CONSIDER JESUS OUR GREAT HIGH PRIEST
Click chart to enlarge
Charts from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission
THE FIVE WARNING PASSAGES
|Heb 2:1-4 (notes)|
|Heb 3:7-4:13 (notes)|
|Heb 5:11-6:12 (notes)|
|Heb 10:26-31 (notes)|
|Heb 12:14-29 (notes)|
Hebrews 10:36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. (NASB: Lockman)
Amplified: For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Barclay: You need fortitude so that, after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise. (Westminster Press)
KJV: For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
NLT: Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Patient endurance is what you need if, after doing God's will, you are to receive what he has promised. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: for you have need of patience in order that, having done the will of God, you might receive the promise.
Young's Literal: for of patience ye have need, that the will of God having done, ye may receive the promise,
FOR YOU HAVE NEED OF ENDURANCE: hupomones gar echete (2PPAI) chreian:
- You have need - Heb 6:15; 12:1; Ps 37:7; 40:1; Mt 10:22; 24:13; Lk 8:15; 21:19; Ro 2:7; Ro 5:3,4; 8:25; 15:4,5; 1Co 13:7; Gal 6:9; Col 1:11; 1Th 1:3; Jas 1:3; Jas 1:4; 5:7, 8, 9, 10, 11; Re 13:10; 14:12
- Hebrews 10 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
For (gar) - pause to ponder this term of explanation.
This was the call of the hour then as now. (Lk 21:19; He 12:1) Endurance is spoken of by the writer as a necessary prerequisite to receiving the promise of God, namely, salvation through faith in the blood of Messiah.
Evans - The author wants to encourage them that the reward is indeed close at hand (Heb 10:35), and also to emphasize the good consequences of remaining firm (“faithful”) and the bad consequences of “shrinking back” from their commitment to Jesus on account of the difficulties society imposes.
You have need - note "have" is in the present tense indicating that you never outgrow this need.
Dave Guzik - The toughest and most discouraging trials are when we are called to obey God’s will when the fulfillment of His promise seems so far away. This is why we need endurance. Faithfulness during the time when the promise seems unfulfilled is the measure of your obedience and spiritual maturity. This endurance is built through trials, the testing of our faith (Jas 1:2, 3, 4).
Chreia - 49x in the NT -
Mt 3:14; 6:8; 9:12; 14:16; 21:3; 26:65; Mk. 2:17, 25; 11:3; 14:63; Lk. 5:31; 9:11; 10:42; 15:7; 19:31, 34; 22:71; Jn 2:25; 13:10, 29; 16:30; Ac 2:45; 4:35; 6:3; 20:34; 28:10; Ro 12:13; 1Co. 12:21, 24; Ep 4:28, 29; Php 2:25; 4:16, 19; 1Th 1:8; 4:9, 12; 5:1; Titus 3:14; He 5:12; 7:11; 10:36; 1Jn 2:27; 3:17; Rev 3:17; 21:23; 22:5.
The writer speaks of patience elsewhere
Hebrews 6:15 And so, having patiently waited (makrothumeo) , he obtained the promise.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Endurance (5281) (hupomone from hupo = under + meno = stay, remain, abide) is literally abiding under. The root idea of hupomone is that of remaining under some discipline, subjecting one’s self to something which demands the acquiescence of the will to something against which one naturally would rebel. It portrays a picture of steadfastly and unflinchingly bearing up under a heavy load and describes that quality of character which does not allow one to surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial. The picture is that of constancy and endurance with a forward look and the ability to focus on what is beyond the current pressures. The writer sets before us our Perfect Example of Endurance, our Lord Jesus Christ…
And so hupomone does not describe a grim resignation or a passive "grin and bear" attitude but a triumphant facing of difficult circumstances knowing that even out of evil God guarantees good. It is courageous gallantry which accepts suffering and hardship and turns them into grace and glory.
The Jewish audience is being exhorted to remain under the persecutions and not seek to escape them by renouncing their professed faith in Messiah. Those that remained under the persecution and thus under the chastening hand of God, maintaining their faith in the Messiah, did not earn salvation but proved themselves to be true sons of God (He 12:7, Mt 13:21). Those who did not remain under this persecution, but renounced their profession to return to the sacrifices, proved themselves to be professors and not possessors (He 12:8, He 3:6-note; He 3:14-note)
R C H Lenski notes hupomone "is bravely remaining under a load and holding out. That is exactly what the readers need; having this virtue, they will not let continued affliction induce them to throw away their assurance and to think of turning from Christ because of persecution in order to seek ease and safety in the old Judaism.
Butler - Waiting requires patience. This is a struggle for all saints, for after you have obeyed and done what God says to do, the results do not always come immediately. But patience will help you wait for the results. And patience involves remaining loyal to the Lord and being pure in conduct as well as not giving up on the promise. (Analytical Bible Expositor)
Spurgeon - This is sweet counsel for you, O pilgrim, bound to Zion’s city. When you were young and strong, you walked many a weary mile with that staff of promise. It helped you over the ground. Don’t throw it aside as useless now that you are old and infirm. Lean upon it. Rest upon that promise, in your present weakness, which lightened your labor in the days of your vigor.
John Owen - The apostle does not accuse them of lacking perseverance, but reminds them about the necessity of continually exercising patience. Perseverance is the grace of suffering Christians (Jas 1:4-note; Jas 1:5-note) and the correct reaction to all tribulations (Ro 5:4, 5-note).
Andrew Murray says "This is one of the great practical lessons of the Epistle. Without perseverance, endurance, steadfastness, faith is vain; the only proof that it is a living, saving faith, is that it holds fast its boldness firm unto the end."
SO THAT WHEN YOU HAVE DONE THE WILL OF GOD YOU MAY RECEIVE WHAT WAS PROMISED: hina to thelema tou theou poiesantes (AAPMPN) komisesthe (2PAMS) ten epaggelian:
- When you have done the will of God - Heb 13:21; Mt 7:21; 12:50; 21:31; Jn 7:17; Acts 13:22,36; Ro 12:2; Ep 6:6; Col 4:12; 1Jn 2:17
- You may receive what was promised - Heb 6:12,15,17; 9:15; Colossians 3:24; 1 Peter 1:9
- Hebrews 10 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
GOD WILL MAKE GOOD
ON HIS PROMISE!
So that (hina) introduces the result/benefit (see discussion of terms of purpose or result ) of maintaining one's endurance.
This is an essential prerequisite to the exercise of patience and to obtain the promised blessing. There is no promise to those who keep on doing wrong. (Note association of faith and obedience when you compare He 3:18, 19-see notes He 3:18; 19) and obtaining of the promises (He 6:12-note)
The will of God - Paul explains how believers can do the will of God, writing that it takes a voluntary whole hearted presentation of ourselves to God and then continual choosing to turn away from the world's way and allow the Spirit to renew our mind with "Godward" thoughts. Paul puts it this way…
I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove (test and approve after examination) what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Ro 12:1, 2- See notes Romans 12:1; 12:2)
After encouraging with the truth that should motivate them to do the will of God, the writer than prays for them to have the power to do the will of God! And so we read his great prayer at the end of his epistle...
Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (Heb 13:20-21+)
Notice the phrase "equip you in every good thing....working in us that which is pleasing in His sight," Whose responsibility is that? That is God's sovereign provision of power to actually do every good thing. Then he prays "to do His will." Whose responsibility is that? Ours of course beloved. But do not miss the crucial spiritual truth which is that we can ONLY do His Will because He gives us His provision! In other words we need to learn Paul's secret that we can do all things through Him who strengthens us (cf Php 4:13+). And how does He equip us in the New Covenant? It is by the power (dunamis) of His indwelling Spirit working in us, the Spirit of Christ (cf Acts 1:8+, Eph 3:16+, etc). As we are filled with His Spirit (Eph 5:18+) and walking by His Spirit (Gal 5:16+), we will be supernaturally enabled to carry out God's will, for the Spirit in us will continually be energizing us, giving us both the desire and the power to walk and work pleasing to the Father (Php 2:13NLT+), and in so doing we will be working out our salvation in fear and trembling (Php 2:12+).
For more on this important spiritual truth see the notes on the "Paradoxical Principle of 100% Dependent and 100% Responsible" (100/100).
Our problem as believers is too often we attempt to do His Will in our natural strength (cf Gal 3:3+) and this will invariably lead to failure, futility and frustration. Natural cannot produce supernatural. Jesus was clear on that when He declared “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." (Jn 15:5). And when Jesus said nothing, He used the specific Greek word that meant ABSOLUTELY NOTHING (of eternal value). It may look good before men, but unless it passes the God test, it is wood, hay and stubble and will burned up.
Hebrews 11:33 who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions,
Receive (2865) (komizo from komeo = tend, take care of) (Click word study on komizo) means receive back, recover, receive back what is one's own, to be recompensed or rewarded. As A T Robertson says "This is a general law of life and of God and it is fair and square." Komizo conveys the thought of getting something for oneself and carrying it off as wages or a prize. The verb implies, not mere obtaining, but receiving and carrying away for use and enjoyment. Peter is teaching that in that coming Day of Judgment at the bema seat of Christ these faithful shepherds will joyfully carry away as their own “the unfading crown of glory.” Komizo can describe a reward for good (1Pe 5:4-note, Ep 6:8-note, Col 3:25-note), not a penalty for wrong (as in 2Peter 2:13 [note] referring to the false teachers).
Wuest - The word “receive” is the translation of komizo which means “to receive and carry away for use and enjoyment.” Endurance is spoken of by the writer as a necessary prerequisite to receiving the promise of God, namely, salvation through faith in the blood of Messiah. The word “patience” is the translation of hupomone which means literally “remain under.” That is, these Jews are exhorted to remain under the persecutions and not seek to escape them by renouncing their professed faith in Messiah. Those that remained under the persecution and thus under the chastening hand of God, maintaining their faith in the Messiah, were true sons of God (Heb 12:7). Those who did not remain under this persecution, but renounced their profession to return to the sacrifices, were only unsaved professed believers (Heb 12:8). (Hebrews Commentary online)
Spurgeon - This is sweet counsel for you, O pilgrim, bound to Zion’s city. When you were young and strong, you walked many a weary mile with that staff of promise. It helped you over the ground. Don’t throw it aside as useless now that you are old and infirm. Lean upon it. Rest upon that promise, in your present weakness, which lightened your labor in the days of your vigor. There must first be the doing of the will of God, and then the reward will come afterward. God will not give to His people their full reward yet. Patience, then, brother; patience, sister. Saturday night will come one of these days; your week’s work will then be over, and you will be more than repaid for anything you have done for your Lord.
Promised (1860) (epaggelia/epangelia from epaggello = announce upon) originally meant a favorable message or an announcement. It was primarily a secular legal term denoting summons and thus was a promise to do or give something. In the NT it refers only to the promises of God (except Acts 23:21). Epaggelia is the thing promised or the gift graciously given. God is a covenant keeping God and therefore He never breaks His promises, for they are yea and amen in Christ Jesus, Who Himself is the Covenant Messenger. This grand truth should encourage you to "Hangeth thou in there" and you will receive the ultimate promise of everlasting life in His presence.
Phil Newton comments that…
These believers needed to see endurance as a necessity for persevering in the Christian life. To endure does not imply a grim resignation of your circumstances so that you keep a "stiff upper lip," as the expression goes. It is "a blazing hope; it is not the spirit which sits statically enduring in one place, but the spirit which bears things because it knows that these things are leading to a goal of glory" [Fritz Rienecker and Cleon Rogers, The Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament, 705]. Endurance must accompany the believer daily, bearing up under the threats of the world with joyous confidence in Jesus Christ.
Endurance sustains you in devotion to obeying God's will: "so that when you have done the will of God." To practice endurance will always lead you to walking in the revelation of God through the Word. We need not be confused about the will of God for our lives; it is found in the Word of God. We need only follow in obedience.
Endurance ends in a heavenly reward: "you may receive what was promised." Here is not reward based on our merit but it is the eternal reward that is ours through the merits of Christ. It is the proof of Christ's righteousness in our lives made plain through endurance that ends with the heavenly reward. (Sermons from the Epistle to the Hebrews)
Heb. 10:35, 36. Charles Simeon
THERE have been, to the Church of Christ, seasons of bitter persecution, and seasons of comparative tolerance and peace: but in whichever of these states we be, it becomes us not to yield to dejection on the one hand, or undue security on the other. We are soldiers on the field of battle, and must be ready to encounter our enemies whensoever they may advance against us. It will be time enough to put off our armour, when we have received our dismission from an earthly warfare, and are crowned with laurels in the realms of bliss. There had been to the Hebrew Christians seasons of severe trial, which the Apostle called to their remembrance: and it is probable, that when this epistle was written to them they enjoyed somewhat of tranquillity: but he bade them not to cast away their confidence: since they would still have need of it, as long as they should continue in the body.
In this apostolic injunction we see,
I. What state of mind befits the Christian—
The “confidence” here spoken of is a holy boldness in confessing Christ—
[This is essential to the Christian character. Not even faith itself will avail for our salvation, where this is wanting: “With the heart, man believeth unto righteousness; but, with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation.” “If we are ashamed of Christ, and deny him, he will be ashamed of us, and deny us.”
This holy fortitude we should maintain, under all circumstances. Never, for a moment, should we “cast it away.” If trials increase, we need it the more: if they abate, or even cease, we still need this divine quality; because we know not how soon it may be called for, or to what an extent it may be required.]
