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Warnings from the Book of Hebrews

Most scholars believe that the epistle was written to encourage the 1st century Jewish Christian to remain faithful and not return to Judaism because of persecution. There are many strong lessons for Christians of the 21st century.

“For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it,” Hebrews 2:1 (NAS95). If we don’t give more earnest heed there is a great danger that the learned truths of God’s word will slip away, gently gliding from our possession. The saying, “use it or lose it,” is a true statement in this situation. “My son, let them not vanish from your sight; keep sound wisdom and discretion,” Proverbs 3:2. The proverb writer gives the same advise, “out of sight-out of mind.” Pay as close attention to God’s word as we do to something of great value in our possession such as jewelry or gold coins. We do not necessarily need to commit some great sin to lose the value of God’s word. NEGLECT will please Satan. His goal is for us to let a little bit slip away because we are too busy; engrossed with business, school, entertainment or even Covid-19. Simple neglect will destroy the soul!

“Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God,” Hebrews 3:12. Take care, be careful, danger, warning signs are all around us. The danger is FALLING AWAY, the solution is to pay attention and avoid the danger when possible. We are to encourage one another (Hebrews 3:13) and hold fast to the union of every Christian and Christ (John 15:1ff). There can be no greater source of strength, love and power than being joined to Jesus Christ, (Hebrews 3:14) so hold fast until the end. The final admonition is to “hear His voice”. Listen to Jesus Christ, He warns of the dangers ahead.

In Hebrews 4:11-13, the writer uses the phrase, “examples of disobedience,” as an encouragement to prevent falling away. Striving to enter the promised rest must occupy our every thought and be our main focus. Having our minds set on this promise (Colossians 3:2) our wills must be fixed as the object of our affection (1 Timothy 4:10). We should resolve to use every ounce of power within us to the constant exercise of faith and obedience. Verses 12 & 13 provide the motivation for this effort because God’s word can discern between our thoughts and intentions. God knows, nothing is hidden from Him.

The fourth warning is found in Hebrews 5:11- 6:6. The subject under discussion was hard to explain because they have become “dull of hearing” (Matthew 13:15). As a person with some hearing loss, I can explain some of the difficulty of discussing a tough subject with a person who does not hear well. In this case and sometimes with each of us, it is not the physical act of hearing but the open heart to accept the concept being offered. They were slow to discern, perceive and judge the teachings because their hearts were not ready to receive them. Had their hearts been properly prepared they would have grown to the point of being teachers, not elementary students in need of basic instruction. The writer gives further instructions in Hebrews 6:1-3 concerning how imperative it is to GROW, mature, press on toward maturity. Verses 4-6 is a blueprint to demonstrate what happens when there is no growth, no maturity in those who became a Christian (tasted the good word). Without growth they will fall away {remember 2:1-2 drifting away}. It is impossible to renew them to repentance, they left the only thing that could renew them, God’s word. They had rejected it; nothing remains to save them.

The fifth warning is found in Hebrews 10:26-39. “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,” Hebrews 10:26. Willfully, presumptuously, intentionally describe the mindset of a person who began by drifting away. Departure from the Lord through disobedience was created by dullness of hearing until they reached the point of despising the word of God. Hebrews 6:6 They ignore the statement of consequences in verse 29, “insulted the Grace of God,” and verse 31, “it is a fearful, terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God”.

The final warning in chapter 12:14-29 refers to Esau as one who could not FIND a place for repentance. “See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven,” Hebrews 12:25. When God’s word is refused, and rejected we are defying the God of heaven, there will be no escape. Hebrews 12:29 states that our God is a consuming fire. The message of assurance to the faithful is found in Hebrews 13:5 & 6, “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU’, so that we confidently say, ‘THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?’"

“Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, 21 equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen,” Hebrews 13:20.

**** There is a series of lesson on the book of Hebrews on the website These thoughts came from the lesson on Hebrews 6.