Summary: So often Scripture can seem to be conflicting in its message but when we view the full counsel of the Word we can see that God’s Word does not conflict, but compliments itself.
Date Written: July 27, 2008
Date Preached: July 27, 2008
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Sermon Series: A Journey thru Hebrews
Sermon Title: It’s Time to Straighten Up! (and fly right!)
Sermon Text: Hebrews 6:4-8 (NIV)
4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit,
5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age,
6 if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God.
8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.
Little Billy was caught in the act of some mischief and his mother asked him, "How do you expect to get into heaven?" He thought for a moment and then said, "Well, I’ll just run in and out and keep slamming the door until they say, ’For heaven’s sake, either come in or stay out.’ Then I’ll go in."
So often, as believers, that is how we think God is going to react to our mischievous living and selfish attitudes. But God does not react as human parents react God is much more patient, but also firm in His judgment of those who reject Him.
This morning I want us to continue our journey through the book of Hebrews and I want us to look at a passage in Heb 6, which has always been a very difficult passage for many believers.
This passage has caused a great deal of strife and division among many believers, but I want to show you today that we can look at this scripture and we can know what it means and how we can apply it to our lives.
This passage addresses an issue is that is at best confusing and at worst the source of great controversy within the body of Christ – and that even includes biblical scholars!
Now, as a pastor, I have found that most believers have a “problem” when they read the Bible. Instead of reading and believing Scripture for what it says – so many of us go into the Word with a preconception of what we will find and we have already shaped the meaning of Scripture so that it will fit into our ideas and agendas.
However, I don’t want us to fall into that trap this morning. I want us to clear our minds of any preconceived beliefs or personal convictions and I want us to allow God’s Word to speak to our hearts this morning – I say this because the Bible gives all believers a great and severe warning that we must…rightly divide the Word of Truth.
The first thing we must understand about reading Scripture is that we must know who the writer was addressing and in turn the will give us the context in which to fit the passage.
Another approach to reading and understanding Scripture is that Scripture itself is the best commentary and testing ground for Scripture. The Bible is not going to contradict itself, although on the surface it may seem that way… God’s Word is not going to promise and proclaim one thing… and then later proclaim something just the opposite.
1. The Actual Context:
The audience to whom the writer of Hebrews is writing is not crystal clear BUT we can know from reading this letter that he is addressing Christians… believers who have professed Christ as their Savior.
I do not believe that the writer is speaking to those believers who have just been saved, as they have not had the time or chance to mature in their faith… he is speaking to believers who SHOULD already be well on the road to maturity… let’s look back at v.12 of chapter 5 where he tells them… hey, you should already be teaching others…but you are lazy and slothful in your walk in Christ… so it’s time to GROW up!
But also in the name of the epistle we can also ascertain that many if not all of the believers this letter was addressed to were Jewish and were struggling with the temptation to believe the Judaizers in their teaching that Christianity MUST be mixed with the ritual of Judaism… or even worse to abandon Christ and ‘go back’ to their ancestral roots and return to Judaism…
We also know that the context of the immediate verses preceding these verses are to believers who seem to be struggling with moving forward in their Christian walk… who were not maturing as they should! And so this is merely a continuation of that teaching and admonition from the writer to the believers.