And it will bring its own reward along with it—
[It will keep us from all that disquietude and distraction which the menaces of the world might occasion in an unstable mind. It will induce a consistency of conduct, under all circumstances; and will bring into the soul, stability and peace. It will be to him who exercises it an unquestionable evidence of his own sincerity; and will doubtless be honoured with peculiar manifestations of the Divine favour. If more than ordinary supports are called for by reason of the augmented troubles that assault us, they shall be vouchsafed to us; even as they were to the Hebrew Youths in the furnace, when the Son of God himself condescended visibly to appear in their behalf]
To every Christian is this requisite, because of,
II. The occasion he will have for it—
Different as may be the path of different persons in some respects, in their great outline they are all the same. In their progress, all these different steps may be clearly and distinctly seen:
[Every Christian “does the will of God.” To believe in Christ, to receive every thing from Christ in the exercise of faith and prayer, and to give himself up to God without reserve; this is the one habit of his mind, and the one labour of his life. From day to day he does not his own will, or the will of an ungodly world; but the will of God, as it is revealed in his blessed word.]
[This will always more or less attend a faithful discharge of our duty to God. There will now, as formerly, be seasons of comparative peace: but it is not possible for unregenerate men to love the light, whether it be set before them in the word, or be exhibited before them in the conduct of God’s faithful servants. “The servant cannot be greater than his Lord:” if they called the Master of the house Beelzebub, those of his household must assuredly expect some opprobrious designation at the least. And though, in comparison of imprisonment and death, this may be regarded as a light matter; yet is it not light, when we consider, that the names with which the godly are designated, are a signal for the world to load them with every species of obloquy and contempt.]
[Our blessed Lord was “as a sheep led to the slaughter,” and, in the midst of all the indignities that were offered him, “opened not his mouth.” And in this manner his faithful followers also “possess their souls in patience.” They expect that they shall “have need of patience;” and it is their endeavour so to demean themselves under their trials, that “patience may have its perfect work; that so they may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”]
[This is the object of their pursuit; and to this they press forward with all their might. They know, that “if they draw back, it must be unto perdition;” and that it is by believing only, and maintaining their faith with steadfastness, that they ever can be saved. They are well assured, that the means must be used for the attainment of the end; and that if used aright, the end shall be attained. They are well aware, that duty must be performed, suffering expected, patience exercised: and in this way they have no doubt but that glory shall be ultimately secured. “By a patient continuance in well-doing, they seek, and will obtain, eternal life.”]
1. Let us be thankful for the peace that we are privileged to enjoy—
[These are days of extraordinary toleration and candour. We cannot indeed say that “the offence of the cross has ceased:” for it never can cease, as long as the ungodly constitute the great majority of the world. But persecution, except in private circles, is but little known. The flames of martyrdom are no longer kindled amongst us, as in the days of old. Let us, then, make a due improvement of this great mercy, for the more abundant edification of our own souls, and for a more active advancement of Christ’s kingdom in the world.]
2. Let us, however, stand prepared for other days—
[No one can tell how soon the face of things may be changed. If Popery were to gain an ascendant again, it would, in all probability, bring with it all its attendant horrors. But even in private life we may be called to make severe sacrifices, and to suffer the loss of all our prospects upon earth. But let us remember, that Heaven will richly repay us for all that we may either lose or suffer: and if only we “receive at last the promise” of eternal life, we shall never have reason to regret the “patience” we exercised, and the “confidence” we maintained.]
A Timely Letter- Young William Wilberforce was discouraged one night in the early 1790s after another defeat in his 10 year battle against the slave trade in England. Tired and frustrated, he opened his Bible and began to leaf through it. A small piece of paper fell out and fluttered to the floor. It was a letter written by John Wesley shortly before his death. Wilberforce read it again: "Unless the divine power has raised you up… I see not how you can go through your glorious enterprise in opposing that (abominable practice of slavery), which is the scandal of religion, of England, and of human nature. Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God? Oh, be not weary of well-doing. Go on in the name of God, and in the power of His might."
How Many Times Have Your been Throwed? - The story is told that Andrew Jackson's boyhood friends just couldn't understand how he became a famous general and then the President of the United States. They knew of other men who had greater talent but who never succeeded. One of Jackson's friends said, "Why, Jim Brown, who lived right down the pike from Jackson, was not only smarter but he could throw Andy three times out of four in a wrestling match. But look where Andy is now." Another friend responded, "How did there happen to be a fourth time? Didn't they usually say three times and out?" "Sure, they were supposed to, but not Andy. He would never admit he was beat -- he would never stay 'throwed.' Jim Brown would get tired, and on the fourth try Andrew Jackson would throw him and be the winner." Picking up on that idea, someone has said, "The thing that counts is not how many times you are 'throwed,' but whether you are willing to stay 'throwed'." We may face setbacks, but we must take courage and go forward in faith. Then, through the Holy Spirit's power we can be the eventual victor over sin and the world. The battle is the Lord's, so there is no excuse for us to stay "throwed"!
Let's Keep Digging - Scottish physician A. J. Cronin (1896-1981) was forced by illness to take a leave of absence from his medical practice. He then decided to write a novel. But when half done, he became disheartened and threw his manuscript into a garbage can.
Totally discouraged, Cronin was walking the Scottish Highlands and saw a man digging in a bog, trying to drain it for use as a pasture. As Cronin talked with him, the man said, "My father dug at this bog and never made a pasture. But my father knew and I know that it's only by digging you can make a pasture. So I keep on digging."
Rebuked and remotivated, Cronin went home, picked his manuscript out of the garbage can, and finished it. That novel, Hatter's Castle, sold three million copies. Cronin left his medical practice and became a world-famous writer.
At times, you and I may feel trapped by circumstances that demand patience and persistence. Are we willing to keep digging away at whatever "bog" God has assigned to us?
The book of Hebrews tells us that we have "need of endurance" (He 10:36), and that we must "run with endurance the race that is set before us" (He 12:1-note). How? By "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (He 12:2-note). With Christ as our example, let's keep on digging! —Vernon C Grounds (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Whatever you're doing for Jesus today,
Be sure to keep at it—don't stop or delay;
If you are discouraged, don't give up your place,
For God will sustain you by His matchless grace.
In serving the Lord,
it's always too soon to quit.
Hebrews 10:37 FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE, HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY. (NASB: Lockman)
Amplified: For still a little while (a very little while), and the Coming One will come and He will not delay. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Barclay: For in a short time, a very short time, “He who is to come will come and he will not delay. (Westminster Press)
NLT: For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: 'For yet a little while, and he who is coming will come and will not tarry. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: For yet a little, a very little while, and He who comes will come and will not delay.
Young's Literal: for yet a very very little, He who is coming will come, and will not tarry
FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME AND WILL NOT DELAY: eti gar mikron oson oson ho erchomenos (PMPMSN) hexei (3SFAI) kai ou chronisei (3SFAI):
- Isa 26:20; Isa 60:22; Hab 2:3,4; Lk 18:8; Jas 5:7-9; 2 Pe 3:8; Re 22:20
- Hebrews 10 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
THE COMING ONE
WILL COME IN A "MICRON"
The Greek word for "little" is mikros. We derive our English word micron from the Greek. A micron is a unit of length equal to one millionth of a meter, used in many technological and scientific fields. Now think about applying the word to time - what the writer is saying is that Jesus is coming in "one millionth of a second."
