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The Dangers of Isolation

Updated: May 31, 2020

5/24/20 Hebrews 10:1-39 #13 | Jesus > Everything The writer has been building his case to let us know these powerful truths summed up in chapter 10:19-25. These are truths that will change lives. These are truths that ultimately cannot be dismissed or ignored.

We have confidence to access God!

We can draw near to Him with sincere hearts!

We can have full assurance of faith!... Clean hearts, consciences, and bodies! Holding fast our confession of hope! He who promised is faithful! And so we are to stimulate one another to love and to do good! And we’re to keep meeting together to encourage one another to stay on this path! This is the message of the Spirit of grace…

Oh and by the way, if you hear this truth of the gospel and ignore it, a terrifying expectation of judgment remains. This judgment is what certainly awaits those who trample under foot, the Son of God, and insult the Spirit of grace – falling unprotected into the hands of the living God, who is a consuming fire of holy, righteous fury and wrath.

Why such a stark ultimatum, given with such urgency? As the title declares, this letter is written to Hebrews (the Jewish people) and the time was now very close when everything in their world would be turned upside down. Although God’s chosen vessels, the Jewish people had been warned time and time again it had unfortunately not been taken to heart.

The letter of Hebrews gives us by necessity, (more pertinently, gives the Hebrew people of that first century) the two sides of the same coin that are God’s grace and His righteous judgment. They are being given one last warning for the day is right around the corner when the whole of the sacrificial system they had relied on for nearly 1500 years was coming to a close - and this letter is one last preparation and call to act. Sadly, many of them just could not accept this.

God had provided what was to take the place of the disappearing system for all who would accept it. I’m afraid we don’t know quite what it’s like to be confronted with this kind of seismic change or shift in our life and practices. But it had become an absolute necessity, because the very temple where all of the required sacrifices for the sins of the people were to be made was going to be destroyed. Jerusalem itself would be completely overrun and all the Jewish people were to be dispersed to the four corners of the earth. There would be no more priesthood. There would be no more king. There were no more prophets. There would be no sacrifices, therefore no forgiveness of sin, therefore living under constant judgment… UNLESS… God’s gracious provision would be accepted.

Since one of God’s intentions all along was to reach all of creation with the gospel, a coinciding purpose of this change was to dismantle this unsustainable system that would hinder that purpose. A multifaceted fruit of this was the decentralizing, you might say, of access to the throne of grace that took place. So these first 9 chapters was a detailed explanation of how Jesus was better than and more sufficient than anything from that old system. It was being laid out as really only the Hebrews could most fully appreciate.

Everything that WAS, would now continue in and through Jesus only.

Jesus was the great high priest.

Jesus was the king of kings. Jesus was the prophet to come. Jesus was the once and for all sacrifice. Jesus was the temple and the tabernacle. Jesus was the Word become flesh. Jews need not go to Jerusalem to worship. God is seeking those who would worship Him in spirit and truth. And God has made a way for all to have access to Him and worship Him. There is now no way to the Father but by Jesus. Jesus was indeed, the long awaited the savior of the world, not only the Jewish people.

So yes, if this Son of God is trampled under foot, a terrifying expectation of judgment does exist.

“He (Jesus) was in the world, the world was made through Him and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name…” {John 1}

UNLESS Jesus is received as the everything solution, the plan God has provided, there is no recourse, no salvation in any other name. We can’t say, “I don’t like this plan, may I have another?”

This was first and foremost, a last call and a summing up of all things in Christ for the Jewish people to grasp and accept. But now, some two thousand years later, is it possible we can miss this urgency? Is it possible that we insult the Spirit of grace, taking Him for granted? If anything, we must learn from this letter that while God is wildly gracious, trampling under foot the Son of God and His blood shed for the new covenant will not stand. We must pay much closer attention, and while we hear His voice, and while it is still called today, we must not harden our hearts. His grace and judgment are certainly the two sides of the divine coin.

Your call - heads or tails? {Deuteronomy 28:13}

Pray for those who are lost and have not yet heard the truth of the gospel in our world, and in our community.

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I wonder , as I guess all have, who wrote Hebrews. I could see a Timothy, Silas, or Barnabas. The idea of Mark is a interesting one. If the time ever lent itself, would like to hear that connection. Reason I ask about Mark, as he was in more relationship with Peter.

Now to play the Mennonite Connection Game ... Mark being a cousin to Barnabas; maybe they wrote together (thus we do not have an author). Mark also went by John (correct?). Maybe when with Paul he was Mark, and when with Peter, John and thus if he wrote Hebrews he did not want to reveal his identity knowing the letter may be read by Jews and Romans alike.


03 juin 2020

Good observations regarding those Habakkuk 2:4 quotes and making that connection! I think your idea of the writer being someone very familiar with Paul and therefore making that connection of righteousness by faith from Habakkuk is a very solid one. I tend not to think Paul wrote Hebrews just because the style is so very different than all of his other letters. But this theory of the Paul companion or follower being the writer makes sense to me - maybe a Silas or Barnabas... a Timothy or even Mark? Do you have any theories on who?


An interesting thing going back to the Sunday School for this past week, which would have been the review of Hebrews 10. A great question was asked, "What stands out in Hebrews 10". At the time, as I am not a very proficient, roll off the tongue, theologian; I could not get my immediate answer together but I knew what I wanted to say.

Of course as with many things, the opportunity slipped by as the conversation moved on. There was a deeper conversation about how the writer was pointing the Hebrews to Christ. One of the facts pointed out was sacrifices would not be maintainable as the decedents of Abraham would grow.

I would also point out that, and this was…

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