Summary: When Jesus comes again, those who truly believe in Jesus will be on the winning side. Until then, there is need for patient endurance. In 10:26-39, the writer gives a word of caution, a word of commendation, and a word of challenge.
A FAITH THAT ENDURES
The original readers of Hebrews had been going through difficult times of persecution for their faith. Some were tempted to detach themselves from their Christian fellowship in order to avoid arrest, reproach, and suffering. Moreover, some were in danger of turning their backs on Christianity and reverting to Judaism.
For this reason the author writes in verses 35-36, “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.“ In these verses the writer of Hebrews exhorts them and us to maintain our faith in Jesus Christ not matter what kind of trials we might have to face. These words are an encouragement for believers going through difficult days.
We all need this exhortation, especially in view of Christ’s imminent return. When Jesus comes again, those who truly believe in Jesus will be on the winning side. Until then, there is need for patient endurance. In 10:26-39, the writer gives a word of caution, a word of commendation, and a word of challenge.
I. A WORD OF CAUTION TO THOSE TEMPTED TO TURN AWAY FROM THE FAITH. (26-31)
All of us will face challenges to our faith. Some, it seems were in danger of willfully rejecting Christ after receiving the knowledge of the truth (26-31). Testing times separate the true believers from the pretenders. To turn away from Jesus is to (1) trample the Son of God underfoot, (2) consider the precious blood of Christ a common thing, and to (3) insult the Spirit of Grace.
Moreover, to reject Christ is to face terrible consequences. (1) It is to face a fearful expectation of judgment (v. 27) and (2) to fall into the hands of the living God (vs. 30-31).
II. A WORD OF COMMENDATION TO THOSE WHO MAINTAIN THEIR FAITH (32-34)
While some were tempted to turn away from the faith, others maintained their confidence in spite of adverse circumstances (32-34). After trusting in Jesus, the early believers became the targets of persecution. Often their own families disowned them, their friends forsook them, and their foes harassed them. Sometimes they suffered individually. At other times they suffered with their fellow believers.
Yet they maintained their commitment to Jesus Christ. When their possessions were confiscated, they accepted it joyfully and chose to be faithful to Jesus rather than turn away from their faith. Our own experiences with Christ’s faithfulness challenge us to maintain our confidence in Christ in spite of the opposition.
III. A WORD OF CHALLENGE TO BELIEVERS FACING DIFFICULT DAYS. (35-39)
A. Don’t cast away your confidence now: We’ve come to far to turn back now. Having endured so much in the past, we should not give up now. We are nearer to the fulfillment of God’s promises than ever before. This is no time to turn back.
B. You need endurance. Perseverence, steadfastness, “holy-stick-to- it-tiveness.” What they needed and what we need is endurance, the determination to remain faithful in the face of persecutions rather than escape them by denying Christ. Then after having done the will of God, we will receive the promised reward.
C. Keep trusting in Jesus. (37-38) Keep looking up. Keep trusting. No turning back. In verses 37-38, the writer quotes Habakkuk 2:3, “For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” Continuing the quotation from Habakkuk, the author shows that the life that pleases God is the life of faith: “Now the just shall live by faith.“ It is the life of faith that pleases God (See 11:6). This life of faith is the life that values God’s promises, that sees the unseen, and that perseveres to the end.
On the other hand the life that displeases God is the life that abandons Christ for the old life of sin. “But if any man draw back my soul shall have no pleasure in him.“ There is to be no turning back.
In the face of such trials, “do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.“ Let us keep our eyes on Jesus in these difficult days. The fear of God’s displeasure should motivate us to maintain our confidence in Jesus Christ.
Too often, we fear what people think of us are tempted to give in to “peer pressure.” It seems that we want to please people rather than pleasing God. The fear of God’s displeasure should motivate us to maintain our confidence in Jesus Christ. The writer expresses his confidence that his readers will keep the faith (39)
Our hymn of decision is 303, “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back.”