When I was a freshman in high school, I got to attend my first college football game. It was a surreal experience for me to see our local college team. I was a big fan. Let’s face it; I’m still a big fan! But what made this day unforgettable was that we had all-access tickets. My friend’s uncle, who worked for the visiting school’s football program, had asked him to come and be a ball boy on the sidelines. I didn’t get to carry equipment and meet players like my friend did (I’m still a little jealous), but we did get free tickets and the chance to see the locker room before the game.
I can remember approaching the security guard outside the locker room door. My friend’s uncle simply said, “They’re with me,” and just like that, we were in.
Do you know what’s more incredible than an all-access ticket to a football game? Hebrews tells us that we can boldly enter into the very presence of God. In today’s passage, we read:
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, since he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:22–23).
If we’re with Jesus, we can confidently draw near to God in worship, prayer, and communion. His new covenant sacrifice has washed us clean. So, we can walk right in.
Can you imagine if my friend and I had tried to get into that locker room without his uncle? The security guard would’ve turned us right around. The same is true for those who approach God apart from Christ. Hebrews tells us that Jesus’s sacrifice is the only way we can be saved. If we reject Christ and go on deliberately and defiantly sinning, even after learning the truth of the gospel, we’ll find ourselves out of options (v.26). Judgment is coming for all. And if we’re not with Jesus, entering into God’s presence at the judgment will be a fearful thing. The author of Hebrews states it plainly:
“It’s a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (v.31).
Being with the Savior or without Him makes all the difference. This is so important to remember—especially when difficulty comes and our faith is tested. The church to which the author of Hebrews wrote had experienced conflict, suffering, public insults, imprisonment, and the confiscation of their property (vv.32–34). They endured all this hardship because they knew that with Christ there are better and more lasting rewards.
Friends, don’t throw away your confidence in Christ. Don’t throw away your credentials! Stay with Jesus, and one day you’ll be richly rewarded (v.35). Then, it will be said of you: “But we are not those who draw back and are destroyed, but those who have faith and are saved” (v.39).
Written by Jared Kennedy