Eternal Loss or Better Things.

The song ends with the words “Eternal hope is in your hands, and all of our tomorrows”.

“The question is do you live in your tomorrow, or try to live today in the light of the fact that your eternal hope is in My hands AND all your tomorrows?

“So the secret of true contentment, true peace and lack of anxiety is to live today to the max. ‘This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it’. But with this proviso: you have peace and contentment only in the light of the full assurance and belief that all your hope is in ME for tomorrow – right up to eternity. And today? Let the rhythm of the seasons remind you of that fixed fact – not in the seemingly aimless vagaries of humanity, governments, courts, crime etc. Fix your eyes on Me for tomorrow it is already planned and in My hands”.

Going on with Heb 5:11 – 6:12. We continue with the melody line through this very scary portion. Let me just explain my term “melody line”: Each book of the bible has a main theme. From that there will be branches and sub-branches. To understand these smaller sections it is necessary to see them in the light of the main theme, or melody line as I call it and it meanders through the text. It is something like a tree. There is the main stem then the branches and finally the foliage, which completes the beautiful picture. While each element has something to say to the reader, the full understanding of the foliage and branches can only come as one sees their connection to the main stem.

So up to now we have been following the writer’s concern for the readers, that he has heard that some of the congregation are drifting away.2:1. He has used an elaborate example of the Israelites journey through the desert to illustrate this concern. As he comes to ch 6 he wants to really nail down his concern, with a powerful warning.

So let’s say there are basically two groups in the audience: 1. Those depicted in 4:2-6 who did not hear with hearing, or combine their hearing with faith and are described as being denied entry into God’s rest because of hardness of heart leading to disobedience. In 5:11 he picks up on this theme again using the term “slow or sluggish to hear”. This adjective is repeated in 6:12 translated as becoming lazy and brackets this section. Now notice what their failure to hear properly has resulted in. They have remained as babies, because they have not received the teaching in such a way that it has changed their way of thinking. In fact they are stuck in the elementary teachings of the gospel and ultimately have shown no fruit that would demonstrate their true faith and conversion. These people have been part of the “congregation”, experiencing every blessing that comes with participation in a “church” whose real members are those who are saved and have the blessed Holy Spirit and all that goes with that. They have been so close that they have ‘tasted’ these benefits, experiencing them by close association.

Now the warning the writer gives is that when those people turn back or drift away it becomes very difficult for them to come back to repentance. When the writer states ‘it’s impossible’ he is making an observation not laying down a rule. We all know of people like that.

2. There is another group in the church. These are the real members, who have responded to the word, with faith and shown this by their obedience and teachable hearts. In his example of the Israelites this is really restricted to Caleb and Joshua, which is also not a rule but shows us that there can be many in the church who fall under the first category. These people have shown their their true conversion by their fruit, by putting into practice the scriptures 5:14 and producing a crop that is useful and a blessing from God 6:7. Your comments that have been placed in the blog show that you all fall in this category and it is good to see your affirmation of your faith and the security you have in the Lord.

However on the fringes between these groups are those who have not yet moved firmly into either one of them. They are the ones who can still be reached with the gospel. They are the ones who the writer is especially addressing, as well as wanting those of us who have the certainty of our salvation fixed, to be aware of this fringe group so that we can encourage them to open their ears and listen, so that they will be taken up into God’s kingdom.

Those are the people who the writer is warning, “do not harden your hearts, listen with listening, appreciate the power of God’s Word, don’t become lazy in your and sluggish in your hearing or your faith and obedience, be teachable, hold firmly to the faith. Of course as we read through this fascinating letter we will now be confronted with the vertical dimension of our faith, without which this would not be the true gospel as the writer expands on Jesus’ role as high priest.

Conclusion: no-one can lose their true salvation. The scriptures are clear, yet Paul in His letters makes no bones about it, we are all on an eternal path, a race that must be completed and we should make certain we remain on that path. We should never become complacent or lazy as this text warns. Persevering in the faith is the true and final test of real Christianity. Hence ch 11 of this book.

So what has God been saying to me in all this? Well I found to my astonishment that I should examine my teachability. Not in the question of understanding the scriptures, but in the sense of accepting that I should still be growing in my faith, realizing that at all times the Lord is warning me against complacency in my relationship with Him, I cannot just sit back and teach and judge whether others are really hearing.

One Reply to “Eternal Loss or Better Things.”

  1. It is an extremely comforting for me to know that our High Priest in heaven in whom ” all.the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” Col 1 19 and again” in Him all the fullness of deity dwells bodily” Col 2 9 has complete compassion for my situation as a weak human being in this fallen world. Christ loves me in my infirmities. This strengthens every atom of my being. Paul prays that we may have the strength to comprehend what is the breadth and length and height and depth , and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge , that we may be filled with all the fullness of the Father. Ephesians 3 18 With this truth in my heart my tears begin to flow again in deepest gratitude. All glory and power be to our Holy Lord forever and ever ! Amen

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