Summary: Is it possible to know for sure that you are on your way to heaven? The writer of Hebrews gives five ominous warnings to those who may be deceived into thinking that they are Christians. But he is careful to also show us that we CAN know for sure if we
Purpose: To display the richness of God’s salvation.
Aim: I want the listener to exult in God’s awesome redemption.
INTRODUCTION: Is it possible to know for sure that you are on your way to heaven? John said that he wrote his gospel, “so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:31 NAU) Paul assured us that, Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1 NAU)
So, if it IS possible to know that you are going to heaven then how can we FEEL sure that we are going to heaven?
The writer of Hebrews gives five ominous warnings (one of which we just finished looking at) to those who may be deceived into thinking that they are Christians. But he is careful to also show us that we CAN know for sure if we are going to heaven. God wants us to be confident about our forgiveness.
5:10-6:8 I. A Warning to Those Who Claim to Know Christ
Vs.10-14 A. Beware of acting like an unbeliever [Claims without change]
6:1-3 B. Beware of religion without Christ [Shadows over substance]
Vs.4-5 C. Beware of missing the message about Christ [Words over reality]
Vs.6 D. Beware of belittling the Cross [e.g. the Cross isn’t enough]
Vs.7-8 E. Beware of fruitless religion [Religion that doesn’t’ change the heart is worthless]
Vs.9-12 II. Assurance to Those Who Do Know Christ
✔Salvation is a package deal. If you have Christ’s forgiveness then you have everything you need in order to go to heaven: 2 Peter 1:2-3 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. (NAU)
But, but it is possible to have God’s salvation and not feel like you have it. In order to feel saved we must begin with an understanding of the “things that accompany salvation.”
✔Vs.9 A. Christ’s work saves us “things that accompany salvation”
What accompanies (or “belongs to”) salvation? A general answer is given in verse 7 and a specific answer is given in verses 10-12. Real salvation produces “useful” fruit (Vs.7) and it also produces love, faith, and hope toward God and other Christians (Vs.10-12).
The writer starts this paragraph with a very tender phrase, “But, beloved…” He uses the root Greek word Agape and this word is never used to refer to an unsaved person.
Then the writer says, "We are convinced" (v. 9). The phrase is used in a legal sense to refer to someone who examined a case, gathered all the evidence, and then said, "I’m convinced." The writer is saying, "I have considered the evidence and have come to the settled conclusion that you are for real." The evidence was their faith, hope, and love--the traits that accompany salvation. [MacArthur, John http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/sg1614.htm ]
Better (2909) (kreitton/kreisson from kratos = strong, which denotes power in activity and effect) serves as the comparative degree of agathos, “good” (good or fair, intrinsically). Kreitton/kreisson means more useful, more profitable more advantageous, greater, superior; greater advantage.
Of the 19 NT uses of Better, 12 are in Hebrews. Better than what? Better than falling away and being compared to a field the vegetation of which is burned. He assures them that he is persuaded better things of them than those of falling away and crucifying the Son of God. He also is persuaded that things that accompany salvation are true of them.
This echoes what he says in, Hebrews 10:39 But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul. (NAU)
"Though we are speaking in this way." This is something of an apology to the Christian reader who had been reading through the awful warning passage, encouraging them not to lose heart. To the Christian, the writer says, "Don’t think my warning to the unbelievers refers to you. I put it here because I know they’re in your midst." Only Jesus Christ knows who is for real and who isn’t, and He will reveal that in the last day (Matt. 13:24-30). The writer however wouldn’t be able to pick them all out by name. [MacArthur, John http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/sg1614.htm ]
Before we examine what comes WITH SALVATION, let’s make sure we are clear about what SALVATION IS.
✔1. Salvation begins with God’s love
Why does God love sinners? The only answer is that:
✔God loves sinners because God loves sinners.
Deuteronomy 7:7-8 7 “The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8 but because the Lord loved you . . . (NAU)