Bible Reading: Hebrews 10:19-39
“For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:30-31)
To have faith means to have an assurance of what we hope for and a conviction of things not seen. To have faith in Christ means to have an assurance that He is Lord of all, living in eager awaiting of His return where all things will be restored under His Lordship. To have faith is to be deeply convicted of heavenly things unseen, to believe and thus reorientate our lives around these truths. Faith is not blind; it is grounded in the work of the Triune God.
This kind of faith transforms people. Hebrews 10:21 notes how our hearts are “sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies [are] washed with pure water.” Moreover, Hebrews 10:34 states a radical change in those who have faith; namely, they are transformed inside-out to become people overflowing with joy and compassion as they supremely treasure Christ as their abiding possession amid persecution. “For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.”
Yet, accepting this kind of faith is not easy. As the author of Hebrews encourages readers to “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering” and “stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together…all the more as you see the Day drawing near”, we get the sense that taking up faith will be difficult. There will be struggling and cause for wavering. There is the danger of falling away if we are exposed and alone. More explicitly, v. 32 – 33 highlights how believers had to endure a “hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction”. To have faith is not easy. What happens if we just bail? Is there an option B?
There is no in-between when we speak of faith and trusting in God. We can either follow God or follow anything other than God, whether that be ourselves or the world. You cannot have half-and-half. James 4:4 says, “whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” And the author of Hebrews warns seriously of faith’s only option B — rejection of God.
For those who reject God’s good gift and keep on “sinning deliberately after receiving the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgement, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:26-27). Those who rejected the Mosaic law in the Old Testament were subject to death without mercy if he was found guilty. And now, Christ has come as the slain Lamb for the sins of His people. If we reject Him, we reject God’s greatest gift and God Himself. What do you think will happen if we outrage the Spirit of grace in such a way?
Although God is love, He is also holy. His love is a holy love. God will not have it with those who toy around with His grace of faith. To be given faith is a privilege — a gateway to the truth of life and joys everlasting in union with Him. If we reject it and toy around with faith and God, taking our religion lightly, God will surely repay us in His vengeance. God will judge his people. Who can stand before God? The author of Hebrews warns us, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).
Have we counted the cost and taken our faith seriously?
Lord, forgive us when we take faith for granted and do not understand its seriousness. Please help us to take You seriously in our lives. Have mercy on us because we cannot turn to You without the work of Your Spirit. We ask in Jesus’ name, amen.