Hebrews 9:27 [P]eople are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.
The eternal destiny of every person is sealed the moment they die. There is no opportunity to repent once this life is over. The moment someone passes from this life to the next, they know where they will be forever. The word destined even implies that the day is fixed.
A young lady was walking in a major city when a window fell out of a skyscraper. She had no reason to think her life was in danger as she went throughout her day. Death may have been the furthest thing from her mind when the window struck and killed her.
A friend of mine evangelized his buddy for years, but the man wanted nothing to do with Christ. They were having lunch, one day, when the man clutched his chest and died. No one knows when their end will come, but we know it is coming soon. Everyone has a date with death; fools die unprepared.
Hebrews 10:14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
If you look through rose-colored glasses, everything you see will look rosy. Since God sees us through the blood of Christ (Romans 3:25), he does not see any sin. This applies to our past sins, present sins, and even our future sins. We will never be more forgiven than we are right now—even in heaven. God sees us as perfect forever because of Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 10:18 . . . sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
At the time this letter was written, the temple in Jerusalem was still being used, and animals were still being sacrificed. Jewish Christians were not supposed to offer sacrifices, however, because Christ was sacrificed for them. Offering a sacrifice for sin dishonored the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, as though it was not enough.
Even today, many believers want to offer a sacrifice for sin. Some will give money because of their sin; others will serve because of their sin; and others will fast because of their sin. None of these things are wrong as an act of worship, but they are completely wrong if we hope they will pay for our sins. Only Christ could pay for our sins, and he has already done that. What he wants from us is love and devotion.
Likewise, we should never ask God to forgive us because we are sorry, or promise to do better, or plan to do something special for him. The only reason God will forgive us is because his Son took the lash across his back for us, and the nails through his hands and feet for us, and spent the six longest hours in history on a splintery Roman cross for us. That is the only reason God will forgive us, and he will forgive us, because Jesus died for us.
Hebrews 10:25 [Do not give] up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing.
In the beginning, church was so exciting that believers gathered several times a week. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts (Acts 2:46), wrote Luke. But after decades of going to church, it was not very fun anymore, and some were dropping out.
There are many good reasons for dropping out of church. The music is often dreadful, the people can be rude, the sermons are often boring, and they always want your money. Many would rather go to the dentist than attend a religious service.
But there are at least a few good reasons for going to church. The church is the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27), and the family of God (Matthew 12:49-50). Jesus said, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it (Matthew 16:18). And, where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them (Matthew 18:20). Whoever is committed to Jesus Christ will be committed to what Jesus Christ is committed to—and Jesus Christ is committed to his church.
A university professor was walking to church in the rain, when a student pulled over and gave him a ride. The student asked, Why did you decide to go to church this morning? The professor replied, I didn’t decide to go this morning; I decided forty years ago.
Hebrews 10:29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?
When a believer turns away from Jesus Christ and dies, Christian friends may comfort themselves by saying, At least he is in heaven. But the writer of Hebrews never said that, nor did it cross his mind. He thought those who turned away from Christ were much worse off than those who never believed. And the Apostle Peter agreed: It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on [it] (2 Peter 2:21), he wrote.
Charles Templeton was a well known preacher in the 1940’s. He filled stadiums with his preaching, and won thousands to Jesus Christ. But then he turned away from Christ, and wrote a book entitled, Farewell to God. This is the worst possible fate. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever (1 Chronicles 28:9), said David.
Reflection and Review
Why does God see us as perfect forever?
What are some good reasons for going to church?
Why is it worse to turn away from Christ than never to believe in him?