Summary: A sermon on Hebrews 10:26-31 (Outline taken from Sermon Central contributor Doug Lyon from his sermon called "Worse Than Death")
We have all been around people who could change their moods at the flip of a switch. Don’t know exactly how to take them. Have a good time with them and then out of nowhere they slap us in the face. Bob Deffinbaugh tells about one of his teachers who was like this. His name was Mr. Riddell. Says Bob, “Mr. Riddell was a very jovial fellow, and so we laughed a lot in class. But at the very hint of losing control, he would immediately change his demeanor to a very stern disposition which tolerated no nonsense. I have to tell you that it worked – it worked well.”
In our series through the book of Hebrews we have come upon Hebrews 10. The first part of this chapter talks about the blessings of the New Covenant through Jesus Christ and how it is superior to the Old Covenant. Last week we jumped ahead to Hebrews 11 for the 4th but today we come back to ch. 10. Read Hebrews 10:19-25. What an uplifting section!
Then we get slapped in the face. Vs. 26-31 is one of the harshest rebukes in all of Scripture. These verses have been described as hellish. Why such a change?
Thesis: From these verses let’s talk about the people, the problem and the punishment.
The people- To whom is the writer of Hebrews talking?
A. To people who have been presented with the gospel of Jesus but reject it. They have rejected the knowledge of the truth so there is no sacrifice for sins for them. They will be punished severely if they die without Jesus. It will be a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Luke 12:47: That servant who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows.
B. To people who accept the gospel of Jesus Christ but then continue in their old sins. They do not repent and change their lives through the power of Jesus Christ. “Since Jesus Christ will forgive me anyway I might as well keep on sinning.” Eventually, their sins will not be forgiven- no sacrifice is left. Loved their idols more than Christ. They have insulted or grieved the Holy Spirit- the Spirit of grace- by their sinful lifestyles. The Lord will judge them. It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Jude 4: They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. They deliberately keep on sinning.
C. To Jewish people who are trying to keep the Old Covenant but reject the New Covenant through Jesus Christ. I doubt that this group would go this far through the letter but it is a warning to them. Because they reject the sacrifice of God’s Son, no sacrifice for sins is left. Vs. 28- The OT said that anyone who rejected the law of Moses upon the testimony of others would be stoned. Because they have rejected God’s covenant through His Son, they will be punished more severely than stoning. The Lord will judge His chosen people. It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. John 3:36: Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.
D. All of these apply but the group that it most refers to is the Jewish Christians. The group he is addressing has a firm understanding of the OT but also an understanding of Jesus Christ.
From chapter 10: 1) called “brothers”—verse 19 2) made holy, sanctified and experienced forgiveness of sins—verses 10, 14, 17 and 18 3) called God’s people—verse 30
Vs. 26- “Deliberately keep on sinning.” This is more than occasional sin or even a habitual sin with which a Christian struggles. What is this talking about?
Have our answer in vs. 29
1) Trampled the Son of God under foot
he rejects the person of Christ—he denies who Jesus Christ truly is. He once acknowledged Christ but now he denies it. He regards Jesus as just another man—nothing special about Him.
We devalue God by devaluing His Son, God’s greatest gift to us.
2) Treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant
The ’blood of the covenant,’ is the death of Christ, which is the foundation of the new covenant. The writer says they regard it as ’common’. Nothing special
By counting the blood of Jesus of little importance, they also devalue baptism and communion. These two things mean very little to them.
3) Insulted the Spirit of grace