Uploaded on

 

More in: Spiritual
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads

Views

Total Views
206
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0

Actions

Shares
Downloads
1
Comments
0
Likes
0

Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
    No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. August 8 2010
  • 2. Sermon:  The Avenging Blood
    Scripture: Hebrews 10:26-31
     
    Opening Hymn:  Are You Washed in the Blood?, vs. 1, 2, 3, 4, page 468
     
    Praise and Worship:
        Nothing But the Blood, vs. 1, 2, 3, page 104
        The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power, vs. 1, 2, page 316
        Praise the Name of Jesus, 2 times through, page 121
        Create in Me a Clean Heart, Folder page 6
        
    Communion:  We Remember You, page 459 in Celebration Hymnal, words follow
     
    Invitation:  All for Jesus, vs. 1, 3, page 182
     
    Closing:  I'll Live fro Him, Refrain only, page 150
     
    We Remember You
        As we drink this cup, we worship You;
        As we eat this bread, we honor You;
        And we offer You our lives
        As You have offered Yours for us.
        We remember all You've done for us;
        We remember Your covenant with us;
        We remember and worship You, O Lord.
    Sylvia Moore417-593-6589sylviarm@live.com
  • 3. Welcome to:
    Mt. Branson Christian Church
    Visit us on the web:
    www.mountbransonfamily.org
  • 4. ARE YOU WASHED IN THE BLOOD?
    Page 468
  • 5. Verse 1
    Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power?Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
  • 6. Refrain
    Are you washed in the blood,In the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb?Are your garments spotless?
    Are they white as snow?Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
  • 7. Verse 2
    Are you walking daily by the Savior’s side?Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?Do you rest each moment in the Crucified?Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
  • 8. Refrain
    Are you washed in the blood,In the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb?Are your garments spotless?
    Are they white as snow?Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
  • 9. Verse 3
    When the Bridegroom cometh will your robes be white?Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?Will your soul be ready for the mansions bright,And be washed in the blood of the Lamb?
  • 10. Refrain
    Are you washed in the blood,In the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb?Are your garments spotless?
    Are they white as snow?Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
  • 11. Verse 4
    Lay aside the garments that are stained with sin,And be washed in the blood of the Lamb;There’s a fountain flowing for the soul unclean,O be washed in the blood of the Lamb!
  • 12. Refrain
    Are you washed in the blood,In the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb?Are your garments spotless?
    Are they white as snow?Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
  • 13.
  • 14.
  • 15. There will beBible study
    this evening
    at 6:00 pm
  • 16. We invite you
    to come
    pray with Us
    on Wed.
    at 6:30 pm
  • 17. Jan will notify the youth when they will get together again.
  • 18. Page 104
  • 19. Verse 1
    What can wash away my sin?Nothing but the blood of Jesus;What can make me whole again?Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
  • 20. Refrain:
    Oh! precious is the flowThat makes me white as snow;No other fount I know,Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
  • 21. Verse 2
    For my pardon, this I see,Nothing but the blood of Jesus;For my cleansing this my plea,Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
  • 22. Refrain:
    Oh! precious is the flowThat makes me white as snow;No other fount I know,Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
  • 23. Verse 3
    Nothing can for sin atone,Nothing but the blood of Jesus;Naught of good that I have done,Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
  • 24. Refrain:
    Oh! precious is the flowThat makes me white as snow;No other fount I know,Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
  • 25.
  • 26. THE BLOOD
    WILL NEVER
    LOSE IT’S POWER
  • 27. Verse 1
    The blood that Jesus shed for me,way back on Calvary;the blood that gives me strengthfrom day to day,it will never lose its power.
  • 28. Chorus
    It reaches to the highest mountain,it flows to the lowest valley;the blood that gives me strengthfrom day to day,it will never lose its power.
  • 29. Verse 2
    It soothes my doubts and calms my fears,and it dries all my tears;the blood that gives me strengthfrom day to day,it will never lose its power.
  • 30. Chorus
    It reaches to the highest mountain,it flows to the lowest valley;the blood that gives me strengthfrom day to day,it will never lose its power.
  • 31.
