Bible Baptist Church

" Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." ...... John 3:3


We Are Not of them Who Draw Back


Hebrews 10:32-39


Introduction:

·         This is a continuation of the warning starting in v. 26

·         There are five warning passages in the epistle to the Hebrews.

o   The first one is found in Hebrews 2:1-4

o   The second in 3:7--4:13, specifically 3:7, 8, 15; 4:7.

o   The third is 6:1-12, specifically verses 4-6.

o   The fourth is here in 10:26-39.

·         The danger of drifting! How do you drift? Just do nothing.

 

I.                    A call to remembrance- v. 32-34

a.      II Peter 1:12, 3:1- the importance of remembering the past

b.      These Christians had already suffered for Jesus, being rejected from their Jewish community. This came after they trusted in Jesus (after you were illuminated).

c.       A great struggle with sufferings: Their persecution was a struggle that came in many different ways- by reproaches and tribulations. They were companions of those who were so treated – including the writer to the Hebrews himself (you had compassion on me in chains). They also had faced economic persecution (the spoiling of your goods). Gazingstock" (10:33) means a "public spectacle."

d.      But the point is that they had faced these things, and had endured them. They could take a look at their past endurance and be encouraged to keep standing strong in the future.

e.      It may have been that Saul went from their captor, to their companion! Acts 8:1-3

f.        Early Christians counted it a blessing to be able to suffer for Christ!

g.      Acts 5:41- And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

h.      "Rejoice... inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings..." (I Peter 4:13).

i.        Who in this day and age would want to share in Christ’s sufferings? Paul did in Philippians 3:10- “That I may know Him…and the fellowship of His sufferings…”

j.        It says they suffered the loss of goods for “a better substance”

                                                              i.      It’s tough to suffer loss in this world, but remember we have better possessions in the next!

                                                            ii.      Read Eph. 1, 3- we have unsearchable riches in Christ!

                                                          iii.      Heaven can you fill your soul with a joy that counts every sacrifice a privilege, every loss a gain, and that turns all suffering into an exceeding glory that outweighs anything else!

                                                           iv.      There are many possessions and pleasures in this world- but they influence us so much and undermine the influence of the better possessions waiting for us! This influence is because the spoiled goods of this world are visible, and near, but we must through faith see the better possessions that await us as remain obedient!

k.       This was a community of people who had gone through a lot, and yet it seems some were in danger of drawing back!

l.        This is a reminder that it’s not enough to just start well, we must determine to end well!

m.    Maybe the persecution ceased, and the spirit of ease and prosperity crept in It is so true that in many ways it is easier to stand adversity than to stand prosperity. Ease has ruined far more men than trouble ever did. The classic example is what happened to the armies of Hannibal.

n.      For a long time Hannibal of Carthage was the one general who had overpowered the Roman legions. But winter came and the campaign had to be suspended. Hannibal wintered his troops in Capua which he had captured, a city of luxury. And one winter in Capua did what the Roman legions had not succeeded in doing. The luxury so sapped the morale of the Carthaginian troops that when the spring came and the campaign was resumed they were unable to stand before the Romans.

II.                  Ye have need of patience- v. 35-37

a.      First we cannot cast off our confidence- this is our faith in Christ!

                                                              i.      You can’t hold to Christ, and hold to the world at the same time!

b.      The need for patience

c.       Endurance is built through trials- James 1:2-4

d.      Context: Philippians 4:13

e.      Patience here comes from two Greek words meaning  “abiding under”

f.        This is a strengthening derived from bearing a heavy weight upon one’s shoulders for extended periods of time–the Biblical version of “no pain, no gain.”

g.      Most of us do not seek “to abide under” suffering when it comes our way. Instead, we seek a way out, which is the normal human response

h.      V. 37- Thankfully the abiding under is just for a little while. We are awaiting Christ to return and to reward!

i.        Ex. Time between the promise and the reward: Abraham,

III.                Do not draw back- v. 38-39

a.      If these Jewish believers were to turn back, they would lose their reward.

b.      Second John 8 says, "Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward."

c.       First John 2:28 says, "And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming."

d.      We will not draw back into old traditions or into an Old Covenant relationship with God – or any other replacement for Jesus

e.      The key is living by faith

                                                              i.      This is the third time this verse is quoted in the NT (from Hab. 2:4)

                                                            ii.      There the nation of Israel is awaiting judgment and there are the proud, and then there are those who are truly just- by faith

f.        Faith is God-dependence vs. self-dependence

g.      Faith for salvation, and faith everyday as we live the Christian life

h.      Illustr- Abraham, David, etc. Hebrews 11 will give us glorious examples of faith! Faith is the crucial aspect of our Christian lives! 

i.         Paul gives a last rebuke to professed Christians who turn back into judgment- true Christians believe to the saving of the soul!

Conclusion:

·         We love to sing the chorus: I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

·         In the 1880’s a Welsh missionary who had endured severe persecution finally saw his first converts in a particularly brutal village in the Indian province of Assam. A husband and wife, with their two children, professed faith in Christ and were baptized. Their village leaders decided to make an example out of the husband. Arresting the family, they demanded that the father renounce Christ, or see his wife and children murdered. When he refused, his two children were executed by archers. Given another chance to recant, the man again refused, and his wife was similarly stuck down. Still refusing to recant, the man followed his family into glory.

·         Witnesses later told the story to the Welsh missionary.  The reports said that when asked to recant or see his children murdered, the man said: “I have decided to follow Jesus, and there is no turning back.”