Continued from Part Two
RESULT OF REJECTION
What is being described is the end result of a human rejecting the Final Sacrifice that has been provided by God—a sacrifice of great cost, but more than sufficient to pay the penalty of sin…all sin. But, man must recognize what God has provided and then accept this free gift. A choice is required. The end result of a man insisting on going his own way, living by his own rules, refusing the remedy that God has provided—the only true remedy there is for the fallen human race, is utter and final spiritual death. A man without God’s remedy will die an apostate. That is exactly what this Scripture is describing. There is a reference earlier in Hebrews, describing the same sin of apostasy but includes those that have decided to reject God’s gift after they have already walked in the blessing of it.
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned. Hebrews 6:4-8
In a short explanation of this passage in chapter six, it is describing a person that has experienced forgiveness through the cross of Jesus; they have gone on in their walk to having tasted the heavenly gift of the Holy Spirit working through them in supernatural power; they have been given understanding of the Word of God beyond the elemental basics of Christianity; and they have a good understanding of the powers of things to come. If such a person then turns their back on God—only God knowing if they have gone past the point of no return, then they are lost for eternity! What a dangerous decision to make!
This takes us back to the tenth chapter where the Holy Spirit is warning that there is no other means of forgiveness; no other means of having an acceptable relationship with our Creator, no other way to find the fulfillment of what we were created for, other than by the way of the cross and the Blood of Jesus. To try to sidestep this provision is an eternal mistake. To try and “earn” forgiveness by good works is also an eternal mistake. Nothing will remedy the problem in the human soul that all humans are born with other than the applied Blood of Jesus Christ. Nothing.
Verse 27 describes what must be expected if the one and only remedy for sin is rejected:
…but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.
We hear many voices today saying that a God of love would not bring calamity and cataclysms as judgments on the human race as described by the prophets in the Bible. One of the explanations offered is that the disastrous things the Apostle John, as well as the Old Testament prophets have described as unfolding at the end of the age, are symbolic and not literal events. It has always been a mistake to explain the uncomfortable things that we find in the Scriptures as only symbolic. The rule for interpreting the Scriptures is that we are to understand everything as literal unless the Scriptures themselves make it clear that symbolism is being used. It is really pretty simple. For instance, was the great flood of Noah symbolic? Absolutely not. Over 200 ancient cultures have writings about the great flood. Science today confirms that there was a worldwide flood. This means that the Scriptures that describe a series of cataclysms coming upon this world in the very near future being even worse than the catastrophic events at the time of Noah, are literal descriptions of coming events.
Here in verse 27 we have a description of the judgement of God coming upon those that reject the only remedy for their fallen condition. God is warning that there is a literal judgment and literal fiery indignation which will literally devour God’s adversaries. The warning is very simple and very direct. God does not want His warning misunderstood, nor does He want His warnings explained away as something symbolic. Hell is real, Heaven is real, and so is the eternal abode of the damned. The Lake of Fire described in Revelation 20:10 is very real. We will look at this verse again even though we have referred to it before.
The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
God did not create hell or the Lake of Fire for mankind. Hell is the temporary abode of the damned; the Lake of Fire is the permanent home of the damned. These were created for the fallen Lucifer and all those that followed him in his rebellion against God. But those of the human race that insist on following the rebellious ways of the devil and reject God, will be allowed to make that decision for themselves. God has given us a will that the devil cannot break and God refuses to. There is a Scripture in the Old Testament that is applicable here. It is found in Numbers 15:30-31
But the person who does anything presumptuously, whether he is a native-born or a stranger, that one brings reproach on the LORD, and he shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the LORD, and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt shall be upon him.
The Blood of Jesus will remove the stain of any and all sin, no matter how grievous or evil it may be. But if this same Blood Sacrifice is rejected, there is no more remedy. That leaves a person in a condition that can only be judged as apostate. God is not willing that any perish, but He will not stop the person that rebels and insists on his own way. Intellectual man doesn’t like to accept, nor even consider the reality of hell and eternal death, but that does not take away the reality of it.
