The Peril of the Pretender – The Message of the book of Hebrews

In the book of Hebrews, the author’s exhortations come to the reader accompanied by an implied warning. The exhortations of Hebrews expect and, indeed, demand obedience, and if there is not obedience to the commands of the Lord, the implied warning is that you may not be a true believer. The unsettling feature of Hebrews is that the author repeatedly gives explicit warnings to his readers which say to them that, while they may think they are saved and while they may be hanging out with true believers and while they may basically look like real Christians, their hearts may have never been changed and they are still going to face the God who is terrifying (10:27, 31) and who is a consuming fire (12:29). The burning issue in Hebrews that accompanies the warnings and the exhortations is, “Have you truly come to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, or are you still trusting in your performance or your pedigree?” Have you drawn near to Christ or will you be found to have come short? For there is an eternal difference between those two positions.

It is noteworthy that Jesus also explicitly warned about the coming judgment and about the need to come to Him with unreserved faith. While the Lord offered salvation full and free to all those who would bow the knee to Him and worship Him as Lord and Savior, He also made clear that all those who would not worship Him would perish and would experience the terrifying wrath of the living God.

Indeed, the entire Bible is full of warnings to sinners, declaring to them their unrighteousness, proclaiming the holiness of God, and warning of the judgment to come. Thus the Bible urges sinners to confess their sins to Yahweh and flee to Jesus for refuge and cry out for mercy. Those who throw themselves on Jesus to be saved will receive an indescribable reward and those who do not fly to Jesus will receive terrifying judgment.

[As a side note, it is ONLY IN THE BIBLE that man is warned about his unrighteousness and his peril. Only in the Bible will anyone ever find these warnings. No other work or writing by man has these warnings. Man is godless and blind and remains forever so except for God’s revelation in the Bible. That is why it is incumbent upon all those who have the Scriptures to communicate them to other people, so that men and women who are perishing may be warned and may have the opportunity to turn from their wickedness and their sin and be saved from the wrath to come.]

The book of Hebrews repeatedly and explicitly warns those who may be pretending to be believers of the peril of their position and it declares to those who remain rebellious against the gospel that their destiny is a terrifying judgment, but it also assures those who have come to Jesus with a whole and sincere heart that they have been delivered from the wrath of God and have come to Mount Zion and been saved.  SDG rmb 10/10/2015

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