Hebrews 10:28-29, “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 trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?”
After having spent much of chapters 7–10 explaining the superiority of Christ and the new covenant, the author of the letter to the Hebrews begins to exhort his audience in the second half of chapter 10. The guidelines and warnings he gives to us tell us that, in light of the great sacrifice made by Christ, there are certain requirements for the community that calls Him Lord.
Hebrews 10:19–39 contains an important presentation of the doctrine of perseverance. In these verses, we clearly see that we have a role to play in our perseverance. We are responsible to enter into the holy places by the blood of Jesus (vv. 19–21). We are responsible to encourage one another in the faith (vv. 24–25). God will most certainly move us to do these things if we are of the elect, as these are the very means He uses to perfect our faith (James 2:22). For in causing us to do these things, God guarantees the perseverance of His children. These verses also remind us that our faith produces outward results. If we stay away from Christ and other believers consistently and fearlessly, we may very well not have true faith.
Yesterday we saw that we are also called to keep our lives free of unrepentant sin. For if we go on sinning deliberately and fearlessly, then we must also be concerned about the state of our heart (vv. 26–27). Such sin can lead us into final apostasy, demonstrating that we were never really in Christ even if we once professed Him.
Today’s passage continues the warning about continuing in sin to the point of apostasy. As new covenant members, we must be even more deliberate in our obedience to Christ, our covenant Head. For if disobedience to the Mosaic covenant could result in death, how much more judgment comes to the one who affirms the new covenant blessings while denying the divine Son of God and the glorious redemption He shed His blood to secure (vv. 28–29)?
Again, note that the author of Hebrews is not arguing that salvation can be lost. We will see in coming days that he had confidence that some, if not all, of his audience would persevere in faith and inherit the promises. However, the author also knew that the church must be encouraged to persevere, and so he warns us, knowing that only those who hold their faith to the end of their lives are truly saved.
Too many churches today encourage unbelievers to take Jesus on “a test drive.” People outside the church are encouraged to join churches without clear professions of faith. If you are a church member and do not believe in Christ, repent and believe today or you will face a much stricter judgment than those outside the church.