  • 32. Praise the name of jesus
    Page 121
  • 33. Praise the name of Jesus,Praise the name of Jesus.He’s my Rock, He’s my Fortress,He’s my Deliverer.In Him shall I trust.Praise the name of Jesus.
  • 34. Praise the name of Jesus,Praise the name of Jesus.He’s my Rock, He’s my Fortress,He’s my Deliverer.In Him shall I trust.Praise the name of Jesus.
  • 35.
  • 36. CREATE IN ME A CLEAN HEART
  • 37. Create in me a clean heart,
    O God,And renew a right spirit within me. Create in me a clean heart,
    O God,And renew a right spirit within me.
  • 38. Create in me a clean heart,
    O God,And renew a right spirit within me. Create in me a clean heart,
    O God,And renew a right spirit within me.
  • 39. Cast me not away
    from Thy presence, O LordAnd take not away
    Thy Holy Spirit from me.
    Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation.And renew a right Spirit within me.
  • 40. Create in me a clean heart,
    O God,And renew a right spirit within me. Create in me a clean heart,
    O God,And renew a right spirit within me.
  • 41. Cast me not away
    from Thy presence, O LordAnd take not away
    Thy Holy Spirit from me.
    Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation.And renew a right Spirit within me.
  • 42.
  • 43. WE REMEMBER
    YOU
  • 44.     As we drink this cup, we worship You;
        As we eat this bread, we honor You;
        And we offer You our lives
        As You have offered Yours for us.
        We remember all You've done for us;
        We remember Your covenant with us;
        We remember and worship You,
    O Lord.
  • 45. The Blood of the Covenant was introduced to us at the Last Supper. We should never forget the price that was paid. But this is a new Covenant, because in Jesus the law has been fulfilled and we become partakers when we obey the Holy Spirit and live by the power of a relationship with God. We need to understand that obedience is greater than any sacrifice that we could make.
  • 46. When is God a Consuming Fire?
    The answer is that he is this way when "there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins." "If we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins." "But [instead] a terrifying expectation of judgment." In other words there are two possibilities: 1) terrifying judgment or 2) a sacrifice for sins. This means that sin is what God is angry about. And it means that he has made a provision for escaping his anger, namely, the sacrifice of his Son in the place of sinners. The love of God provides escape from the wrath of God by sacrificing the Son of God to vindicate the glory of God in forgiving sinners. That's the gospel. The Gospel of Jesus Christ - the essence of Christianity - makes no sense at all apart from the wrath of God. If there is no wrath and no judgment to escape, then Christ was sacrificed in vain.
  • 47. But he did not die in vain. He died so that you and I and anyone who believes on Him might be saved from the wrath of God and have everlasting life in the love of God - in the peaceful eye of the hurricane of His holy wrath. So neither His love, nor His wrath are the whole story of what God is like. He is both, and they are not coordinate - they are not of identical importance - because He has made a way for sinners to escape His wrath and enjoy his love. His glory shines most brightly not in the fire of His wrath, but in the bright, warm, peaceful breezes of His love above an infinitely deserved destruction.
  • 48. The Avenging Blood
    Hebrews 10:26-31
  • 49. Hebrews 10:26-31 
     26If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,
    27but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
    28Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
  • 50. 29How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?
    30For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people."
    31It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
  • 51. The Avenging Blood
    Hebrews 10:26-31
  • 52. All for jesus
    Page 182
  • 53. Verse 1
    All for Jesus, all for Jesus! All my being's ransomed powers: All my thoughts and words and doings, All my days and all my hours.
  • 54. Refrain All for Jesus! All for Jesus! All my days and all my hours; All for Jesus! All for Jesus! All my days and all my hours.
  • 55. Verse 3
    Since my eyes were fixed on Jesus, I've lost sight of all beside; So enchained my spirit's vision, Looking at the Crucified.
  • 56. Refrain All for Jesus! All for Jesus! All my days and all my hours; All for Jesus! All for Jesus! All my days and all my hours.
  • 57. Jesus gave his live for you,
    so that
    He could give his life to you
  • 58. Refrain:I’ll live for Him who died for me,How happy then my life shall be!I’ll live for Him who died for me,My Savior and my God!
  • 59.
