Hebrews 10:28-31 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

The author refers to the Old Testament law in comparison to the greater example of turning from Christ. He is using a common method of the rabbis called Qal wohmer: what applies in a less important case will certainly apply in a more important case; an inference from the lighter meaning to the heavier meaning. If a person could be stoned to death according to the law given by Moses, how much more will a person who turns from Christ be punished! Turning back to sin reveals that a person is profaning Jesus’ blood and basically saying that what Jesus did on the cross is meaningless. It involves rejecting what the Holy Spirit is doing within the person. Or, as described in other passages, the person is blaspheming the Holy Spirit (Mar 3:29). If a person realized the seriousness of sin the sureness of impending judgment, that person should have a fear. Fear of judgment is not a bad thing but is a strong motivation for salvation. What would keep someone from remaining with Jesus? Basically, it is a lack of faith. The person does not believe the gospel, both the eternal life part and the eternal condemnation part.

How does this faith grow weak? One way is the deceitfulness of the world. The ways of the world are enticing. Temptation is strong sometimes. People become blind to the empty promises of the world. All they see is what is before them. They only seek to satisfy self, their emotions, hormones, lusts of the flesh, and so forth. Another way is being fooled by the Deceiver and his agents who offer false promises, just as the serpent lied to Eve and Adam. A third way is to not understand the gospel very well, or poor discipleship. Jesus’ parable of the four soils in Mark 4 fits in well with these verses and give a useful illustration of how it is important that the soil be prepared well for the words of Jesus.

We must read these verses with open and honest hearts. Our first response must be confession. We must pray as David did in Psalm 139:23-24,

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

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