In Numbers 15:30-31, we find an example of how God taught his covenant people to deal with rebellion. In verse 28 of Hebrews 10, it is referred to again and then adds to the pivotal nature of what the Holy Spirit of God is saying:
Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay”, says the Lord, And again, “The LORD will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Here we must realize the seriousness of a temporal judgment as opposed to an eternal one. In Old Testament times it only took two or three witnesses to confirm accusations made against an individual and judgment was carried out without mercy. But here the accusation is much, much worse!
- They have trampled underfoot the Son of God
- They have insulted the Spirit of Grace
- They have counted the Blood of the covenant, by which He was sanctified, a common or unholy thing
All of these accusations are of the most serious nature. We live in a generation of people who are convinced of their own rights, especially in the West. We see demonstrations everywhere and protests against many things, but, it seems that what is railed against the most is “authority.” Human nature does not like to be told what to do—not even from the One that has power over life and death! At the root of this is pride and it is not at all surprising. It was pride that brought down the Lucifer. That same bent towards pride infects the fallen nature of every human being as well. It was the Serpent in the Garden of Eden that told Eve that God had misled her by telling her and Adam that they would not die if they ate of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Satan told Eve:
“You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5
The problem is that God has told man that He needs an intervention from on High because he is condemned without this intervention. Man has come to believe that this is a lie. We are being told by modern psychologists, New Age philosophers, and many of the top intellects of the world that man is naturally good and just needs to feed the natural goodness in his psyche through good deeds, good thoughts, and love and acceptance of the common man. Dignity for all! The problem is, this does not solve the root problem in the soul of man.
ASSURANCE OF FELLOWSHIP
God has created mankind to have fellowship with Him. This thought alone is amazing. Why would God create man for this type of relationship? Why would He even want it? It appears that even the angels were not created for such a deep purpose. Because Satan knows this, and because he has been thrown out of his own high position of authority and honor in God’s Heaven, he has a great jealousy, as well as infernal hatred of mankind and the reason for his creation. Satan will do his worst to counter God’s intention of having a loving and submissive created people with whom He can fellowship and have a glorious intimate walk with for the rest of eternity.
This was not possible without God Himself following through on his plan to save mankind. God was willing to pay a price so high that we cannot comprehend the enormity of that price. That is why it is a colossal mistake to reject the provision He has made! God took the form of a man and let His own creation physically kill Him so that the enormous price could be paid for mankind’s freedom. Rejecting such love and such a price paid is no less than trampling the Son of God underfoot. Let’s remember the conversation between the three personages of the Godhead in Psalm 2 when the Holy Spirit made this statement:
Now therefore, be wise, O kings, be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way. When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. Psalm 2:10-12
The Messiah was seen as more of a pacifist in the first century. There was an obvious reason for this. He was here as the suffering Messiah, not yet as the KING of Kings. Now, He is about to return as the mighty KING of Kings and LORD of Lords! He’s not someone to underestimate and trample underfoot!
Those that ignore or insult this Savior/Redeemer are in danger of eternal death! Some carry a malignant spite for the price that was paid…the Blood of Jesus! There is no more costly substance than the Blood of Jesus Christ! The blood of the Old Testament animals only covered the sins of the people. Each and every sacrificial animal was to be tested and examined for three to four days before the sacrifice was fulfilled. The animal could have no flaws whatsoever, but no matter how “perfect” the sacrificial animal was, it only served to cover the sins. The Blood of the Messiah however has the power to totally eradicate sin, never to be found again!
It is an astounding fact that we are offered the assurance that the payment for sin through the Blood of Christ is complete and eternal. I have had the privilege several times to speak to former Muslim sheikhs who were always exuberant in their thanksgiving to Messiah Yeshua for the assurance of total and complete forgiveness…FOREVER! No more sacrifices, ever! Praise God! Now they look forward to every single communion service that they can participate in…because they are now so FREE! Islam does not offer such freedom, neither does Hinduism, or Buddhism, or any other of the plethora of demonic religions spawned in hell. The Blood of Jesus is the only substance that can wash sin away, forever! This Blood is not like any other Blood!! Don’t miss out on this once in eternity offer that is provided by this Blood!
Continued in Part 3