Hebrews 10:26-31

Sunday, June 11th, 2017

AN ALTERNATIVE FOR THOSE WAVERING:

IT’S CHRIST OR JUDGMENT

INTRODUCTION:

 

Hebrews was written to Jews professing faith in Christ. As a result of severe persecution, some of them were contemplating abandoning Christ and Christianity and returning to Judaism and living under the law. Hebrews was written to warn them not to do this but to persevere in their faith in Christ.

 

We have seen in Hebrews 1:1-10:18 :

 

    I.    That Christ is superior to angels - 1:4 - 2:18

   II.    That Christ is worthy of more glory than Moses – 3:1 - 4:13

  III.    That Christ’s ministry is more excellent than the Levitical priests’ ministry – 4:14 - 7:28

 IV.    That Christ is the mediator of a better covenant – 8:1 - 10:18

 

In Hebrews 10:19-13:21 we see that Christ has provided a better way of life than the law provided. It is the life of faith.

 

In Hebrews 10:19-25 we have seen that believers should hold fast their confession.

 

In Hebrews 10:26-39 , which we are beginning to look at in this message, we see that an alternative is given for those who are wavering. It’s either Christ, or it’s judgment. There is no other option.

We see that –

    I.     NO SACRIFICE OTHER THAN CHRIST’S DYING ON THE CROSS FOR OUR SINS WILL SATISFY THE WRATH OF GOD – 10:26

 

Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.

 

Verse 26 introduces an additional step in the logic as is indicated by for which is used in the sense of now.

 

In the phrase if we sin wilfully, the particular sin in view is abandoning Christianity and returning to Judaism.

 

It is the same sin dealt with throughout the Book of Hebrews: willful and deliberate apostasy from Christ and Christianity, the result of an evil, unbelieving heart.

 

Wilfully means willingly or without compulsion and is understood in the sense of deliberately or intentionally.

 

The point is that if people intentionally abandon Christ, there is no more sacrifice for sin. It means that there is no other means of salvation because there is no other sacrifice for sin which will satisfy the wrath of God which is directed against them because of their sins.

 

If they reject God’s only remedy for their sins, there is no other hope to which they may turn.

 

The only thing left for them is judgment.

 

After that we have received the knowledge of the truth indicates action which takes place prior to the action of sinning willfully.

 

We refers to professing believers; and have received means have obtained or have gotten.

 

Knowledge implies a full, complete, or thorough-going knowledge of the truth.

 

It does not suggest that these people have only heard the gospel; instead, it suggests that they have a thorough understanding of the gospel message.

 

The truth is the truth about Christ and salvation.

 

If they deliberately abandon Christ after they have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the gospel, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.

 

Sacrifice in the Greek text functions as the subject of remaineth and means offering. The tense of remaineth indicates that its action exists forever.

 

No more is an adverb meaning no longer or no further.

 

For sins is concerning sins, and sins is the word for missing the mark.

 

The reason there is no more sacrifice for sins is simple: Christ is the only offering that exists which has cleansed the physical flesh as well as the conscience.

 

There is no other offering that will do this, and there never will be.

 

Thus, the logic is that if professing Christians abandon Christ and Christianity on the basis that it is not what they expected it to be, they have no hope. It is Christ, or it is nothing.

 

Of course, one who has been genuinely saved will never go so far as to abandon Christ and Christianity.

 

This is not referring to backsliding. A believer might backslide, but he will never backslide to this point.

 

This thought is based on the logic of Hebrews 3:6 and 3:14 where believers are said to be God’s house if we continue to hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

 

The clear implication there is that if they cease to hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end, they are not God’s house now and never really have been.

 

Thus, continuance in the faith is the proof or test of salvation, rather than being a condition for salvation.

 

The willful sin is the abandoning of Christ completely and with finality. It is the proof that this person is unsaved.

We also see that –

  II.     SOMEONE WHO ABANDONS CHRIST MAY LOOK FORWARD TO JUDGMENT IN HELL – 10:27

 

Hebrews 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

 

But introduces a contrast to what was said in verse 26.