  • 60. A group of believers was meeting in an Iron Curtain country when the church door burst open and two Russian soldiers with submachine guns strode in. They said they would give five minutes for anyone who wished to renounce Christ to leave, and that those who stayed would be shot.As each person searched his heart for the courage to face death, a few got up and left. The officers then walked to the door of the church locked it, and turned to the congregation with the words, "Brothers and sisters in Christ, we are believers, too, but we did not want to worship where everyone was not completely committed to Christ and willing to die for Him. May we become part of your fellowship?"
  • 61. He who is guilty of this sin also "has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him" (vs 29). The blood of the covenant is the blood of Christ upon the cross, the blood by which alone God's people are cleansed, sanctified, and brought to God. Remember King Belshazzar of Babylon? He gave a feast and in his drunken stupor he ordered that the wine be served in the holy vessels his father, King Nebuchadnezzar, had taken from the Temple in Jerusalem. King Belshazzar took a holy thing and treated it as being ordinary and common. Because of this sin that very night his life was taken from him (Daniel 5). Those who fall away from the Lord treat Christ's holy and precious blood as being common, nothing special, ordinary. In falling away they reject both Christ's sacrifice and all the blessings which flow from it.
  • 62. Permit me a word of caution, though. Unlike God we can never look into the heart to see what is really there, to see if there is a complete falling away from the Gospel. Many are the church members throughout the ages who have fallen because of human frailty and temptation and not because of a conscious, deliberate decision against the Gospel and God's grace. The church may have judged them to be apostate but, by God's grace, these people have later come to repentance – in itself clear evidence that they are not guilty of apostasy. We have to be careful and patient, then, in our judgments. We have to pray for those who have fallen: that their fall is only for a time and that the Lord will lead them to repentance.
  • 63. The Point of God’s Commands: Joy
    So let all the props be knocked out from under the very bad idea that God’s commandments are meant to make us gloomy or bored or sad. They are meant to do the opposite. They are for our good, and God is jealous that we find our supreme joy in him and his ways. And the reason for this is that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. So he gets the glory and we get the joy when we do his revealed will. That’s the point of his commandments.
  • 64. God is a God of Grace and Judgment
    If the real world that God has created includes the reality of divine judgment and vengeance and the terrifying, furious fire of God's wrath, then honesty and love and wisdom will all include warnings of danger, not just promises of blessing. We live in a strange time. On the one hand, it's a time that is shot through with agony and catastrophe and tragedy and violence and suffering of every kind. We see it day in and day out in the papers and on the TV news. And those who are thoughtful and large-minded know that we are seeing the barest tip of an iceberg of hate and greed and injustice and brutality around the world, not to mention the millions upon millions of starving and utterly destitute poor in the world and the agonizing situations of tens of thousands of refugees.
  • 65. But on the other hand, we do not want to hear about it. We are soft people. While most of the world watches death every day without morphine or any medical help, and deals with deep gashes and amputations with no antiseptics or stitches, we gag at the sight of a dead dog and grumble when 911 takes five minutes to respond instead of three. We are soft and we are presumptuous. And, what's most appalling - though very few regard it as most appalling - is that when it comes to God, all we want to hear is the sweet side - the tender side, the warm side.
  • 66. We believe that the only good motivation comes from hearing about grace, not judgment. And little by little we let that motivational conviction (as unbiblical as it is) creep into our view of God himself, until we have no categories anymore to understand, let alone love, a God whose wrath is a fury of fire against sinners. But the writer of this book of Hebrews will not be silent about the wrath of God.
  • 67. So here you have in verse 27 a picture of God's wrath: there is legal picture, an emotional picture and a physical picture.
    The legal picture is that his wrath is "judgment." It is the legal, just act of a judge. The emotional picture is that his wrath is "the fury of a fire." Literally, "a zeal of fire," or a fiery passion. God is not just a little bit angry, but passionate with fury. And third, there is the physical or material picture: the fire "consumes the adversaries." It will swallow up the sinner in the flames of legal and passionate judgment. "Consume" doesn't mean annihilate. Hell is not non-existence. "Consume" means swallow up into suffering forever. Justice will be done and holy anger will be satisfied. That's the beginning of our text.
