Verse: Hebrews 10:26-31
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
A couple years ago I had a good friend offer me free tickets to a Villanova basketball game. Court-side. It was amazing. I went with two of my kids and my dad, it was a great time.
Why do I bring this up? What if I had said, "no thanks?" Would I have still ended up at the basketball game? If I had said, "That's really nice of you, but I do not want your tickets", would I have ended up court-side? If I had showed up at the game, after rejecting his offer, would they have allowed me entrance? The answer should be obvious.
In the same way, if anyone rejects the offer of Jesus for salvation, they will not escape his judgment. Now, this verse is not talking about struggling with sin. It is not talking about falling back into sin patterns, or struggling in our faith, or wrestling with doubt. It seems to be talking about the person who, although they know the truth, rejects it. They know the truth about Jesus being the Son of God who died, rose again, and ascended into heaven. They know the truth that salvation and forgiveness comes from him alone. And they make a conscious choice to reject him. The person who rejects the work of Jesus, "trample[s] the Son of God underfoot" and treats the his blood as "unholy." These are serious statements.
It is hard for us to hear these statements in our modern day Christianity that has sometimes painted Jesus as our "personal therapist and life coach in the sky." Can you imagine teaching on this verse: "It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God"? Have you ever heard that in church? But it's true. It's so uncomfortable, but that doesn't make it less true. If we reject God, the verses are clear that things will not be all rainbows and unicorns for us.
It has become popular for some Christians to believe that there are many "trains" to God and that all other religions are just other trains, and in the end God will accept all trains. This is based on their vision of Jesus being an all inclusive loving God. I get it. It sounds really nice. But it simply isn't true. That belief is simply not biblical or Christian.
The exclusive claim of Jesus "“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6) is not something we can explain away. As we are talking about in our series right now on Sundays, the problem of Christianity is Jesus. He is the issue that all people have to face and make a decision about. He selflessly gave his life in order to offer us "life to the fullest." But scripture teaches that he doesn't just bestow that on everyone against their will. He offers an invitation, he doesn't force it on us.
We can be mad that other trains don't actually arrive at the station, but that would be tantamount to me showing up without the ticket and being mad at my friend who offered me the ticket I refused. "Why didn't you force me to take it!?" If God in his great wisdom and love created a pathway out of sin (which is of our own making) and into life and love, how can we be mad at him that he didn't create more pathways? The pathway he created cost him everything. I wonder how he feels when we get upset that it wasn't good enough for us.
These obviously are pretty serious verses, and not the easiest for a happy encouraging devotion. But the Word of God is there to teach us and lead us to Jesus. Let these verses lead each of us to greater communion with, and love for, Jesus today. Let them lead us to gratitude for all that he sacrificed for us. And let them lead us to a desire to love others like he does.
Your love for us is amazing. Thank you for creating a way to relationship with you. Help me to love others like you do!