The book of Hebrews, in all its depth and sublimity, was, in many ways, just one long exhortation to Jewish believers in Jesus. And what it exhorted them to do is: Stay faithful to the Lord!
This faithfulness, of course, should stem from our love of God, of who He is and of His character and goodness, most powerfully expressed at the cross of Christ. Sometimes, though, human beings need to be reminded of what the terrible consequences of falling away will be.
That is, we need to remember that, in the end, if we don’t accept what Jesus has done for us in having paid the penalty for our sins, we will have to pay that penalty ourselves, and that means “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 22:13) followed by eternal destruction.
Read Hebrews 10:28-31. What is Paul saying and how does it apply to us, as well?
How interesting that in order to exhort Jewish believers to stay faithful to God, Paul quotes Deuteronomy, an earlier exhortation to Jewish believers to stay faithful to God! Paul quotes Deuteronomy 17:6 in regard to the fact that someone deemed worthy of death would face that death only after at least two people testified against that person.
But Paul did this to make the point that if unfaithfulness could lead to death under the Old Covenant, how much “worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy [of] who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:29). In other words, you have more light and more truth than they did, and you know about the sacrifice of the Son of God for your sins; thus, if you fall away, your condemnation will be greater than theirs.
Then Paul immediately goes back to Deuteronomy, now to Deuteronomy 32:35, simply to buttress his argument. Considering what they had been given in Christ and their knowledge of the great provision made for them, the Lord, who said, “vengeance is Mine,” will “judge His people” (Hebrews 10:30) for their apostasy and unfaithfulness. After all, He had judged their forefathers, who didn’t have what these New Testament Jews did, the fuller revelation of God’s love revealed at the cross. Thus, basically, Paul was saying: Be warned.
|“The Lord will judge His people” (Deuteronomy 32:36. NKJV). What’s our only hope in that judgment (see Romans 8:1)?|