Hebrews

Day 9: Warning Against Falling Away

Hebrews 5:11-14, Hebrews 6:1-12, Philippians 3:12-16, 1 Peter 2:1-3

 

I’ve been in two car accidents—both in parking lots. My depth perception, the blind spots, and the lack of beeping sensors on my truck are a recipe for me to back into cars and poles in a parking lot. My wife’s car has the warning lights. I love them. I miss them when I get in my truck. Her car warns you if someone is in your blind spot. It warns you if you are too close to a wall or another car in front. A backup camera and flashing lights alert you to what’s going on behind you. Warnings are gifts, and Hebrews 6 is a flashing light.

The writer of Hebrews is alerting this group of Jewish Christians to watch out for the temptation to go back to Judaism, thinking that Jesus isn’t really the Messiah. They are getting hung up on some of the basic teachings and hurdles they’ve already jumped. They don’t need to repent from the dead works of Judaism—they’ve already done that if they are in Christ (v.1). They don’t need another lesson on the place of cleansing rituals—they are already clean and righteous in Christ (v.2). But the lights are still flashing.

Apparently, some in their group had already turned away from Christ and gone back to Judaism. Even though they knew something of the freedom and joy that is offered in Christ, they ultimately rejected it. They didn’t really believe in Christ and the value of His crucifixion. Verse 6 puts it in stark terms: “To their own harm, they are recrucifying the Son of God and holding him up to contempt.” In their rejection of Christ, they were saying His crucifixion was deserved because He wasn’t really the sinless Son of God.

No genuine believer can imagine himself saying and believing such things. True Christians know Jesus didn’t deserve to be crucified—we did. He was crucified for our sins. He should not be mocked and held in contempt. God has highly exalted Him and given Him a name that is above every name (Philippians 2:9). He deserves worship and loyalty, not dishonor and rejection.

Do you see what the writer of Hebrews is doing? He is warning the church that not everyone who appears to be a believer really is. Just because some people attend church for a time, or have some understanding of the gospel, doesn’t mean they have truly trusted in Christ for salvation. It’s the same in our churches today.

Seeing some of their number depart from Christ was no doubt discouraging to these suffering believers, so he reminds them that “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you demonstrated for his name by serving the saints—and by continuing to serve them” (Hebrews 6:10). God saw their faithfulness and perseverance, and He sees yours too. Whatever you are facing today—temptations, doubts, fears—let the reality of the risen Christ strengthen you. You will remain faithful to the end because Christ has already been faithful, and He promises to never leave you or forsake you.

Written by Jeff Medders