  • 68. Then the text ends with another description of fearful judgment in verses 30-31,
    We know Him who said, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge his people." It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
    Whatever your view of God, the Creator of the universe and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, if it does not include this, it is a distorted, unrealistic view. God is a God of vengeance, and to fall into his hands is a terrifying thing. When Jonathan Edwards preached his famous sermon about 260 years ago, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," his text came from Deuteronomy, but the words for his title came from this text. "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
  • 69. Between these two descriptions of God's judgment at the beginning and the ending of our text there is one more in the middle. After it says in verse 28 that those who rejected the law of Moses were put to death, it says in verse 29, "How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God?" The judgment of God is described as punishment and it is a punishment that is worse than death - because it goes beyond death
  • 70.
  • 71.
  • 72.
  • 73.
  • 74.
  • 75.
  • 76. Now this is a portrait of God (from the beginning, the middle and the ending of this text) that our strange age does not want to hear, and does not believe is helpful or true. For most people today, God, if he is there at all, is there to thank after a close call and to question after a tragedy. I got a phone call last week from a man from out of state who said, "I am going through the darkest time of my life, and I would like to come to Minneapolis and talk to you about it." He was willing to drive over twelve hours to talk to me one afternoon. I asked why? He said, "Because I have sought counsel from several sources and everyone starts with the assumption that God doesn't have anything to do with this tragedy. And I know from the Bible that that's not true. I need help from someone who starts with the conviction that God is in control of this situation, as horrible as it is."
  • 77.
  • 78. This man's response to suffering is not typical, but it is Biblical. Most people today do not tremble at the power and wrath and judgment of God. He is a good old boy. Or a coddling father. Or a doting friend. But rarely a raging fire of indignation and holy anger at sin. God may send rain for the good of farmers, but he certainly doesn't cause flooding. He may give life to babies, but he certainly doesn't take it back again - for sure not if you're under 40. This is a God created in the image of our felt needs, not the God who reveals himself in history and in Jesus Christ and in the Bible.
  • 79. So we need to hear this text and do a reality check on our view of God. Terrifying expectation of judgment . . . fury of fire . . . consume the adversaries . . . rendering punishment worse than death . . . repaying vengeance . . . with terrifying hands. That too is the truth about God.
  • 80.
  • 81.
  • 82.
  • 83.
  • 84. When is God a Consuming Fire?
    So the question that presses itself on us is: when is he this way?
    The answer is that he is this way when "there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins." Verse 26: "If we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins." Then verse 27 begins: "But [instead] a terrifying expectation of judgment." In other words there are two possibilities: 1) terrifying judgment or 2) a sacrifice for sins. This means that sin is what God is angry about. And it means that he has made a provision for escaping his anger, namely, the sacrifice of his Son in the place of sinners. The love of God provides escape from the wrath of God by sacrificing the Son of God to vindicate the glory of God in forgiving sinners. That's the gospel. The Gospel of Jesus Christ - the essence of Christianity - makes no sense at all apart from the wrath of God. If there is no wrath and no judgment to escape, then Christ was sacrificed in vain.
  • 85. But he did not die in vain. He died so that you and I and anyone who believes on him might be saved from the wrath of God and have everlasting life in the love of God - in the peaceful eye of the hurricane of his holy wrath. So neither his love, nor his wrath are the whole story of what God is like. He is both, and they are not coordinate - they are not of identical importance - because he has made a way for sinners to escape his wrath and enjoy his love. His glory shines most brightly not in the fire of his wrath, but in the bright, warm, peaceful breezes of his love above an infinitely deserved destruction.
  • 86. For Whom is there no Longer any Sacrifice for Sins?
    So the next question is: For whom is there no longer any sacrifice for sins? If God is a God of wrath and vengeance and judgment and fury, "when there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins," then we must ask - it would be utter folly not to ask - for whom is there no longer a sacrifice for sins? In this text, who are the terrified casualties of God's consuming fire?
    The answer is given in two ways in the text. One is to describe what these casualties have become that fits them for judgment, and the other is to describe what they once were which makes their present condition so reprehensible. It's the contrast that makes their guilt so great.
