HEBREWS-JESUS IS BETTER: Inspired Warning
HEBREWS-JESUS IS BETTER Inspired Warning Pastor John Weathersby Sunday September 30, 2018 Hebrews 12:25-29 What we’ll see this morning in the book of Hebrews is understood to be the 5th and final warning passage in the book of Hebrews. A warning is designed to help us out, from the negative. Biblical warnings will often inspire in me awe - and not like awe has been stolen by the word awesome, that book I read was awesome (read, really good), or that steak was awesome or that Penn State game was NOT awesome… Today, we see this warning, not to refuse Him who is speaking - and while this is to the newly minted Hebrew Christians as a measured reaction to their knowledge of the shaking of Mt. Sinai where the law fell, it’s projected on forward for all time to those believers who anticipate the shaking and destruction of all things we can see in 2 Peter 3, us. And so if you’re not a Christian this morning, submitted to Jesus Christ as savior and Lord there is a warning for you today - it’s significant and more real than a Penn State win / Loss, more real then the importance of Eagles and Titans, Steelers / Ravens, Elon Musk’s leadership of a public company. The importance of God’s truth over our live is all consuming, all important, and trumps all things - I pray you’ll see Jesus as Lord, perhaps for the first time this morning if that’s you, I expect you’ll be approaching someone after church with that Great news - we’ll have deacon’s and elders ready to do that. If you’re a believer today, our whole job as a collected unshakably strong church is to have real awe for our God and be increasingly drawn towards him with all our might if you’re not at that end state, be drawn further in this morning. Hebrews 12:25–29 (ESV) 25 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. The Author-Pastor has been warning the Hebrew-Christians with warnings that carry forward having implications to us today as well, carrying weight for us as well, and snapping our attention back to God’s grace which inspires holy oriented living. The first warning passage that we’ve run into in the book of Hebrews came quickly in Hebrews 2:1 (ESV) Warning Against Neglecting Salvation 1 Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. It’s interesting that the warning is generally true, we tend towards complacency, not careful attention - what a new driver, hands at 10 and 2, upright in the seat checking lanes multiple times; look at others, putting on make up, reading the news paper on the steering wheel, shoveling a cheese stuffed Gordita into their mouth while switching lates with their knee. And so we drift - we start cautious and drift as we remove our direct attention. Complacency. What does complacency in our spiritual life look like? Outside influences tell us what our thoughts should be about life, about God - maybe books, or influential people, the news - they all inform us, and not a life bathed in the Holy Spirit of God, informed through His Word, scripture, and un-apologetic obedience to the same. We’ve talked about aiming to be a church that falls in love with the Word; it studied, preached, read and prayed over. If we do that it will work against spiritual complacency, it will work against our minds being conformed to influential people rather our minds will be transformed, by what…. Romans 12:2 (ESV) 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Through testing, we may discern the will of God. As we live to understand the world by scripture, constantly seeking God’s will, applying what we know of God’s character and desire for us to live in the world to this life, we learn by testing and cooperation with His Holy Spirit what is good and acceptable and perfect. APATHY: A lifetime of learning, by renewal of our minds, not apathy but ACTION. Do you feel apathetic? Why should they heed this warning? Hebrews 12:25 (ESV) 25 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. Because, remember last week as we studied the terror they would have been remembering of the Law coming from Mt Sinai - it was absolute terror that made them want to beg for the voice to stop - life changing, See that…. blepo, see to it that, constantly be seeing that… you do NOT refuse Him who is speaking. What happened in Jeremiah 11:10 with the first generation after freedom from Egypt; speaking of people who didn’t see to it, that they didn't’ refuse Him who spoke: Jeremiah 11:10 (ESV) 10 They have turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, who refused to hear my words. They have gone after other gods to serve them. The house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant that I made with their fathers. They turned back to previous iniquities, turned to others God’s and served them, they followed a familiar pattern: Refuse God’s Word - > fall into sin — seek/serve idols (we talked about our idol worship today (creature not creator) -> break covenant with God. - it’s complacency and over familiarity with God and life in the world where you’re found. It’s friendship with the world, which is? Research project: James 4:4 (ESV) 4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” His voice shook the earth and now it will again, so how does God speak today? God is telling me - God told me to tell you…. Lets allow our minds to be renewed here, Hebrews 1:2 (ESV) 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. The delivery of the law that came, was miniature compared to what IS coming… and what is that? The reality of Christ the Son, the Word, the logos, John 1:1 the Word who became flesh… 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, Rewind, “a kingdom that cannot be shaken” - we’re invited into an unshakable kingdom! Trials and tribulations press in threaten to crush us, we feel maybe… but the Kingdom of which we’re apart, is unshakable! The only other use of the word for Unshakable here is in Acts 27:41, it is this: Acts 27:41 (ESV) 41 But striking a reef, they ran the vessel aground. The bow stuck and remained immovable, and the stern was being broken up by the surf. Unshakable, like a ship run aground! Why… 29 for our God is a consuming fire. This warning passage, should be more than a warning of danger ahead, but certainly it should at least be that. Beyond that - it should be an exciting motivator to NEVER become complacent! Our God is a consuming fire and the Kingdom we’re joined into is immovable! We should never become complacent with our spiritual lives; we should always want to be-being transformed, our minds renewed Romans 12 BY testing. Romans 8:38–39 (ESV) 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Our faith is unshakable, it’s not of creation, it’s purified by God himself and so we should desire to strengthen it. Maybe we’d have the depth of honesty to Cry out like the father who desired Jesus to heal his son: Mark 9:23–25 (ESV) 23 And Jesus said to him, “ ‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Let us believe AND continue to seek growth and rely on Jesus not ourselves for our faith and our continued belief. Let us grow up in ourselves a desire for holy living, and not man pleasing. We live in a world where the most celebrated thing is man pleasing. I think that’s one of the biggest barriers to American Christians being oriented on holy living, is fear of man. Lets look at a few scriptures this week, as I pray we’ll heed the warnings of Hebrews and this final warning not to grow spiritually complacent: Galatians 1:10 (ESV) 10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Romans 12:2 (ESV) 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Proverbs 29:25 (ESV) - MEMORIZE THIS ONE THIS WEEK 25 The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe. Job said in: Job 23:10 (ESV) 10 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold. Church will we trust God like that? Hebrews 12:25 (ESV) 25 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. Will we believe that our minds need renewing, and testing is the way Romans 12? Will be believe the Word of God and ACT? I hope we will. I hope we’ll be drawn to stay in God’s word, and not be like the burrito eating knee driver, but rather like the cautious student. Cautious with God’s will and word, ready to trust God’s tests of our character - not to find faults and flaws, but to let renewing happen and trust God with the outcomes. Will we battle against the fear of man, and battle for minds oriented on God and His glory, I hope so! In your effort to stay excited and not complacent, review the 5 warning passages of Hebrews talk about them as a Home Group and ask “how does our memory verse (Proverbs 29:25) give shape to each?”: 1. Hebrews 2:1-4 (ESV) Warning Against Neglecting Salvation 1 Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. 2 For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, 4 while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. 2. Hebrews 4:12-13 (ESV) - 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. 3. Hebrews 6:4-8 (ESV) - 4 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. 7 For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned. 4. Hebrews 10:26-31 (ESV) - 26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge his people." 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. 5. Hebrews 12:25-29 (ESV) - 25 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens." 27 This phrase, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of things that are shaken--that is, things that have been made--in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire. Inspiring Holy Oriented Living!