Summary: The writer of the book of Hebrews gives us good reasons to stay a Christian. It not only helps us in our journey to heaven, but helps keep us safe from falling away.
PURSUING PERFECTION PRODUCES PROTECTION
I. THE POSSIBILITES: Hebrews 6:1-8
II. THE PERSPECTIVE: Hebrews 6:9-10
III. THE PRESCRIPTION: Hebrews 6:11-20
In chapter one, the author of the book of Hebrews proves that Christ is “better” than all the other created beings in the universe. In this chapter, the writer sets out to tell his readers that serving Jesus is “better” than falling away.
Evidently, the recipients of this letter were having some hard times as they looked around them and found that apostasy was already besetting some early believers. The test was on for these new Christians. They must have been facing some strong doubts about the validity of serving Jesus. So many of them came out of the Law and some others came out of gross paganism and their faith was being tested as to whether or not they had made the right choice in serving Jesus. For so many of these early believers serving Jesus was more than just going to a church service and declaring one’s allegiance to Christ and then go about one’s life the next day. For so many of these believers, it meant a whole new life style. Many of them were disowned by their family. Many were persecuted; many were ostracized by society and worse. These believers openly declared their belief in Jesus-His death, His resurrection, His ascension. They openly embraced Jesus and so many of them lost everything they had. Now, doubts and discouragements were beginning to bother some and they were questioning their decision of openly embracing Him to their world. The writer of the book tells these down cast saints just how much better it was to stay the course and to continue to believe in and to serve Christ.
I see three things in this chapter that proves the thesis of the writer-that serving Jesus was/is better than not following Him and once started in the faith, it was/is better to continue in the faith. These three parts of my sermon deals with THE POSSIBILITES of what the situation was in following Christ. The second part of my sermon has to do with THE PERSPECTIVE of the writer’s point of view. The last part of the sermon deals with THE PRESCRIPTION of getting on top of overcoming all obstacles and pressing on towards Heaven.
I. THE POSSIBILITES: The possibilities of serving Christ are endless. The God we Christians serve is a God that is alive and well both on this planet Earth and in Heaven. As the writer sets out to prove that serving Jesus is the best thing in the world, he lists one great thought and then follows with two not so great thoughts. All of these are options that the Early Church had to face-we still have to face the same things in our day.
The first POSSIBILITY to consider when thinking about going on with Christ or leaving Him behind is to look at that which He did, who He is and what we did when we accepted Him as our Savior. The writer reminds his readers that what was once done-in public it should continue. He outlines the steps we all take in following Christ and the warning is to not go backward and re-do what was once done when we came to Jesus. He encourages the saints to press on to new and better things in our walk with the Master. Oh the time wasted of repeating that which was already done when we came to Him the first time. The aspect of repentance, baptism which we all went through is completed. The doctrines we expostulated to our friends and families are to be embraced and not to be done over and over in an endless succession of never maturing in the faith. The writer tells his readers the one major truth of Jesus is that He, His doctrine, His essence are Permanent, verses 1-3. What He did stands for ever. When we accept Him, we accept the fact that His death, His resurrection, His life are rock solid and we, as Christens, have the great opportunity to grab a hold of something in this shifting world and remain grounded in the basics of Christianity. The facts of Christ are set-they never will change. When we come to Him, we accept the fact that He is who He said He was and we are to build on this certainty and go on to maturity. The probability of Him changing is non existent: that should anchor the soul.
Next, the writer acknowledges the POSSIBILITY that there were those who were giving up the faith; they were Prevaricating the truth of the gospel, verses 4-7. The debate has raged for centuries in Christian circles that if one was truly born again, could that one loose the faith and if that one lost the faith, is there any hope for one to be restored? To answer these questions, it is best to look at the time in which the writer was writing and to gain insight from that time frame.