  • 87. Let's look first at what they had become. How are the casualties of God's consuming fire described? There are at least five descriptions:
    Verse 26: they go on sinning willfully. Both the tense of the verb (present continuous action in Greek) - they go on sinning - and the word "willfully" show us that it is not any one particular sin in view here. It is the extent and willfulness that is in view here. The unpardonable sin is not a particular kind of sin, but a particular extent and willfulness of sinning against great grace - until one becomes like Esau and cannot repent (12:16-17).
  • 88. Verse 27: at the end of the verse they are called "adversaries." The fury of God's fire will consume the adversaries. This means that he is talking about people who have rejected God and are now his opponents. They are what we call apostates.
    Verse 29: they have trampled under foot the Son of God. The Son of God laid his life down for them to receive as their substitute, and instead of receiving him as their life and hope, they paused, got some religion, and then stepped on him and went on to other things.
    Verse 29b: they regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant. "Unclean" is not quite the right word. They regarded it as common, ordinary, nothing special, not sacred or precious. They drank the cup of the new covenant, said, "Nice juice," and went away to sin - as if it were not the most precious reality in the universe.
  • 89. Verse 29 at the end: They "insulted the Spirit of grace." They tasted the grace of God in their lives, were influenced by it in some measure, but then they began to turn it into license and used it to justify their love of sinning, and eventually threw it away as unnecessary.
    And for these people, the writer says, God is a consuming
  • 90. What They Once Were
    Finally, the writer describes these casualties of God's wrath not just in terms of what they had become, but in terms of what they once were - which makes their condition so much more guilty.
    I'll mention just three brief characteristics of such people.
    They had received a knowledge of the truth. Verse 26: "For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins." These casualties of wrath who trample the Son of God know the truth. We will all be judged in proportion to the amount of light and truth available to us. These people had received the gospel. They were walking away from Christ in the broad daylight of truth.
    They are described, surprisingly to our ears, as part of "God's people." To explain what is happening in the divine vengeance the writer says in verse 30b, "The Lord will judge his people." This seems to mean that the writer sees the visible church - the external church - the way he saw the Old Testament people of God - they are a mixed group. Some of "God's people" will be saved, and some from "God's people" will be lost. For example, in Ezekiel 34:17, God says, "As for you, My flock [= the people of God, the external church], thus says the Lord God, `Behold, I will judge between one sheep and another, between the rams and the male goats."' As Paul says in Romans 9:6, "Not all those from Israel are Israel."
    That's the way this writer seems to be thinking. This is very important for understanding the language he uses and the way he warns. Externally, he calls the church the "people of God." He calls them brothers - even "holy brothers" - giving the benefit of the doubt to any who has professed faith in Christ. But he knows that the visible church and the true church of God's elect are not the same. There are many hypocrites. And, as this text shows, many of these eventually become visible by "willfully sinning" and forsaking the gathered body (see verse 25).
    Finally, in verse 29 he says that these casualties of God's wrath were "sanctified." "How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean (or common) the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified."
  • 91. In What Sense Were They "Sanctified"?
    Now this third description is very controversial. And I do not claim infallibility for my own interpretation. But I commend it to you as consistent with the rest of the book and the rest of Scripture, I believe. Some take it to mean that you can be truly born again and justified by faith, and on your way to heaven through a life of spiritual sanctification - and yet be finally lost and destroyed by forsaking the truth. Because it says here that these apostates had been "sanctified."
    Others say that the possibility raised here of sanctified people committing apostasy will, in fact, never happen, because those who are truly elect and born again will be kept from apostasy by the work of the Holy Spirit. So no sanctified people ever do, in fact, apostacize. And this prospect in Hebrews 10:26-31 never happens. The elect take heed to the warning and persevere in faith and holiness.
    The first of these I think to be untenable in view of what this writer says elsewhere and what the rest of the New Testament teaches about the security of the believer in Christ. In Hebrews 3:14 he says, "For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end" - meaning that if we do not hold fast to the end, then we "had not become a partaker of Christ." Failure to persevere in faith is not a sign of losing salvation but of never having been a partaker of Christ. And in this same chapter (10:14), he says, "By one offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified." In other words, there is a kind of true, spiritual sanctification that is sure evidence of being eternally perfected in God's sight - perfected for all time. God's justifying, perfecting work is not temporary. And the evidence that it is done, is that we are being truly made holy - sanctified.