For a great illustration of a "micron" of time take 4 minutes and watch Francis Chan's demonstration -
For (gar) what a strategic term of explanation we find here!
Wuest - The exhortation to patience is strengthened by the promise of the soon coming of Messiah. The expression is very much stronger in the Greek text. Expositor’s translates it: “For yet a little—a very little—while and He that cometh will come and will not delay.” Another translates it: “For yet a little—ever so little—while.” The expression comes from Habakkuk 2:3. Vincent says: “In the Hebrew (Hab. 2:3), the subject of the sentence is the vision of the extermination of the Chaldees (Babylonians). ‘The vision—will surely come.’ As rendered in the LXX either Jehovah or Messiah must be the subject. The passage was referred to Messiah by the later Jewish theologians, and is so taken by our writer.” The disciples of John the Baptist asked Jesus, “Art thou He that should come or look we for another?” The expression “He that should come” is Jewish and refers to Messiah. (Hebrews Commentary online)
John Owen summarizes Heb 10:37, 38, 39 calling us to "Note three things in these verses: first, a proposal about the object of faith, which is the coming of Christ, He 10:37; second, the necessity for faith in this matter, and a warning about the definite ruin of those who shrink back, He 10:38; and, third, the apostle’s judgment about their faith, He 10:39."
The writer of Hebrews had earlier alluded to Christ's Second Coming...
So Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. (Heb 9:28+)
Comment - Eagerly await is the verb apekdechomai (present tense) means to wait in great anticipation with patience ("wait it out"), fully expecting His return. Wuest adds that the root verb dechomai "speaks of a welcoming or appropriating reception such as is tendered to a friend who comes to visit one; the word “off,” (apo) speaking here of the withdrawal of one’s attention from other objects, and the word “out,” (ek) used here in a perfective sense which intensifies the already existing meaning of the word. The composite word speaks of an attitude of intense yearning and eager waiting for the coming of the Lord Jesus into the air to take His Bride to heaven with Him, the attention being withdrawn from all else and concentrated upon the Lord Jesus." This begs the question are you a faithful bride, eagerly longing for His return, and living in the power of His Spirit in light of His imminent return? What you are looking for will radically impact what you are looking for beloved.
Spurgeon - Then shall the Bridegroom’s attendants rejoice with unspeakable joy, because the Bridegroom Himself has come. The day of His marriage has arrived. I ask you, if you have been silent, and hung your harps on the willows, take them down at once, and sing and give praise to God for the glory which is yet to be revealed in us. Give praise for the precious things that are laid up for them that love Him, which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, but the certainty of which He has revealed unto us by His Spirit.
Butler - The believer will discover that after the Lord has come, it really was not a long wait. It seems so long but the promise is true and Christ will come back right on time.(Analytical Bible Expositor)
He is quoting from two OT passages, Isaiah 26:20 and Habakkuk 2:3 (see discussion below).
Isaiah 26:20 reads…
Come, my people, enter into your rooms, and close your doors behind you; Hide for a little while, until indignation runs its course. (Isaiah 26:20)
Comment: "The indignation" may have had a past partial fulfillment but the final, future fulfillment is during the great tribulation (the "indignation"), during the height of which many of the believing Israelites will be preserved supernaturally by God in the wilderness (Re 12:13, 14, 15-see notes Rev 12:13ff). In a secondary application, this promise will also be fulfilled for all the saints who are caught up [raptured] in the air to be with Christ forever, this event occurring just prior to the onset of the seven year "tribulation" period (see note Daniel's Seventieth Week; 1Th 4:17-note; 1Th 5:3-note). Raptured believers (Jew and Gentile) will be spared the "indignation" of the Great Tribulation.
For in just a very little while serves to underscore the emphasis in Scripture on prophetic fulfillment. In relation to eternity, it is only very little while before Christ returns. The author of Hebrews uses the quote from Isaiah 26:20 to heighten the imminence of Christ’s return, both for judgment of the adversaries and for bringing the promised reward, which is thus quite near, as the author affirmed (Heb. 10:36).
Phil Newton - As the biblical writers so often do, this ancient pastor reminds these believers of the return of Christ. Fresh motivation to faithful endurance is found in realizing the brevity of this life and the certainty of eternity ahead. (Sermons from the Epistle to the Hebrews)
Steven Cole - The “very little while” is from God’s perspective of time, not from our perspective! The original quote in Isaiah was written to the people of Judah who were being threatened by hostile enemies. God is encouraging them to hold on for a little while, until He delivers them and judges their enemy. The point is, this present life is “a very little while” in comparison with the eternal joys of heaven. That is why Paul could call his many trials “momentary, light affliction” which was producing “an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison” (2Co 4:17). To have enduring faith in trials now, get God’s eternal perspective. (Enduring Faith Hebrews 10:32-39)
THOUGHT - It is worth noting that historically when one sees a decline in the church (especially manifest by a decline of interest in serious Bible study and pursuit of holiness and separation from this evil world system), that the members begin to lose sight of the blessed hope of Christ’s coming (Titus 2:11-note , Titus 2:12-note, Titus 2:13, 14-note). Such spiritual apathy and decrement of hope (of imminent Second Coming) often manifest itself in the church emphasizing PROGRAMS rather than the PERSON of Christ (the One Whose return we should eagerly awaiting!) and such detours from "the Way, the Truth and the Life" (Jn 14:6) lead many to forsake sound doctrine and instead seek to have their ears tickled (see notes on Paul's warning - 2Ti 4:2+, 2Ti 3, 4+). Loss of focus on our Future Blessed Hope (Messiah) leads the church to become increasingly more interested in social causes at the expense of spiritual causes, especially the proclamation of the Gospel. This spiritual "devolution" is highlighted by social causes becoming more appealing which in turn results in less interest on the certainty of Christ's imminent return. Scoffers arise (even in the church and sometimes, especially in the church), as Peter predicted and they question the more "radical" members (those seeking to live in the light of Christ's return) asking…
Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation." (2Pe 3:4-note).
A B Simpson - There are two ways of looking at the Lord’s coming: a looking for it and a looking at it. It is possible to look at it with keen intellect and profound interest, and yet have it mean nothing to us personally. It is also possible to know but little of the theology of the subject, and yet have a deep and holy longing for our Lord to appear. May this theme be not only our study but also our personal hope; for “unto them that look for him shall he appear a second time without sin unto salvation.”
Habakkuk 2:3-note records
"For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal, and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay."
The Septuagint (LXX) of Habakkuk 2:3 reads slightly different from the Hebrew (the NAS text [as with all English Bibles] above is translated from the Hebrew Scripture rather than the Greek Septuagint)…
For the vision is yet for a time, and it shall shoot forth at the end, and not in vain: though he should tarry, wait for him; for he will surely come, and will not tarry.
