Please Explain Hebrews 10:26-27

Please explain Hebrews 10:26-27

The book of Hebrews is primarily concerned with Jewish Christians who have decided that it is not worth living Christianity anymore and who have decided to go back to Judaism. The writer of the book of Hebrews is exhorting and encouraging these Christians NOT to go back to Judaism. The book is laid out much like a sermon with several points being made within the sermon. The theme of the book is “The way of Christ is the better way.” The main points of the book are as follows: 1) Christ is a better mediator. 2) Christ is a better high priest. 3) Christ offers a better covenant. 4) Christ offers a better sacrifice. 5) Christ’s way is the way of faith–a better way.

During the course of the book, the writer often stops and exhorts the listeners to faithfulness. For example, in Hebrews 3:12-13 he stops to exhort against unbelief and disobedience. In Hebrews 4:12-13 he stops to magnify the word of God. In Hebrews 5:11-14 he pauses to rebuke those who have not grown as they should. This type of exhortation is what is happening starting in Hebrews 10:19ff. The writer is exhorting the reader to faithfulness. He is careful also to remember the main point about which he is discussing, namely the better sacrifice that Christ offers. Let’s now read Hebrews 10:19-25.

Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Notice that the Hebrew writer is drawing upon points he made earlier about entering into the Holy place with Jesus as our high priest, he exhorts us to three things: 1) Drawing near with a true heart (vs.22), 2) holding fast the confession of our faith (vs.23), 3) considering one another to provoke unto love and good works (vs.24). It is out of this third point–considering one another–that we have the exhortation to NOT forsake the assembling of ourselves together, but exhorting one another.

Now, the Hebrew writer turns in verse 26 to what will happen if we do not heed his exhortation. That is, if we fail to draw near, hold fast, and consider one another–things that we KNOW we should do–the Hebrew writer considers this failure to be sinning willfully. When we sin willfully, there are consequences. These consequences are: 1) There remains no more sacrifice for our sins; 2) we can expect judgment/condemnation from God; 3) we can expect a fierceness of fire which will devour the adversaries. Two good parallel verses to these verses would be Hebrews 6:4-6 and 2 Peter 2:20-22. In other words, it is possible for a Christian to so sin as to lose his salvation.

Now that we have looked at the general context, perhaps a few additional questions are in order regarding verses 26 and 27. First, what does it mean to sin willfully? In essence, this means that a person has learned and obeyed the truth and that now, in spite of knowing the truth, that person has decided not to heed it anymore in their life and they have turned away from it. This could be in regard to a personal habit in someone’s life. It could be in regard to disobeying the laws of the land. It could be in regard to sexual immorality. It could be in regard to false worship. In the context, however, it is specifically in regard to those who simply had stopped coming to the regular assembling of the saints when they knew it was the right thing to do. Remember James admonition in James 4:17. “Therefore, to him who knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”

Second, what does it mean that there does not remain a sacrifice for sins for this person? John comments on this in 1 John 1:6, 7, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” The idea is that the blood that Jesus shed no longer is effectual for us. It will no longer cover our sins if we simply abandon what we know to be true. Therefore, the sacrifice itself is no longer effectual for our sins.

Third, what does verse 27 mean? It simply means that if one continues in this state of rejecting the knowledge of the truth, then one can expect God to punish him just as God would punish those who had never obeyed the truth (cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:8). It is serious, serious, SERIOUS business to have a correct understanding of God’s word and then to leave it for willful sin. Let’s each resolve in our minds this very hour that regardless of what trials and temptations come our way, we will always have a heart that is soft enough and tender enough to let God’s will rule in our lives.

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Why Did God Make Dinosaurs Go Extinct?

Why did God make the dinosaurs go extinct? Is it true they just didn’t evolve to their (new) environment?

I appreciate this question. It shows that some are thinking and trying to struggle with the facts that surround our world. We talked a little about the dinosaurs in the last question and answer session. These animals did exist. There is abundant evidence that man walked around on the earth with these creatures. The Bible even contains some information about them and we looked at this evidence in the book of Job last time. However, we did not deal with the question of what happened to the dinosaurs.

The truth is that we really don’t know what happened to the dinosaurs. We know they lived on the earth at one time, but that they stopped living on the earth at a certain period of time. We really do not have to answer this question as Christians because it does not affect our Christianity. However it happened, it happened within the context of the history of the Bible and there have been some people who have advanced some theories as to how they died out.

