Summary: Hebrew Christians 2000 years ago were reminded of the wanderings of their ancestors and we Christians too today are warned about straying away from and disobeying God!
We continue our worship of God by learning from the Letter to the Hebrews. The immediate audience of the letter were Hebrews who became Christians.
The Temple in Jerusalem, where Jewish rituals and worship happen, was likely still there when the letter was written to those Hebrew Christians. Jerusalem was still under Roman rule, and the letter was written to the Hebrews in Greek! What can we say then about those Hebrew Christians 2000 years ago??
Those Hebrew Christians were smart, religious (knew the Old Testament), still growing in their new Christian faith mostly by word of mouth, and likely ostracized by society (mainly Jews and Romans)! Can we relate? Do Christians today get ostracized by American society? Let’s listen to what God has to say to us today!
Please open your Bibles to the Letter to the Hebrews, Chapter 3….
We noted last week from the first part of Hebrews 3 that Jesus Christ is the ultimate hero for all Christians! And so, God continues to instruct those Hebrew Christians…. Read along with me now Hebrews 3:7-19…..
God quoted a Psalm; In general, why do you think God quoted a Psalm for those Hebrew Christians??
Let us read and learn from that original passage first… Turn with me to Psalm 95 that those Hebrew Christians were familiar with; read along with me….….
a. Author of Psalm 95?? – God through David (Heb. 4:7…)
b. theme of v1-7?? – Worship of who God is!
c. v8 – audience?? – Hebrews as a people!
d. v8 – part of worship is listening to God!
e. v8-9 – Meribah and Massah – Exodus 17 notes the Hebrews in the desert complaining!
f. warning?? – Do not harden hearts to God!
g. result of hearts away from God? – God was angry and did not let them in the Promised Land
And so after reminding those Hebrew Christians about their history, what does God tells them?
v12: do not follow the bad actions of their ancestors (always have a heart for God!)
v13: encourage one another to avoid sin
v14: hold on (persevere) with the faith in Jesus Christ
v15: Phrase repeated, why??
Hardening of hearts can also happen (“today” – during that time) for those who profess to believe in Christ!
v16-19: wrong actions the Hebrews did in the desert with Moses that are to be avoided??
They heard God but rebelled (sinned, disobeyed, unbelief)!
v16-19: results of the sins of the Hebrews of old??
The Hebrews with Moses died in the wilderness and only 2 were allowed to enter the Promised Land!
The Hebrew Christians were reminded of the sins of their ancestors and not do the same; see Hebrews 4:1….
And so, how do we apply the Bibilical Principles from this passage in Hebrews 3 for “today”??
“Today”? Get it? God used the word today for the Hebrews in the desert and also for the Hebrew Christians 2000 years ago.
We “today” are also warned by God with our sins and always keep in mind Hebrews 3:12-14!
God desires for us to live the right way in the present! Let us remember 3 L’s! Learn! Live! Long for!
Learn from the past! Live godly in the Present! Long for the perfect future with Jesus Christ!