Note that the phrase reads "It will certainly come" (NAS) rather than "He will surely come" (Septuagint). The Septuagint translation clearly gives this verse a Messianic fulfillment. Keep in mind the historical context of Habakkuk. His oracle was written about 609BC just prior to the Babylonian exile, the first stage of that exile occurring in 605 BC (final stage in 586 BC). Thus when he said "IT" is coming and will not delay, he was referring to the immediate fulfillment of the judgment of God on Israel in the form of Babylonian exile. But many prophecies have an immediate and a distant fulfillment and such is the case with Habakkuk 2:3-note the writer of Hebrews clearly applying it to the return of the Messiah as did the Jewish scholars who authored the Septuagint. The partial fulfillment of Habakkuk 2:3 occurred at the time of Babylonian exile but was just a shadow of the ultimate judgment to be meted out by Messiah when he returns in Re 19:11, 12, 13, 14, 15- (see notes)
It is also worthy of note that Habakkuk 2:3 was referred to Messiah by the later Jewish theologians, and clearly this is the intent of the writer of Hebrews. The disciples of John the Baptist asked Jesus, “Art thou He that should come or look we for another?” (Lk 7:19-20+)
The expression “He that should come” is Jewish and refers to Messiah!
Habakkuk 2:3-note speaks of a revelation which is coming; Hebrews changes it to a Person who is coming. Since Jesus is both a Person and God’s final Word to mankind (Heb 1:1-note "in the last days has spoken in His Son"!), the change is appropriate.
How can we resolve in just a very little while with 2,000 years since this promise was given? Peter helps, of course, with his reminder that
“with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” (2Pe 3:8-note)
By that reckoning it has only been "two days" since Jesus left us with a promise to return (realizing that Peter was not necessarily literally equating a day with 1000 years, but was emphasizing that to God time is relative for He created it).
Further, it is a mistake to project the limitations of time into eternity future for they are two different things. Heaven (eternity future), with all its implications of “absent from the body, present with the Lord” is fully experienced at the death of a believer, and thus the "coming of the Lord" is never any further away than one’s personal death.
Remember our Lord’s ("the First and the Last") words to the persecuted church of Smyrna…
Be (present imperative - calls for this to be our lifestyle - only possible as we rely on the supernatural enablement of the Holy Spirit ) faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life (Re 2:10+)
- Second Coming of Christ
- Imminency, Imminent - As related to Christ's Second Coming
- Another discussion on imminency
- What is the difference between the Rapture and the Second Coming?
- What is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?
- Why is Jesus going to return on a white horse?
- What is the blessed hope?
- Can the return of Christ truly be said to be imminent?
- Is it possible to know when Jesus is coming back?
- Does the Old Testament truly predict a second advent of the Messiah?
The saintly Presbyterian pastor Robert Murray McCheyne was known to on occasion ask people
Do you believe that Jesus is coming today?” If they replied in the negative, he would say, “Then you had better be ready, for He is coming at an hour when you think not!
During World War II occurred early in the war when the Japanese army stormed the Philippines and forced United States General Douglas MacArthur to leave the islands. Upon leaving the Philippines, General MacArthur declared his famous promise, “I shall return.” And he did, walking ashore a victor at Leyte in the Philippines several years later. In an even more famous quote, the Captain of the hosts, the Lord Jesus Christ declared to His fearful band of disciples “I will come again” (John 14:3)
He that rose from the clods we expect from the clouds. - Thomas Adams
A little while—then Christ will come;
The glorious hour draws nigh
When He will come to take His bride
To dwell with Him on high.
Christ’s second coming is as certain as His first.
When it comes to belief in the Lord's return there are two kinds of Christians—gazers and goers.
He is coming! Oh, the rapture
To behold His lovely face,
And to tell Him how I love Him,
Who has saved me by His grace.
Christ is coming—perhaps today!
A Scottish preacher once said, “The doctrine of the Lord’s second coming, as it appears in the New Testament, is like a lofty mountain that dominates the entire landscape.” Commenting on that statement, author A. J. Gordon adds, “No matter what road you take, no matter what pass you tread, you will find the mountain bursting on your vision at every turn of the way, and at every parting of the hills. What first struck me in reading the New Testament was this: Whatever doctrine I was pursuing, whatever precept I was enforcing, I found it fronting toward and terminating in the hope of the Lord’s second coming. All paths of obedience and service lead on to that mountain.” Someone has pointed out that there are more than 300 references to Christ’s return in the New Testament. One fact is clear—Jesus is coming back. Each day we are getting closer to that climactic moment. Today could be the day! - Our Daily Bread
The Lord has said He will return
To judge the world someday;
Are you prepared for Him to come
Or hoping for delay?
Don't complain about what this world is coming to.
Proclaim the One who is coming to this world.
He who loves the coming of the Lord is not he who affirms it is far off, nor is it he who says it is near. It is he who, whether it be far or near, awaits it with sincere faith, stead-fast hope and fervent love. - Augustine
That day lies hid that every day we be on the watch. - Augustine
The certainty of the Second Coming of Christ should touch and tincture every part of our daily behavior. - John Blanchard
In the first advent God veiled his divinity to prove the faithful; in the second advent he will manifest his glory to reward their faith. -Chrysostom
The only remedy for all this mass of misery is the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. Why do we not plead for it every time we hear the clock strike? - Anthony Ashley Cooper
As Christians, we should not be exitists, looking for our going, but adventists, looking for his coming. - William Freel
The subject of the second coming of Christ has never been popular to any but the true believer. - Billy Graham
Christ hath told us he will come, but not when, that we might never put off our clothes, or put out the candle. - William Gurnall
Oh, the joy to see thee reigning,
Thee, my own beloved Lord!
Every tongue thy name confessing,
Worship, honour, glory, blessing,
Brought to thee with glad accord—
Thee, my Master and my Friend,
Vindicated and enthroned,
Unto earth's remotest end
Glorified, adored and owned!