One of those theories is that the global flood produced a climate change on the earth in which the dinosaurs could no longer survive. However, the book of Job was written after the flood and some dinosaurs still existed at that time. So, it could not have been something that happened in a short period of time.

Another theory is that dinosaurs are just reptiles that lived several hundred years just as man lived hundreds of years. This theory states that unlike people, reptiles never stop growing. That is, they continue to grow as long as they are alive. Living several hundred years would produce very large reptiles. However, when man’s life span was shortened, the life span of animals was shortened as well and so reptiles just do not grow as big as they used to grow.

A third theory is that they existed after the flood and that men just hunted them to extinction. We know of species of animals that have been hunted to extinction in recent centuries. One such example is the Dodo bird. There have been other species that have been hunted to near extinction such as the Humpback whale. It is very possible that men hunted these animals for various by-products and in such a way they became extinct.

The bottom line is that the Bible does not specifically tell us how these creatures died out. We know that God created them and that they lived upon the earth, but that they eventually died out. How they died out, the Bible does not say and we will just have to be happy with that answer.

Bert Thompson in a paper he wrote regarding Dinosaurs had this to say, “We feel it the safer course to simply say that we do not know specifically why the dinosaurs died out, or when. It is best to leave the matter an ‘unknown’ since certainty is impossible.” We read in Deuteronomy 29:29, “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

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Will We See the Lost From Heaven?

In the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus, Abraham and Lazarus could see across the gulf into Hades. Is that how its going to be when we get to heaven? Are we going to be able to see the pain those in Hell are going through or was this just part of the parable Jesus was telling to prove a point?

This is a very challenging question. And I am not sure that I have all of the answers in regard to how things are going to be in heaven. This story is found in Luke 16:19-31.

First, this story really does not fit the definition of a parable so I am loath to say that it was a parable. The classic definition of a parable that I grew up with was that a parable is “an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.” Well, this story is more of a heavenly story with a heavenly meaning. Additionally, Jesus uses the name of a specific beggar. Most parables that are clearly parables use roles instead of names. Such as “a sower went out to sow” or “there was a certain judge” or “steward” or “son” or “Samaritan.” The idea being that parables never deal with specific people. But Jesus is very specific in this story naming a specific person and this would be rather unusual for a parable.

Second, it would not have been beyond the ability of Jesus (being the Son of God and God himself) to reach into life after death and give us a glimpse of how things are going to be. One of the points of the story is that we only have one life in which we have opportunity to make our life right with God. Certainly giving us a glimpse of what things are going to be like immediately after death is a good motivating factor for us to pay attention to what Jesus says in this regard so we don’t repeat the behavior of the rich man in the story.

Having these things in mind, the question centers around the question of whether in Heaven, like in this Hadean world, we will be able to glimpse over and see those in Hell. Well, I just don’t know what the answer to that question is. I do know that the answer has to be either “Yes” or “No.” Assuming the answer is “Yes, we will be able to see those suffering in hell,” then I know that whatever we see is not going to take away from the joy that God has promised that the faithful will receive in heaven (John 15:11; 1 John 1:4). I also know that the scriptures teach that God is going to wipe away all tears in that place and that there will be no more crying or sorrow (Revelation 21:4). I also know that when we are resurrected, we will be changed. We will not have the same passions and emotions that this earthly body has. We will be in a different form and we will have different experiences. There will no longer be any giving and taking in marriage (Matt.22:30; Mark 12:25). This implies that sexuality will no longer be an issue in that body. So it is going to be different.

Assuming that the answer to this question is “No, we will not be able to see those who are in hell,” we still will have to deal with the knowledge that some did not make it to heaven. Again, part of the change from a physical body to a spiritual one, no doubt, is going to involve the ability to deal with the knowledge of loved ones who were lost to sin. But even assuming that we would still be able to have feelings for these loved ones, I trust completely in the promise of God that He will wipe away all tears. Herein lies the basis for all Christian hope. That we trust that God will take care of us when we believe and obey His word.

So regardless of whether we will or will not be able to glimpse those in hell when we are in heaven, God will ensure that our heavenly joy will be completely intact.

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