Time to Take Inventory

Some Bible passages will never find their way to greeting cards or Facebook quotes. The passage in today’s article is one of them.

I am happy that this doesn’t get the same publicity as some of the popular Bible verses because it needs considerable explanation.

This passage follows a description that began in chapter 7 of Jesus who is the Ultimate High Priest, who provided humans access to God through the sacrifice of his own blood on the cross.

The proper response to this amazing gift to us is:

— To draw near to God (verse 22).

— To hold fast to our confession of faith in Jesus (verse 23).

— To inspire others to greater love and good works (verse 24).

If we willingly turn away from God’s great provision in Christ, how can we expect him to provide another way to take care of our sin problems?

Inventory Question #1: Am I headed for judgment?

The author of Hebrews has made God’s care for humans abundantly clear. We have a High Priest who has opened the door to heaven through his shed blood on the cross.

If we clearly understand the truth of God’s love and turn away from it, we can’t expect God to provide us with another savior.

For if we willfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins

But a fearful prospect of judgment and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries (Hebrews 10.26-27).

The reason why I’m happy that this passage doesn’t find its way to greeting cards or Facebook quotes is twofold.

First, there are some sensitive people who will read this and worry about the state of their salvation. If you are worried about your relationship with the Savior, you are OK.

This passage applies to people whose hearts are fixed on rejecting Jesus and his work for them.

Second, some people will wonder about friends who have stopped attending church and seem distant from God. Are they headed for judgment?

This passage is written for self-examination and is not meant to be used to judge others. The author’s goal in writing like this was to provoke his readers to love and good works (verse 24).

Inventory Question #2: Do I take Jesus’ sacrifice and the Spirit’s work seriously?

The argument in the next two verses ranges from lesser to greater. It answers the question, “What could be worse than capital punishment?”

The answer is to be separated from God for eternity is worse than capital punishment.

Anyone who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy “on the testimony of two or three witnesses.”

How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by those who have spurned the Son of God, profaned the blood of the covenant by which they were sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10.28-29).

Based on this passage, here are some questions we can ask ourselves.

— How often do I meditate on Jesus’ life and sacrifice for me?

— When did I last sit before our crucified Lord and worship him for his love?

— How aware am I of the Spirit’s work in my life?

Readers of my blog can use questions like this to deepen their devotion and obedience to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Inventory Question #3: Am I held in the arms of God, or will I fall into his hands in judgment?

Psalm 14.1 declares, “Fools say in their hearts, ‘There is no God.'”

It is not that the fools deny the existence of God. Instead, they believe that there will be no accountability for their behavior.

God has made it clear in the Bible that all humans will be held accountable for their behavior.

The cross of Christ reveals how seriously God takes the issue of sin and judgment.

Humans are given a choice. We can fall into the arms of God’s love, or we can reject him and later fall into his hands of judgment.

For we know the one who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.”

It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10.30-31).

By all means, let’s accept God’s great offer of a personal relationship that was achieved through the work of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Inventory Question #4: Do my attitudes and actions make life with Jesus attractive?

Gandhi’s tragic quote haunts me. He said, “I would have been a Christian if it had not been for Christians.”

Gandhi couldn’t square the Sermon on the Mount with the oppression his nation experienced under the British Empire.

I wonder how many people have turned away from following Jesus in today’s culture, because of clergy sex abuse, financial crimes, racism, culture wars, and more.

As we look at ourselves, let’s determine that our attitudes and actions will draw people to Jesus.

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross and I talk about Hebrews today on YouTube. Today, it is just me on YouTube, because I am home with a cold. You can see the video on the Bob Spradling channel.

I am indebted to Gareth Lee Cockerill’s commentary on Hebrews for the information contained in this blog.

Please email your prayer request to bsprad49@gmail.com. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

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