- Frances Ridley Havergal
Christ will come when he pleases, to show his sovereignty, and will not let us know when, to teach us our duty. - Matthew Henry
If this (Second Coming) is not an integral part of the faith once given to the saints, I do not know what is. - C. S. Lewis
Precisely because we cannot predict the moment, we must be ready at all moments. - C. S. Lewis
The primitive church thought a great deal more about the coming of Christ than about death, and thought a great deal more about his coming than about heaven. - Alexander Maclaren
I never preach a sermon without thinking that possibly the Lord may come before I preach another. - D. L. Moody
Christ is coming to the earth, in such form at least as shall fulfil his purposes of mercy to his friends and justice to his foes. - Thomas V. Moore
I never begin my work in the morning without thinking that perhaps he may interrupt my work and begin his own. I am not looking for death, I am looking for him. - G. Campbell Morgan
There is such a danger of our being so occupied with the things that are to come more than with Him Who is to come. - Andrew Murray
Millions of graves are dug every year, but it is inspiring to think that one generation of Christians will cheat the undertaker. - J. C. Pollock
The return of Christ represents not only the ultimate sense of accountability but the ultimate sense of hope as well. - RBC Booklet
Oh, that Christ would make long strides! Oh, that he would fold up the heavens as a cloak, and shovel time and days out of the way! - Samuel Rutherford
There shall be no time for parting words or a change of mind when the Lord appears. -J. C. Ryle
Uncertainty about the date of the Lord's return is calculated to keep believers in an attitude of constant expectation and to preserve them from despondency. - J. C. Ryle
If I knew that our Lord would come this evening, I should preach just as I mean to preach; and if I knew he would come during this sermon, I would go on preaching until he did. - C. H. Spurgeon
Oh, that the Lord would come! He is coming! He is on the road and travelling quickly. The sound of his approach should be as music to our hearts! - C. H. Spurgeon
The fact that Jesus Christ is to come again is not a reason for star-gazing, but for working in the power of the Holy Ghost. - C. H. Spurgeon
Since he may come any day, it is well to be ready every day. - J. Hudson Taylor
He who came in humility and shame will return in spectacular magnificence. - John R. W. Stott
The imminent return of our Lord is the great Bible argument for a pure, unselfish, devoted, unworldly, active life of service. - R. A. Torrey
This is pinned as a badge to the sleeve of every true believer—that he looks for and longs for Christ's coming to judgement. - John Trapp
The Christian hope is not a matter for tickling our minds, but for changing our minds and influencing society. - Stephen Travis
I am daily waiting for the coming of the Son of God. - George Whitefield
The brightness of Christ's advent will reveal the true character of those things which were previously hidden by darkness. - Geoffrey B. Wilson
Use "as is"
1 Peter 1:13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
FUTURE LOOKING (LOOKING TO THE REWARD v36 AND BEST OF ALL TO THE "REWARDER" HIMSELF!!! v37 = JESUS IS THE ULTIMATE AND BEST REWARD WE WILL EVER EXPERIENCE IN ALL ETERNITY!) ENABLES (undergirds, strengthens our faith) PRESENT LIVING. (ENDURING, DOING WILL OF GOD)
Both Present Living and Future Looking depend on faith (e.g., we look at things not seen - 2 Cor 4:18 "we walk by faith not sight" 2 Cor 5:7) .
But the incredible paradox is that future looking also strengthens our faith for present living, present enduring. The idea is similar to Ro 10:17 that "FAITH comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ." So as we "hear" (READ THEM AND/OR HEAR THEM PREACHED, ETC) these great promises of the imminent return of Jesus, they stir up and stabilize our faith so we can then better endure the trials and tribulations that are sure to come our way -- in this way the Spirit enables us to persevere and not shrink back.
Or it could be titled Past Remembering, Present Endurint, Future Looking
Hebrews 10:36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
YOU HAVE NEED FOR ENDURANCE - It sounds like this is not an option for these Hebrew readers-- that is they had a need or requirement for endurance. For these Hebrews needed to have endurance which is opposite of falling away (Heb 10:26-31). One either holds fast or he lets go. Jesus echoes what the writer of Hebrews was saying - Mt 24:13 Jesus said "But the one who endures (hupomeno) to the end, he will be saved. It is called by some the "perseverance of the saints" -- Don't misunderstand what Jesus was saying -- "doctrine of perseverance." An individual's perseverance does not save them. One cannot merit salvation. On the other hand one's perseverance shows or demonstrates that they (and in context these Hebrews) are truly saved. Why? Because only a saved individual could persevere to the end, because only a saved person would have the Spirit given supernatural power to endure to the end and not shrink away.
If, as the writer to the Hebrews says, we need endurance, for we can expect to encounter difficulty. Mark it well: Faith never escapes testing.
Patient endurance—it even sounds awful; it sounds grim and cheerless and foreboding. Few things in life are more unappealing, more agonizing, more maddening, than waiting. How is it possible to stand calmly on the deck of a storm-battered ship and wait patiently for God to still the tempest? It is the element of anticipation that makes such patient endurance possible. And that is what the author of Hebrews is speaking of in chapter 10, verse 37:
But how do we apply this truth about endurance to our lives? These are just some thoughts -- it may be too much material but I thought that everyone needs to understand the meaning of endurance and how this wonderful virtue can be cultivated and fertilized in our spiritual gardens (so to speak). I think folks need to understand as I explain below that endurance is more that just "grin and bear it!"
- What is endurance? Comes from two words which help give a picture of the meaning = hupo = under + meno = abide under -- So the picture is that believers need to be able to abide under which the implication that what they are "abiding under" is difficult circumstances!
- Are you going through any difficult circumstances today?
- Then you are in need of HUPOMONE -- THIS WORD HAS TO DO WITH CIRCUMSTANCES - hanging in there when circumstances are difficult. NOte that this is not just a passive acceptance (like "I'll just grit my teeth and bear it" or "Grin and bear it!") No, it is a strong fortitude in the face of opposition or difficulty. William Barclay said that hupomone "is the spirit which can bear things, not simply with resignation, but with blazing hope" Okay, I begin to get the picture, so....
- Where or how is the need for endurance going to come from? Think about it -- if it were grin and bear it that would be our natural strength, our power. But as most of us have found out that doesn't work very well. So by default, it is not natural, it has to be supernatural. It has to be a work of God. We don't have time for an in depth study but I do not want to leave you hanging -- so here are 3 (or 4) ways of how to experience supernatural endurance. (You probably won't have time for all 4 -- maybe not even a couple, so in the category "for what it's worth")
- REMEMBER PAST VICTORIES in difficult circumstances and how God brought you through -- Heb 10:32 But remember (command to keep on remembering!) the former days, when, after being enlightened (YOU WERE SAVED), you endured a great conflict of sufferings.
PAST Remembering of God's grace which enabled you to endure some great difficulty in your life will strengthen PRESENT endurance in your faith which may be feeling a little shaky! Remembering is the place to begin as when Israel the crossed the Jordan to enter the promised land (as told in Joshua 4) They set up 12 stones of remembrance to help them remember that God opened a path for them to cross over on dry ground. Do you have some "dry ground crossings" in your walk with Christ? Have you written them down? An old Hebrew professor used to say, "Paper is cheaper than brains." And this is a great tool to use with your kids to teach them by these reminders that God is faithful and worthy of their trust.
- READ THE OLD TESTAMENT and PRAY FOR PERSEVERANCE -
Ro 15:4-5 (READ) For whatever was written in earlier times (OT) was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance(hupomone) and the encouragement of the Scriptures (THE OT, BUT OF COURSE IT WOULD APPLY TO READING THE NT) we might have hope (ABSOLUTE ASSURANCE THAT GOD WILL DO GOOD TO US IN THE FUTURE). 5 (PRAY) Now may the God who gives perseverance (hupomone) and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus
- KEEP LOOKING TO JESUS - Jesus endured the greatest trial (the Cross) giving us His example to follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21)
Heb 12:1-2 let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing (MEANS TO LOOK AWAY FROM ALL DISTRACTIONS AND LOOK TO JESUS - THIS VERB REMINDS ME OF HORSES WHO HAVE PATCHES ON EITHER SIDE OF THEIR EYES TO KEEP THEM FROM BEING DISTRACTED AND TO STAY FOCUSED ON THE ROAD AHEAD!) our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, Who for the joy set before Him endured (HUPOMENO) the cross (FUTURE JOY MOTIVATED PRESENT SUFFERING/ENDURANCE -- THE SAME DYNAMIC APPLIES TO OUR LIVES -- THE KEY IS VIEWING THE PRESENT TRIALS WITH A FUTURE PERSPECTIVE - WHICH IS WHAT HEB 10:37 WILL HELP US DO) , despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
- ACCEPT TRIALS - God's Word says they have a holy purpose and are not random events. He is in control.
