16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses?
17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?
18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient?
19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.
4:1 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.
2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.
You’ve probably heard the semi-critical comparison about people in churches aren’t necessarily Christian any more than someone at a McDonald’s is a cheeseburger.
I always thought that sounded weird.
Even though McDonald’s is now selling $30 “one-size-fits-all” hoodies that look like a cheeseburger wrapper, that doesn’t mean I want to be one.
If first and second Corinthians offer us all kinds of insight into church discipline and how to deal with sinners in your midst, the book of Hebrews does not. It might sound like it is, but the main focus of Hebrews isn’t what do to about those people at your church.
The focus of Hebrews is what to do about yourself.
Let us fear, not like we are scared, but like there is a reality that we need to prepare for. When the weatherman says a blizzard or a tornado is coming, my kids will amplify my anxiety. If they see me get a flashlight, they’ll get 3. If they see me sit my shoes by the basement door in preparation to go down there, they’ll get their shoes and a book.
That is how some of these warnings in Hebrews go. Just because you were born into a religious family isn’t enough. Just because you heard some message of salvation isn’t enough. You have to believe it.
Every day, people hear things about sugar, fat, tobacco, drugs, software licenses, lustful looks, and finances and while hearing and acknowledging the truth, don’t express that belief in their actions.
While unwise, that is totally ok most of the time with most of those things (not all of them!).
It’s not ok to be that way with Jesus. I have to unite what I’ve heard with Jesus into what I believe about Jesus. Then out of that belief, I act.
Spend the day not looking at other people and how well they are doing this, but tell the Lord, “Lord, I want to believe everything you said. I want to unite what I hear with what I believe.”
And He’ll help you. He loves to answer the prayers for things He told us to believe.
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