Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at The Finality of The Cross P36 (10-27-21)
After Hearing Truth Concerning Christ, Receive What He Came to Give, Eternal Life; There Is a Strong Warning for Those Who Refuse This Gift of Life, Stubbornly Holding onto Philosophies and Traditions of Men
Have you heard the gospel, the message of good news concerning Christ Jesus, Be Born Free? Have you heard the truth now that Jesus took away the sins of the entire world, and that there is now no more sacrifice for sins? Have you heard the truth that Jesus was buried to prove His death to usher in a New Covenant of grace? Have you heard the truth that Jesus rose again from the dead so you too can be raised to new life in Him, to walk under that New Covenant of grace? Did you ever recognize yourself as a sinner who needed forgiveness of sin, that only God can provide for you? Did you recognize your condition of utter wretchedness before a holy God, that not only are you a sinner but you are dead to God, without the life of God in you? What then is left for you to consider?
It is simply to believe in what you just heard, to repent (change your mind) and place faith in Jesus. Receive what Jesus came to offer you, eternal life, a free gift of God. This repentance does not mean you repent of all your sins, which is an impossibility. If you smoke, do you no longer smoke? What if you start again? What if you start worrying again, and anything that does not come from faith is sin? If you do smoke again or worry again, then how can you say you repented of all your sins? None of us can do that. This is repentance unto salvation. We repent, or change our mind, of what we are doing or holding onto for obtaining forgiveness of sins.
We also change our mind about what we can do to make ourselves holy before God. When you receive the life of Christ, it is in Him you have forgiveness of sins, that He provided 2000 years ago on a cross, and in Him is where you have been made holy by the very life of Christ, who is now placed in you by the Holy Spirit He has given you, to live in you and through you. When you are born again into a new spiritual creation, He sanctified you, or set you apart, to live in a new way of the Spirit, which is His life to be lived in you and through you. This is eternal life, to know God and His Son Jesus Christ. It is a new life that continues on for eternity from the moment you believed and put you faith alone in what Jesus accomplished for you by His death, burial and resurrection for you.
Change your mind by letting go of your man-made ideas and traditions that deny that the work of taking away your sins from the eyes of God is finished. It has already been done. Salvation, the receiving of life, God’s life, God’s holiness, His acceptance of you before a holy God is not something you can work for or earn, or make sacrifices for. Set aside those sacrifices such as the blood of a bull and a goat or some continual sacrifice of a mass, a self flatulating of your flesh, or at some altar begging God to do something He has already done. If you are not setting that aside, those man-made philosophies and traditions, then have you really repented, or changed your mind in the first place? If you have not changed your mind, or are ignorant of what God has done, you are, in essence, crucifying the Lord all over again, exposing Him to public shame and insulting the Spirit of grace. If you have heard the truth, but are stubborn and obstinately refusing to believe the truth, then what does scripture say is and will be true of you? You are lost and are on the broad road that leads to destruction, as Jesus talked about, a place of eternal hell, a raging fire that never ends.
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[Deuteronomy 32:35] and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”[Deuteronomy 32:36; Psalm 135:14] 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
These two passages of scriptures are essentially making the same appeal to those who are lost among them in their congregation. They were hearing the author of Hebrews proclaiming the truth of the gospel, that Jesus is greater than the angels, greater than Moses and greater than Abraham. He told them Jesus is the one they have seen, heard, and touched and is the word of life. There were those who continually went back to the day of atonement, sacrificing a bull and a goat, denying what Jesus said at the cross, “It is finished”. They were among them but not a part of them. They are followers of Christ but not possessors of Christ. They are like those today who are involved in Christianity, attending life groups, but who refuse to accept the truth, even after hearing the truth week after week, presuming the complete gospel is being told. They have heard the truth, have tasted and seen the goodness of the Lord, but have not swallowed the truth so as to be made alive in Christ Jesus.
They are like the Judas Iscariot’s of the world, who followed Jesus, who was among the disciples who went two by two, out witnessing for Jesus, but who never went to the cross to what Jesus came to do, and never went beyond the cross to the empty tomb. They only went so far in what they chose to believe. It is like many today raised in some religious denomination. They may have believed Jesus is God, even the Son of God. They believed in the Trinity. They even heard that Jesus died, was buried and rose again. Christmas and Easter holiday observances in a religious service can speak of that. It would be like an intellectual assent to facts but not believing those facts as something to be accomplished for them personally. They are still trying to accomplish in their flesh, being dead spiritually, instead of realizing they cannot do it but Jesus can and did. They are holding onto their man-made traditions, stubbornly holding on to a lie, that they can make themselves righteous by observing the law of Moses or doing their religious duties or the best they can. But, as Jesus said, they failed to come to Him for life. They failed to believe that Jesus is the promised Messiah. They failed to believe what the apostles had said, the truth of the gospel that has been proclaimed and now written down in the pages of scripture we read today. Only those Israelites who went on to receive the Holy Spirit as a gift, as on that day of Pentecost, came to put their faith solidly in what Jesus Christ alone accomplished for them. And those Gentiles, including us today, who also heard and believed received the promised Holy Spirit and are made alive in Christ.
So the warning is to repent and believe the truth you have heard concerning Christ Jesus. Otherwise, you are going to your ultimate destiny of eternal hell. It is not that God is sending you there. You choose to go there by refusing to come alive in Christ Jesus. The truth is we were all already condemned since birth. We were already on that broad road to destruction, being born dead in the fallen nature of Adam. God sent Jesus to rescue us from that ultimate destiny of destruction. Jesus did not come to condemn but to save. Salvation, life in Christ Jesus, is available to all, but is only received by those who put their faith in what Christ Jesus alone accomplished for you. Place faith in Jesus today.