“Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it…looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God… (Hebrews 4:1, 12:15).
The fear of failure—a fact of human experience—can immobilize or energize you. Highly successful people use it to motivate and challenge themselves. Unsuccessful people allow it to discourage and cripple them. If you are wise, the fact of spiritual failure will strike a healthy, ongoing fear in your heart.
No person is exempt from the possibility of spiritual failure, not even Jesus. One misstep in His life would have obliterated God’s eternally purposed plan of human redemption via His sinless Lamb. Because Jesus did not fail, the good news of spiritual victory in Christ is genuine.
In both of the passage above, the word hystereo is found.
Hebrews 4:1 declares it is possible to so live that you will fail to enter the eternal rest of heaven; your life before God has failed to meet His requirements. Like the five foolish virgins, the one-talent and unprofitable servant, and the goats in Jesus’ parables (in Matthew 25), you are in that class of people who have failed to measure up, and there are no “do overs”. Your failure is permanent and will be punished eternally.
Hebrews 12:14 indicates that those who fail to pursue holiness are already living in a state of spiritual failure. God’s grace is not for the purpose of excusing sin (Romans 6:1-2) but for eliminating it (Titus 2:11-12). If you persist on this course, your life will end in the state of complete spiritual failure.
The word hystereo should not make you hysterical but it should make you sober, wise, and ever fearful of being a spiritual failure.