 

He cannot look forward to the forgiveness of sins and the completion of his salvation; instead, he may look forward to judgment.

 

No other sacrifice for sins remains, but what does remain is a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation.

 

Fearful is used in the active sense of something that is causing fear, something that is terrible, or something that is frightful.

 

Looking for is expectation, and what he is looking for or expecting is judgment or judging.

 

The term judgment is often used in the sense of condemnation or punishment which comes as the result of judgment.

 

Fiery indignation is literal and introduces the particular kind of judgment he may expect.

 

And is, therefore, used in the sense of even or in the more emphatic sense of indeed, in fact, verily, certainly, or yea.

 

A fiery indignation is literally a zeal of fire. Here it is used in a bad sense of an envy of fire or a judgment and suggests a judgment, an envy, or a jealousy of fire.

 

Which refers to this fiery judgment.

 

Shall devour the adversaries is literally is coming to eat the adversaries or which is about to eat the adversaries. Eat is the term meaning to eat a meal. Here it is used in a figurative sense meaning to consume or to devour.

 

Hence, it is saying which is about to devour the adversaries or which is intent on devouring the adversaries.

 

Here, the adversaries are God’s adversaries or God’s opponents. The appears before adversaries in the Greek text in order to indicate that it is the sum total of the entire class or group of those who oppose God and Christ who are being considered. None are excepted.

 

They are those who are opposed to Him, who are contrary to Him, or who are hostile to Him.

 

Thus, people have a choice of being saved or of being lost.

 

As saved people they have been cleansed by the blood of Christ and forgiven; as lost people they are members of the group called the adversaries of God. They have never been saved, and they may look forward to judgment.

 

It is Christ, or it is judgment. There is no other choice.

In addition, we see that –

 III.     SOMEONE WHO DESPISED THE MOSAIC LAW DIED WITHOUT MERCY – 10:28

 

Hebrews 10:28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses.

 

A contrast is seen between the one who disregarded the Mosaic law and his judgment in verse 28 and the one who disregards the message of salvation and his judgment in verse 29.

 

He that despised Moses’ law is anyone declaring invalid the law of Moses, anyone nullifying the law of Moses, or anyone setting aside the law of Moses.

 

A person may despise Moses’ law or declare it invalid simply by disobeying it.

 

He is anyone or someone.

 

Despised is literally having despised.

 

It may be understood in the sense of after he despised, because (i.e. since or inasmuch as) he despised, or if he despised.

 

What he despised is Moses’ law, i.e. the law given by Moses.

 

Died implies that he was executed or was put to death.

 

Without mercy is without pity or without compassion.

 

Mercy is actually plural in the Greek text. No mercies of any kind were extended to the one who despised Moses’ law.

 

Under two or three witnesses reminds the readers that it only took two or three to testify against the one who was despising the law to result in that person’s being sentenced to death.

 

Thus, anyone who regarded the law lightly and, as a result, disobeyed it, died with only two or three witnessing against him; yet, this first covenant, the Mosaic law, was inferior to the second covenant which would follow.

Next, we see that –

 IV.     SOMEONE WHO ABANDONS CHRIST WILL SUFFER A WORSE FATE THAN THE ONE WHO DESPISED THE MOSAIC LAW – 10:29

 

Hebrews 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

 

Whereas verse 28 indicates that someone who despised Moses’ law died without mercy if there were two or three persons witnessing against him, verse 29 indicates that someone who disregards Who the Lord Jesus Christ is and what He has done in providing salvation from sin and its consequences is worthy of far greater punishment.

 

Of how much sorer punishment is by how much greater punishment, by how much worse punishment, or by how much more severe punishment.

 

Suppose ye is do you think, do you believe, do you consider, or do you suppose.

 

Shall he be thought worthy is shall he be considered worthy or shall he be considered deserving.

 

He refers to the one described by who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace.

 

Who hath trodden under foot is who has trampled under foot or who has treated with disdain, and the One he has trampled under foot is the Son of God or Jesus.

