maybe the new wore off or the pressure and persecution became too intense.  And maybe they really liked the offer and the church and the hope but the cost is just too great and they like their sin and so they fade away or draw back. 
 
So the writer says remember. Remember those fresh days, those exciting days when it all began? The first time you ever heard it? Remember.
 
The second deterrent is
 
- Reward
 
verse 35
 
He wanted them to keep in mind that if you really come to Christ and you stick in there, God's got some wonderful things in store for you. So he says, first of all, look back and then he says, look forward.
 
Now think about that, because there is a subtle truth contained int hat statement.  They could look back and they could look forward, but he didn’t want them concentrating on where they were right now. 
 
The one place he didn't want them to look was right where they were at because that's when they got hassled. Quit looking at your problems. Quit looking at the persecution and all the junk that's cluttering up your mind. Look back and remember how wonderful it once was and look ahead and remember how wonderful it's gonna be. Remember the freshness and vitality of the possibility of life in Christ and remember, there is a reward for following Him. 
 
Verse 36
 
The KJV leaves a little room for doubt with its use of the word “Might”, but might doesn’t mean “maybe”.  “Might means “will”.  Do the will of God and you will receive the promise.
So he says, just hang on. All you need is patience. Don't can the whole deal now because you got a little trouble. Just be patient.
 
Verse 37
 
Don't get discouraged. The Lord will be here. Just be patient. You may suffer a little bit, but hold on because the Lord will be here. That's the promise and we believe it.
 
And so there you see that there is a great warning against apostasy. He tells them the nature of it, the results of it and the deterrent to it.
 
Look back, then look forward. Don't get trapped in looking at your problems.
 
Then he closes this great passage in 38 and 39 with a simple call for a response.
 
Verses 38-39
 
What is he saying? Keep the faith. You've come this far. Come on; believe all the way. They hadn't really gotten the faith yet, but hang onto what you've got and believe all the way. If you want to be just, you're going to have to believe.
 
You know how to hold fast?...by faith. How do we live our life?...by faith. We're constantly living by constant faith. No man who draws back has saving faith. Saving faith is continuing faith. The just lives by what faith. If a man is really just, what does he live by?...faith. If a man doesn't live by faith and he doesn't really believe God, then I say he's never been just because the just shall live by faith.
We have to trust God. I have never seen God. I have never seen Jesus. I have never seen Heaven. I have never seen Hell. I have never seen anybody who ever wrote any page on this Bible. But you know something? I believe it as much as I believe I'm standing here. And I believe it not by sight, but by  faith.
 
My whole existence is by faith. And he's saying to them, come on; believe this. Believe what I've told you. Believe what you've seen is from God. Believe it and live by it. Don't go back 'cause if you go back, God has no pleasure in you. And the ones He has no pleasure in, He removes from His presence.
 
Then 39, and this is positive.
 
You see what he's saying? Don't go this way. We're not of those that go back; we're of those that believe to the saving of the soul. It's one thing to believe; it's something else to believe to the saving of the soul. Lots of people believe. The Bible says the devils even believe and tremble. He says don't fall back; go forward. "We are not of them that draw back...but of them that believe to the saving of the soul." It ends on a positive note.
 
What is it saying to us? It's saying Jesus Christ provided salvation. You have two choices: take it or leave it.
 
Let's pray.
 
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