Summary: A church can call itself Christian but it does not mean that everyone in that church are true believers of Christ!
Today is known as Palm Sunday, also known as the Triumphal Entry of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem!
We will incorporate our study of Hebrews 6 to our worship by reminding ourselves of the significance of Holy week (Palm Sunday, Good Friday with Passover/Communion and the Resurrection)! To put all of this together, let us do a brief overview of what was Holy Week. Open your Bibles to what I read earlier in Matthew 21….
Matt. 21:4-5 – Triumphal entry of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem was foretold by the Prophet Zechariah!
Matt. 21:8-11 – The whole city proclaimed “Hosanna! Hosanna!”, meaning Savior to Jesus Christ!
But then what happened?
Matt. 21:12-22 – Jesus the “proclaimed” Messiah started teaching the holy things!
Matt. 21:23-46 – Jesus was “proclaimed” Messiah but then the people started questioning His authority! Look at v45-46….
Turn to Matt. 23:1-3… There is hypocrisy in the church!
Matt. 26:1-5 – Jesus tells His disciples that He will be crucified and the “Religious Leaders” plotted to kill Jesus.
Matt. 26:17…… The Last Supper, the foundation for Communion.
Let’s finish our history lesson with Chapter 27 of Matthew; Turn to Matt. 27:15-26….
In only a few days, people proclaimed Jesus as Messiah then had Him killed!
But because Jesus Christ is God, He rose from the dead; and sinners can only have a full life with the power of that Resurrection! And so, many Hebrews went back to believe in Jesus Christ as Messiah. But after about 30 years from the Resurrection of Jesus Christ a letter written by the Holy Spirit was given to the Hebrews to warn them of again wavering from their belief in Jesus Christ! Let us note that, the Letter to the Hebrews is a letter to a Christian church! Let’s also keep this in mind: Just because a church is Christian, does it mean all the attenders are perfect??
There are no perfect churches nor perfect people on earth, but a sign of a true Christian Church with true Christians is that the church and the Christians are striving to be more and more perfect like Jesus Christ! This is our calling today as well!
Let us continue to learn from Hebrews, a letter to a Christian church with imperfect people just like us…..We noted from Hebrews 5 that those Hebrews have become complacent about their spiritual journey with Jesus Christ; many of those Hebrews 2000 years ago have become lazy about God’s instructions to them! Read along with me now Hebrews 6:1-12……….
v1: the Hebrew Christians were warned to live a life of spiritual growth (to maturity - the mark of a true Christian)!
What were the basics of Christianity those Hebrews supposedly already knew (v1-3)?
• repentance (turn away from sins)
• faith in God (Gk. – pistis = belief, trust, confidence) – “God is my Creator, I am the created and humble myself to Him. My God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent….”
• cleansing rites (other Bible Translations refers to “washing” or “baptisms); it does not tell us which cleansing, Old Covenant or New Covenant cleansing…. must know what to do for both
• laying on of hands (from both the Old and New Testaments – a transfer of blessings)
• resurrection of the dead (Jesus Christ is the example and the Leader – there’s an afterlife!)
• eternal judgment – afterlife forever has only 2 destinations, with a Holy God or sufferings with the devil
In v4-8, we can note another warning. We read about a people who have experienced a relationship with Jesus Christ but we note that they have fallen away that they can not be brought back to repentance. What does this mean? Other English translations does not help much but looking into the original Greek word for fallen away we find “parapipto” fully meaning to fall back into the unbelieving and godless ways of the old time. And so, what does it indicate when people grasp Christianity but then go back to the old sinful ways and not be saved??
Likely, the warning here was likely for people in church who were never were true believers of Christ.
v4-8: is a warning to false Christians! A true Christian will produce “useful crops” not “weeds”! It is clear that the Christian Church the Letter to the Hebrews was addressed to included unsaved people! How can this be? Remember that the people in that church 2000 years ago were warned over and over again how their ancestors in the desert claiming to be God’s chosen people but yet never made it to the Promised Land. Or maybe just go back to when Jesus walked the earth and the Hebrews, perhaps some of the audience of the Letter to the Hebrews participated in that first Palm Sunday, they proclaimed Hosanna Hosanna but then they had Jesus crucified!