Hebrews 10:31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
A young man was waiting for his trial to begin when he asked permission to go to the bathroom. He stood on top of the toilet, pulled himself into the ceiling, and tried to get away. The ceiling could not support his weight, however, and he fell directly into the Judge’s chambers. How much worse to fall into the hands of the living God? God is at the end of everyone’s road, and whoever tries to escape will fall into his hands.
Hebrews 10:34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.
Some of the early believers were thrown into prison, and lost their homes due to their faith. This was a terrible hardship, of course, but they still had joy because of their better and lasting possessions. Who cares about an old tent when you will inherit a palace?
But then something strange happened. With the passing of time, they forgot about their homes in heaven and missed their homes on earth. The closer they got to the eternal age, the more they cared about the present age. Some were even going back to their former way of life.
This makes little or no sense, but we can fall into the same pattern if we are not careful. Every day brings us closer to the end of our journey, so our excitement should steadily increase. [O]ur salvation is nearer now than when we first believed (Romans 13:11), wrote Paul. Our focus should never be on what we have left behind, but on all that God has prepared for those who love him (1 Corinthians 2:9), wrote Paul also.
Hebrews 10:36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
Perseverance is the ability to stay with a task until it is finished—no matter how difficult it may be. Endurance, persistence, tenacity, commitment and stamina are all required to finish the Christian life.
In 1952 Florence Chadwick attempted to swim twenty-six miles from Catalina Island to the California coastline. After fifteen hours a fog set in, and she doubted she could make it. She swam for another hour, then got into the boat—just a mile from her goal.
Two months later she tried again, and persevered by thinking about the shore. Mile after mile, she kept her goal in mind, until she reached her destination. Heaven’s shore is closer than we think, and we must not lose our focus. Satan says we will never make it, but God says we are almost there. We just need to persevere.
Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command.
The existence of God is frequently argued in three different ways. First, the universe did not always exist, and did not create itself, so there must be a creator. Second, the world displays remarkable signs of design, which point to a great designer. Third, the distinction between right and wrong point to a moral law giver. These arguments fall short of absolute proof, however, so a measure of faith is still required.
But faith is required for every explanation of the world, including atheism. To be an atheist you must believe that everything came from nothing, that non-life produced life, and that thoughtless matter produced people who think. This is why it takes more faith to be an atheist than to believe in God.
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Biblical faith is not simply believing that God exists. Even the demons believe that (James 2:19), wrote James. Biblical faith is believing that God exists, and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. This is why many serve God at great expense to themselves. For the Son of Man is going to . . . reward each person according to what they have done (Matthew 16:27), said Jesus.
The repentant criminal who died next to Christ will be in heaven (Luke 23:43), but he will not have the same reward as the Apostle Paul. Our greatest opportunity is not buying the right stock at the right price, but doing something for God every day. If we do this for sixty years, we will have over twenty thousand good deeds which God has promised to reward. This is reason enough to get out of bed every day.
Hebrews 11:10 [Abraham] was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
As an example of faith, the writer referred to Abraham: the father of the Jewish nation. He was a wealthy man, but instead of building a house, he chose to live in a tent (Hebrews 11:9). Houses have foundations, tents do not. Houses are permanent, tents are not.
Abraham refused to settle down in this world because he was looking for the world that would never end. Most people treat this life as though it were permanent, and the next as though it were brief. Abraham treated this life as though it were brief, and the next as though it were permanent. He chose to live in a tent because he was on his way to a better place where he would live forever.
Reflection and Review
Why do Christians need to persevere?
What does it mean to earnestly seek God?
Should Christians live in tents?