 

The word translated who hath trodden under foot is literally having trodden under foot and may be understood in the sense of after he has trodden under foot, because he has trodden under foot, or if he has trodden under foot.

 

He also hath counted the blood of the covenant . . . an unholy thing.

 

Hath counted is has thought, has considered, or has regarded.

 

The word translated hath counted is literally having counted, having thought, having considered, or having regarded.

 

Its time of action occurs before the action of shall he be thought worthy.

 

It may be understood in the sense of after, because, or if he has counted (i.e. has thought, has considered, or has regarded).

 

The blood of the covenant is the blood of the new covenant, the blood which Jesus shed on the cross which has brought about salvation.

 

An unholy thing suggests to be an unholy thing, to be common, or to be profane.

 

Wherewith he was sanctified is by which he was sanctified, by which he was set apart, or by which he was made holy.

 

He has rejected the blood of Christ as an atonement for his sins.

 

Furthermore, and introduces a third thing he has done: he hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace.

 

Hath done despite is has insulted or has outraged. It may be understood in the sense of after, because, or if he has done despite, has insulted, or has outraged.

 

The Spirit of grace is the Spirit Who gives grace and refers to the Holy Spirit. He has committed the unpardonable sin.

 

The truth of the matter is that the one who has been genuinely born again will never do any of these things.

 

However, one who has only made an outward profession but who has not been genuinely saved will do all of these things if he does not receive Christ as his personal Savior.

 

It is an impossibility for a believer, i.e. for a genuinely saved person, to turn his back on Christ in this manner, not that he would ever want to.

 

Regarding the precious blood of Christ by which he was supposedly saved as something common or profane and, thereby, insulting the Spirit of grace clearly indicates this person’s lost condition. This person is not saved and never has been, or he would never do this.

We furthermore see that –

   V.     THE LORD WILL TAKE VENGEANCE ON SOMEONE WHO ABANDONS CHRIST – 10:30

 

Hebrews 10:30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

 

In verse 30 we see the reason the judgment for those who reject Christ is fearful as well as how they are worthy of a much sorer punishment than those who despised the law.

 

For is used in the sense of because.

 

We, which refers to the writer and the readers of this epistle, know him that hath said, which refers to God.

 

The Lord has said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense. This quotation comes from Deuteronomy 32:35 .

 

Unto me is emphatic.

 

Saith the Lord is a reminder that the Lord is the One Who said this.

 

Vengeance is punishment.

 

Belongeth unto me suggests (is) Mine.

 

I will recompense is I (i.e. the Lord) will give back, I will repay, or I will return. It is predictive of a future event which is definitely going to happen.

 

Saith the Lord leaves no doubt that it is the Lord Who is him that hath said this.

 

And again introduces another quotation which comes from Deuteronomy 32:36 : the Lord shall judge his people.

 

Shall judge is predictive of a future event which is definitely going to happen. There is no question but that judgment is coming. When it comes, the Lord is going to discern who is saved and who is not saved.

 

Those who are saved will be vindicated; whereas, those who are not saved will be cast into the lake of fire.

Finally, we see that –

 VI.     SOMEONE WHO ABANDONS CHRIST WILL EXPERIENCE THE WRATH OF GOD – 10:31

 

Hebrews 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

 

Verse 31 warns of the ever-present truth that it is frightening to be judged by God.

 

One had, therefore, better be certain that he is genuinely saved.

 

It is a fearful thing suggests it is terrible (i.e. frightful or fearful), it is a terrible (i.e. frightful or fearful) thing, or it is a thing causing fear.

 

This fearful thing is to fall into the hands of the living God.

 

Is has been supplied by the translators.

 

To fall functions as the subject of the supplied is.

 

Into the hands of the living God indicates where it would be a fearful thing to fall.

 

To fall into the hands of the living God suggests that one comes under the judgment that the hands of God are going to carry out.

CONCLUSION:

 

Be certain that you have been genuinely saved rather than committing the sin of rejecting Christ and His death on the cross in payment for your sins.