James 1:2-3 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance (HUPOMONE)
WILL OF GOD - THIS IS WAY TOO MUCH BUT MAY BE ABLE TO EXTRACT A FEW USEFUL, MEMORABLE POINTS
God’s REVEALED WILL is most clearly revealed in the HIS WORD, which provides clear guidelines regarding moral and spiritual matters
Chuck Swindoll says that “The better you get to know the WORD OF GOD, the less confusing is the WILL OF GOD. Those who struggle the least with the will of God are those who know the Word of God best.”
It follows that the best way to know GOD’S REVEALED WILL is by diligently studying HIS REVEALED WORD . But we need to beware of the delusion that just reading His Word is sufficient to discern His will (cf Jas 1:22). When we obey what we read we will be blessed in what we do (Jas 1:25).
In John 7:17 Jesus explains that whoever is willing to do (obey) God’s will, will know whether His teaching is of God or merely His own. The first prerequisite to ascertaining God's leading in some matter is a willingness to follow God's will, even if the answer goes against our preference. Someone has well said that most people don't really want to know the will of God in order to do it. They want to know it in order to consider it.
Alan Redpath warns us “Don’t expect God to reveal His will for you next week until you practice it for today.”
In short, the best way to know God's WILL is to say "I WILL" to God!
RECEIVE WHAT WAS PROMISED --
What is the promise?
This same word is used in Heb 4:1 "Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it." There promised rest speaks of salvation and the assurance of heaven.
Heb 9:15 - says we will receive "the promise of the eternal inheritance." referring to salvation.
The NT verb for RECEIVE (komizo) has another use which helps us understand what the promise is. It is the same verb used by Paul to describe the Judgment Seat of Christ
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed (KOMIZO for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (2 Cor 5:10)
So here komizo speaks of future rewards at the Judgment Seat.
WHAT WAS PROMISED - would include rewards.
This is amazing grace indeed that God's promise includes salvation and eternal life in heaven but also eternal rewards in Heaven.
Heb 10:37 FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE, HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY.
I would probably avoid too much explanation about the differences between Masoretic and Lxx. But knowing how many love Israel and Jewish things, you might consider this little note -- It is also worthy of note that Habakkuk 2:3 was referred to Messiah by the later Jewish theologians, and clearly this is the intent of the writer of Hebrews. This is the very phrase (ho erchomenos) is used by the disciples of John the Baptist who asked Jesus in Lk 7:20 - NAS has "Are you the Expected One" but more literally they were asking "Are you the coming One" -- so here in Hebrews "He who is coming" is a well known Jewish way of describing the Messiah.
Fresh motivation to faithful endurance is found in realizing the brevity of this present life and the certainty AND length of eternity
PREVIOUS MENTION OF SECOND COMING
Heb 9:28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.
Eagerly await is the present tense meaning to continually (as one's habitual practice) to wait in great anticipation with patience ("wait it out"), fully expecting His return.
THE COMING ONE WILL COME IN A "MICRON"
The Greek word for "little" is mikros. We derive our English word micron from the Greek. A micron is a unit of length equal to one millionth of a meter, used in many technological and scientific fields. Now think about applying the word to time - what the writer is saying is that Jesus is coming in "one millionth of a second."
Here is Francis Chan's stunning illustration of Eternity - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWk7RUg3ZV4 (TAKES 4' 19") YOU COULD INTRODUCE IT BY SAYING WE HAVE A GUEST PREACHER WHO HAS JUST COME IN FROM CALIFORNIA!
SECOND COMING - Think of it as a "High Peak" you can always see (with eyes of faith 2 Cor 4:18, 2 Cor 5:8)
A Scottish preacher once said, “The doctrine of the Lord’s second coming, as it appears in the New Testament, is like a lofty mountain that dominates the entire landscape.” Commenting on that statement, author A. J. Gordon adds, “No matter what road you take, no matter what pass you tread, you will find the mountain bursting on your vision at every turn of the way, and at every parting of the hills. What first struck me in reading the New Testament was this: Whatever doctrine I was pursuing, whatever precept I was enforcing, I found it fronting toward and terminating in the hope of the Lord’s second coming. All paths of obedience and service lead on to that mountain.” Someone has pointed out that there are more than 300 references to Christ’s return in the New Testament. (1 in every 30 verses) One fact is clear—Jesus is coming back. Each day we are getting closer to that climactic moment. Today could be the day!
A few other Second Coming quotes in category FYI
- Don't complain about what this world is coming to. Proclaim the One who is coming to this world.
- Christ’s second coming is as certain as His first.
- Uncertainty about the date of the Lord's return is calculated to keep believers in an attitude of constant expectation and to preserve them from despondency. - J. C. Ryle
- The absolute certainty (= "HOPE" - hope sure, not hope so) of the Second Coming of Christ should touch and tincture every part of our daily behavior.
- During World War II occurred early in the war when the Japanese army stormed the Philippines and forced United States General Douglas MacArthur to leave the islands. Upon leaving the Philippines, General MacArthur declared his famous promise, “I shall return.” And he did, walking ashore a victor at Leyte in the Philippines several years later. In an even more famous quote, the Captain of the hosts, the Lord Jesus Christ declared to His fearful band of disciples “I will come again” (John 14:3)
- I never begin my work in the morning without thinking that perhaps he may interrupt my work and begin his own. I am not looking for death, I am looking for him. - G. Campbell Morgan
- If I knew that our Lord would come this evening, I should preach just as I mean to preach; and if I knew he would come during this sermon, I would go on preaching until he did. - C. H. Spurgeon
- Oh, that the Lord would come! He is coming! He is on the road and travelling quickly. The sound of his approach should be as music to our hearts! - C. H. Spurgeon
- The fact that Jesus Christ is to come again is not a reason for star-gazing, but for working in the power of the Holy Ghost. - C. H. Spurgeon
- Since he may come any day, it is well to be ready every day. - J. Hudson Taylor
Steven Cole - The “very little while” is from God’s perspective of time, not from our perspective! The original quote in Isaiah was written to the people of Judah who were being threatened by hostile enemies. God is encouraging them to hold on for a little while, until He delivers them and judges their enemy. The point is, this present life is “a very little while” in comparison with the eternal joys of heaven. That is why Paul could call his many trials “momentary, light affliction” which was producing “an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison” (2Co 4:17). To have enduring faith in trials now, get God’s eternal perspective.