    So I conclude that the sanctification of verse 29 is not the same as the sanctification of verse 14. The one proves eternal perfection (verse 14) and the other proves great guilt after apostasy (verse 29). What is this fruitless sanctification? It seems to be the religious separation and outward purification that often happens when a person becomes part of the visible church. They come under the influence of truth in preaching and teaching. They come under the influence of love among the saints. They come under the influence of the ordinances and even eat and drink the sacred emblems of Christ's body and blood. They feel the blowing of God's Spirit of grace and taste his wooing and winning influences. And in all of this, they are visibly set apart from the world - sanctified the way the people of Israel was sanctified among the nations, even though many of them were faithless. And all of this gracious influence was purchased by the blood of Christ, so that verse 29 says, it was indeed "by the blood of the covenant" that these hypocrites were sanctified.
  • 92. Take Heed to Yourselves
    Which leads me to close with a simple and awesome warning. Take heed to yourselves. You have received a knowledge of the truth. The Son of God has laid his life down for you to receive as your substitute. You have come under the sway of many sanctifying influences. Do not trample the Son of God or make light of his blood or insult the Spirit of grace that is blowing over your soul even now
  • 93.
  • 94.
  • 95.
  • 96.
  • 97.
  • 98. John MacArthur says, “Every apostate is an unbeliever, but not every unbeliever is an apostate.” There are many people who do not know the Gospel, they have never had anyone explain to them the saving message of Jesus Christ. This is not true of an apostate. An apostate knows the truth intellectually. They can quote chapter and verse. They may even attend a local church, but their hearts are far from God. They know the truth, but they have refused to receive the truth so that it might transform their lives.
    One scripture the comes to mind when we think of this subject is 1 John 2:19, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.” John says that some who had made a profession of being Christians in that day had all the outward trappings of being Christians. They bore the Christian name, and they identified themselves with some local assembly, some church. They were baptized, immersed, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They took the bread and the cup at the communion service. But John says that the way you can tell whether or not one is really a child of God is that eventually a man will show his true colors and will leave the assembly of God if he is not a child of God. He will withdraw from the Christians, the body of believers, and he will go right back into the world. To know God’s truth, to study about it, to hear about it, perhaps even identifying with a body of believers and then turn away, that is to become an apostate.
    Does this happen today? We see it when we see young people that grow up in the church with Christian parents. They have heard the gospel on a regular basis. They may have even professed to be Christians at some point in their early years and gave outward appearance of being serious. But the day came when they were challenged about the gospel and rather than believing God, they embraced a lie. Not repenting of such sin they continued to grow cold toward any thought of divine truth. The years pass and they care nothing of the church of Jesus Christ, easily forsaking the church because they have forsaken the gospel of Christ. They shunned warnings with ease. Their heart gets harder. They may even still be able to rattle off the basic elements of biblical truth but it means nothing to them. In willful defiance they turn away from Christ, the gospel, and the church.
    • ·          There is a willful and deliberate denial of the truth.
  • The Greek word for “willfully” (hekousios) means, “voluntarily, willingly, of one’s own accord, to sin willfully as opposed to sins committed from ignorance or from weakness.” In the Greek “willfully” is the first word, laying stress on the defiant nature of the sin it describes. John MacArthur writes in his commentary on Hebrews, “Willfully… carries the idea of deliberate intention that is habitual. The reference here is not to sins of ignorance or weakness, but to those that are planned out, determined, done with forethought. The difference between sins of ignorance and sinning willfully is much like the difference between involuntary manslaughter and first-degree murder. …It not only is deliberate, but is an established way of thinking and believing. It is the permanent renunciation of the gospel, the permanent forsaking of God’s grace.” [John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary –Hebrews. (Chicago: Moody, 1983) p. 273.]
  • 99. First, there is Persecution. What will drive a believer closer to the Lord will drive the unbeliever further from Him. Whenever the church has been persecuted the faithful have become strong and those who don’t really believe have left. When hard times come the apostate will not only leave the church but sometimes join the persecution. Some apostates not only turn away from the church but turn against it. I have often told the story of Ted Turner and how he turned from the church when his sister died. He seems to be a perfect example of an apostate. One who had sufficient knowledge to be saved. A person who at one time associated with believers but who because of a crisis in his life turned from the church. But he not only turned from the church, he turned against the church.
