Brace yourself; this one is a doozy.
26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted 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 terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
I feel like I just got punched in the gut. This is a message that is repeated throughout the bible, yet we tend to ignore or twist it so that we don’t pay it the attention it deserves. We must be wary that we don’t think our relationship with God and ticket into heaven is just saying “the sinners prayer” and then going on with our lives thinking we have some sort of insurance policy for eternity. Deitrich Bonhoeffer wrote about “cheap grace,” the attitude we have taken that means once we are saved, we can go on our merry way. The truth is, however, that if we really are saved, then our lives will be changed forever.
Of course, this takes work. It’s hard to undo and let go of all of our habits that we know we shouldn’t be doing, isn’t it? Yet, we still don’t have an excuse because Jesus’ Spirit live sin us. In Mark 3:28-29:
[quote]“Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”[/quote]
This is some serious stuff! In Chapter 5 of his first letter to the Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul encourages and warns by saying:
16 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit; 20 do not despise prophetic utterances. 21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.< [quote]We need to take this seriously folks. After our eyes have been opened and we have been imparted the gift of the Holy Spirit which empowers us to live as Jesus did, we simply choose to sin. We are no longer ignorant nor powerless against it. Our choice to sin is equivalent to us flipping the bird to God. This is why pride is such a powerful tool of the enemy. Our choosing to sin when we have all the opportunity to avoid it is refusing to accept the freedom you have been given. Pride prevents us from accepting and living in that freedom.[/quote]
This is not dissimilar to what happened in the Garden of Eden. We have a choice to choose between slavery and freedom. The fruit of slavery might seem enticing and the better option, but eventually you will see that it is but a mirage. Some criminals prefer to stay in prison or keep going back to prison because they have become comfortable with it; it is what they know. Even though they are jailed, behind bars, and living with some of the most unpleasant people on the planet, they are too scared to accept the freedom they have been granted and break free from the prison of their past. Those who haven’t been in prison at all or much don’t quite understand this concept. The criminals themselves might not even fully comprehend it, but they feel more comfortable in slavery than they do in freedom.
Some may read this today and get angry, “Why would a loving God…?” Wake up! The author is trying to explain to us how we are continuing to live in the slavery of sin! Every choice we make is a choice to live free or enslaved. Our loving God is trying to tell us and warn us of the consequences of our sinful choices! Our daddy is trying to tell us that if we play in the street when there is traffic, we’re going to get hurt! It might be thrilling, new, adventurous, and exciting at first; but eventually we are going to get hit by a vehicle and probably die. Yet we want to buck authority and say, “well dad, you just don’t want me to have fun.”
Go ahead and play in traffic.