Hebrews 10:38 BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM.
Shrinks back is in essence described in Heb 10:26-31 - that's what a person who "shrinks back" looks like. And the "reward" there is the same as in v39 (shrinks back to destruction = falling "into the hands of the living God" in Heb 10:31)
FAITH - Faith is manifest by not believing in spite of evidence but obeying in spite of consequence.
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
The opposite of apostasy is faith, the faith in this verse being a preview of the subsequent chapter (Hebrews 11). It is faith which pleases God (Heb 11:6) (NOTE IN V38 THE SHRINKING BACK PROVES THIS ONE DOES NOT HAVE SAVING FAITH -- AND THUS WE SEE THIS IS ALMOST AN ILLUSTRATION OF THE TRUTH OF HEBREWS 11:6 FOR ONLY FAITH PLEASES GOD). The individual who draws back from the knowledge of the gospel and faith will prove his apostasy. ON THE OTHER HAND Endurance proves (does not earn) one is genuinely saved. Believers are saved from sin by faith, but must continue to live by faith (THAT'S WHAT HE MEANS BY "MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE" DAILY "BY FAITH" - FAITH SAVE US AND FAITH ENABLES US TO LIVE VICTORIOUSLY DAY BY DAY) and this LIFE OF OF FAITH WILL BE A major theme in Hebrews chapters 11 through 13.
A W Pink on Hebrews 10:38 "Patient endurance is a fruit of faith, yet it is only as that vital and root grace is in daily exercise, that the Christian is enabled to stand firm amid the storms of life. Those whom God declares righteous in Christ are to pass their lives here, not in doubt and fear, but in the maintenance of a calm trust in and a joyful obedience to Him. Only as the heart is engaged with God and feeds upon His Word, will the soul be invigorated and fitted to press onwards when everything outward seems to be against him. It is by our faith being drawn out unto things above (ED: HEBREWS 10:37 - SECOND COMING) that we receive the needed strength which causes us to look away from the discouraging and distracting scene around us. (ED: FUTURE (THAT COMMENT IN BOLD IS EXCELLENT!) As faith lives upon Christ (Jn 6:56, 57), it draws virtue from Him, as the branch derives sap from the root of the vine. Faith makes us resign ourselves and our affairs to Christ’s disposing, cheerfully treading the path of duty and patiently waiting that issue which He will give. Faith is assured that our Head knows far better than we do what is good and best.
ILLUSTRATION DOES NOT ADD THAT MUCH BUT MIGHT BE A GOOD ILLUSTRATION FOLKS COULD USE WHEN SHARING THE GOSPEL AND THE PERSON SAYS WELL WHAT ABOUT FAITH -- THAT'S JUST A LEAP INTO THE DARK. WE KNOW IT IS THE OPPOSITE A LEAP INTO THE LIGHT! - When missionary John Paton was translating the Scripture for the South Sea islanders, he was unable to find a word in their vocabulary for the concept of believing, trusting, or having faith. He had no idea how he would convey that to them. One day while he was in his hut translating, a native came running up the stairs into Paton's study and flopped in a chair, exhausted. He said to Paton, “It’s so good to rest my whole weight in this chair.” John Paton had his word: Faith is resting your whole weight on God. That word went into the translation of their New Testament and helped bring that civilization of natives to Christ. Believing is putting your whole weight on God. If God said it, then it’s true, and we’re to believe it.
Hebrews 10:39 - But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.
DEAR BELIEVERS ---
DON'T FURL THE SAILS!
Why this title? It is based on the key verb shrinks back which was used in classic Greek to describe a ship's sail that was furled (wrapped around and fastened to the mast) and thus slowing down the ship's progress (no sail up, no wind caught!) As one ponders this metaphor, think of yourself (or your will) as like a sail. Keep it fully unfurled, so that the "wind" of the Holy Spirit (pneuma = wind) propels you along on your course whether the seas (cf your circumstances) be choppy or smooth! Compare 2 Peter 1:21+ "men moved (borne along) by the Holy Spirit spoke from God."
But - This marks a stark contrast with those whose light briefly "flicker" but in the end "fizzle out" (like sparklers on July 4th) and make the volitional choice (a catastrophic one) to turn away from (apostasize) and shrink back from Christ.
We - This would have been most encouraging to his readers, for with this pronoun the writer identifies himself with them. Clearly he is on the side of faith not falling away.
Observe the Striking contrast in verse 39 - There are only 2 roads - no middle road - Perdition or Preservation
Preserving (peripoiesis) = acquiring for one's self - The thought is that those who believe in a sense win their souls; they acquire them for their “possession. (Of course ultimately for God's possession)
Same word for preservation used in 1Pe 2:9 - God's own possession - But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
Jesus describing the narrow way of salvation for all who would be saved...
Those who shrink back - The individuals described in Heb 10:26-31
1 John 2:19 They went out from us (FROM THE BODY OF BELIEVERS) but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. (IN SHORT THEY "SHRANK BACK") THEY DID NOT ENDURE OR PERSEVERE TO THE END.
Destruction (apoleia) - This is a frightening word and some have tried to soften the blow by saying it is annihilation or cessation of existence. This is false! APOLEIA speaks of the loss of everything that makes human existence worthwhile. Thus the idea is not loss of being (annihilation), but loss of well-being. This is a horrible word for it defines an utter and hopeless loss of all that gives worth to existence.
This word s to me one of the most tragic words in the entire Bible - Why? Because of the very first question in the Westminster Confession
Q: What is the chief end of man?
A: Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
What a contrast with the fate of those who SHRINK AWAY! They will never attain to the very end for which they were created, being unable to glorify Him and unable to enjoy Him forever, for they won't even be in His glorious presence, for as Paul writes...
2 Thes 1:9 says all those who shrink away "will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,
The Word of God (eg Jn 10:28-29 I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29“My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.) is very clear in its statements to the effect that a person once saved can never be lost. Therefore, this person who draws back to perdition was never saved person.
Judas is an tragic illustration of one who was exposed to the Light of the World and yet chose to shrink back and lose all in this life and also in the life to come! Jesus in His great prayer to His Father the night before His crucifixion declared...
“While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, (apoleia) so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. (Jn 17:12)
BUT - This is as dramatic a contrast as one encounters in the entire Bible! It is the stark contrast of those who shrink back to destruction and those who have faith to the preserving of the soul! In fact this entire last section beginning in Hebrews 10:26 through Hebrews 10:39 could be succinctly summarized as...
PERDITION for the faithless
PRESERVATION for the faithful
OF THOSE WHO HAVE FAITH TO THE PRESERVING OF THE SOUL - I would define faith in Heb 11:1 as it is a good lead in to next sermon.
Having given us this exhortation to endure, to hold fast, to keep the faith, the writer will then proceeds to illustrate the quality of faith that pleases God in the famous Hebrews "hall of faith" in Hebrews 11. In the next chapter the idea is “Let me give you an example of some people who went through difficult things and they endured in the faith.”