  • 100. Another thing that can cause a person to turn away into apostasy is false teachers.
    Where persecution frightens unbelievers away false teaching entices them away. When unbelievers get fed up with the Gospel, or when the Gospel demands more than they are willing to pay, they can usually find someone who will feed them something they find a little palatable with their life- style. In 2 Timothy 4:3 Paul says, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers.”
  • 101. Temptation can also lead to apostasy. Sometimes this temptation comes in the form of many small temptations over a long period of time and a sometimes strong temptation that comes very suddenly. But regardless of how it comes, it is successful because the person does not have the resources in and of themselves to resist.
  • 102. But perhaps the saddest cause of apostasy is neglect. A person can put off making a decision for so long that they actually lose the opportunity. Not to decide for Christ is actually a decision against Christ.  
  • 103.
  • 104.
  • 105.
  • 106.
  • 107.
  • 108.
  • 109.
  • 110. This last warning closes in verse thirty-one with chilling words, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
    I cannot read verse thirty-one without thinking of the ministry of Jonathan Edwards. On July 8, 1741 Edwards preached what has become one of the most famous sermons in history of our country entitled “Sinners in the Hands of Angry God.”  It was a remarkable sermon for remarkable times.
    The 18th century in America began what was referred to as “The Great Awakening.” Throughout New England the Spirit of God invaded one community after another, bringing the spiritually dead to life, and transforming the worship of churches. It was not that there were no professing Christians in these villages. Each little community had a village church with many of the townspeople having been baptized into membership. But there was little spiritual reality until the Holy Spirit began to move through the dry, dusty corpses of church members. Like Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones, upon the preaching of the Word, the Spirit of God breathed life.
  • 111. Though neighboring villages had experienced the spiritual awakening, Enfield, Connecticut had not. They remained stubborn and defiant, self-satisfied with an outward form of religion; playing Christian we might say, without knowing the peril before them. On July 8, 1741, Jonathan Edwards arose as a substitute preacher to declare before them the word of the Lord. Remarkably perhaps, this sermon was not new to Edwards since he had preached it previously in his own church in Northampton, Maryland. Without any pulpit antics or pulpit pounding, Edwards read the sermon in a monotone voice, and actually asked the audience to quiet down so he might finish his sermon.
  • 112. Edwards delivered a devastating picture of divine judgment upon sinful men, particularly upon those who were the baptized members of the church and yet gave no evidence of really being saved. The last verse of our text (v. 31) provided the basis for Edwards’ title, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” was no delicate, entertaining sermon, but a striking portrait of the righteousness of God and the sinfulness of Man. In this sermon Edwards compared sinners to a spider dangling by a thin thread over the fire of God's wrath.
  • 113. The effect of the sermon was immediate. The audience was so frightened that many attendees were found openly weeping. There were also a number of reports of swooning, outcries and convulsions from audience members. I want to share just one quotation that is too good to miss. A pastor from the Northampton area reported the effects of his sermon on people on May 14, 1741. "Under this sermon, many had their countenances changed; loosed, and their knees smote one against another. Great numbers cried out aloud in the anguish of their souls. Several stout men fell as though a cannon had been discharged; and a ball had made its way through their hearts.”
  • 114. His sermon says in part, “Your wickedness makes you as it were as lead, and to tend downwards with great weight and pressure towards hell; and if God should let you go, you would immediately sink and swiftly descend and plunge into the bottom-less gulf… There are the black clouds of God’s wrath now hanging directly over your heads, full of the dreadful storm, and big with thunder; and were it not for the restraining hand of God, it would immediately burst forth upon you… the waters are constantly rising, and waxing more and more mighty; and there is nothing but the mere pleasure of God, that holds the waters back, that are unwilling to be stopped, and press hard to go forward… The bow of God’s wrath is bent, and the arrow made ready on the string, and justice bends the arrow at your heart, and strains the bow, and it is nothing but the mere pleasure of God, and that of an angry God, without any promise or obligation at all, that keeps the arrow one moment from being made drunk with your blood. Thus all of you that never passed under a great change of heart, by the mighty power of the Spirit of God upon your souls, all that were never born again, and made new creatures, and raised from being dead in sin, to a state of new, and (thus those who have never experienced) light and life, are in the hands of an angry God.” [Jonathan Edwards. “Sinners in the Hands Of An Angry God.” Sermon Classics by Great Preachers. Complied by Peter F. Gunther. rev ed. (Chicago: Moody, 1982) pp. 30-31]
  • 115. Far from being more tolerant of sin today, God is less tolerant because men today have the advantage of greater light.
