One Last Warning

The book of Hebrews is self-described as a “word of exhortation” (Hebrews 13:22). It can accurately be given this moniker because it has in fact five places of stern warning and earnest exhortation.

The first warning is of the grave peril of neglect and the fervent exhortation to give the more earnest heed to the things the first century Jewish Christians had heard, lest they drift away (Hebrews 2:1-4).

The second warning zeroes in on the dire danger of unbelief. Its ardent exhortation is to be diligent in eschewing unbelief/disobedience so that they do not come short of the Sabbath (eternal) rest God has promised (Hebrews 3:7-4:13).

The third warning focuses on falling away by becoming spiritually sluggish. Its passionate exhortation is to renewed diligence spawned by the sure and steadfast hope Jesus gives every one of His disciples (Hebrews 5:11-6:20).

The fourth warning somberly contemplates the horrific, terrifying punishment awaiting everyone who lives in willful sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth. Its urgent exhortation is to not cast away confidence in Christ which has great reward. Rather than retreating from faith into eternal perdition, those who believe need to endure to the saving of their souls (Hebrews 10:26-39).

The writer’s final and climactic warning is of the fatal decision of refusing to hear the Christ who has been speaking throughout this entire treatise. The severity of such a fatal decision is unfathomable, far worse than refusing to listen to God when He spoke to Moses and the children of Israel at Mount Sinai (Hebrews 12:18-29). Therefore, “See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven” (Hebrews 12:25).

We have been warned!

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Author: jchowning

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