  • 116. Avenger in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE a-venj' a-venj'-er: Avenge.--The general idea connected with this word is that of inflicting punishment upon the wrongdoer. Since emphasis may be placed upon the deed itself, the wrongdoer, or the injured party, the verb is found an intransitive (only Lev 19:18; see below), transitive (2 Sam 4:8 et al.); and also active (Dt 32:43), passive (Jer 5:9) and reflexive (Est 8:13). In 1 Sam 25:26 ff avenge is translated from yasha`, "to save" (Revised Version margin, "thine own hand saving thee"), in Hos 1:4 from paqadh, "to visit," and in 2 Sam 18:19 ff from shaphaT, "to judge," but the usual Hebrew word is naqam, or derivatives, "to avenge." The translation in the Revised Version (British and American) differs in some places from King James Version: Nu 31:3 (Revised Version (British and American) "execute Yahweh's vengeance"; compare 2 Sam 22:48; Ps 18:47; Lev 26:25); Lev 19:18 (Revised Version (British and American) "tak vengeance"); Jdg 5:2 (Revised Version (British and American) "for that the leaders took the lead in Israel" from para`, "to be free, to lead"). In the New Testament avenge is translated from the Greek ekdikeo, "to do justice," "to protect" (Lk 18:3 ff et al.) and the King James Version Rev 18:20, krino, "to judge" (Revised Version (British and American) "God hath judged your judgment"). Avenger.--That is, the person who inflicts punishment upon the evil-doer for a wrong experienced by himself (from naqam, "to avenge"; Ps 8:2 et al.) or by someone else from ga'al, "to redeem"; Nu 35:12 ff et al.). In the New Testament avenger occurs only once; "the Lord is an avenger in all things" (1 Thess 4:6). It was the duty of the nearest relative to execute vengeance upon the murderer of his kin: he became the go'el. With reference to the protective legislation and custom, see GOEL. Compare BLOOD; REVENGE, REVENGER.http://www.bible-history.com/isbe/A/AVENGE;+AVENGER/
  • 117.
  • 118.
  • 119.
  • 120. The Blood of the Covenant was introduced to us at the Last Supper. We should never forget the price that was paid. The Scriptures prophesied through Isaiah 53 that " He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed." It is interesting that the Covenant of Moses which included the ten Commandments contained blessings of health and prosperity included in obedience, yet sickness and death for disobedience. (see Leviticus 26) But this is a new Covenant because in Jesus the law has been fufilled and we become partakers when we obey the Holy Spirit and live by the power of relationship with God. We need to understand that obediance is greater than any sacrifice that we could make.(Amen to that! Terri)
    The Blood of the Covenant was introduced to us at the Last Supper. We should never forget the price that was paid. The Scriptures prophesied through Isaiah 53 that " He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed." It is interesting that the Covenant of Moses which included the ten Commandments contained blessings of health and prosperity included in obedience, yet sickness and death for disobedience. (see Leviticus 26) But this is a new Covenant because in Jesus the law has been fufilled and we become partakers when we obey the Holy Spirit and live by the power of relationship with God. We need to understand that obediance is greater than any sacrifice that we could make.(Amen to that! Terri)
    The Blood of the Covenant was introduced to us at the Last Supper. We should never forget the price that was paid. The Scriptures prophesied through Isaiah 53 that " He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed." It is interesting that the Covenant of Moses which included the ten Commandments contained blessings of health and prosperity included in obedience, yet sickness and death for disobedience. (see Leviticus 26) But this is a new Covenant because in Jesus the law has been fufilled and we become partakers when we obey the Holy Spirit and live by the power of relationship with God. We need to understand that obediance is greater than any sacrifice that we could make.(Amen to that! Terri)