A Final Warning about Apostasy

“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).


The inspired penman of Hebrews uses several words to warn his readers of the lurking danger of apostasy. Parrareo (“drift away”) in 2:1; ameleo (“neglect”) in 2:3; planao (“go astray”) in 3:10; aphistemi (“departing”) in 3:12; hustereo (“come short”) in 4:1 and 12:15; apeitheia (“disobedience”) in 4:6 and 11.

Here he uses apostrepho (“turn away”). It is clear that this treatise of exhortation was written to Christians. It is equally clear that it repeatedly warns Christians of the clear and present danger of apostasy.

The innate sense of apostrepho is best seen in Acts 3:26. Here it is used in the best way possible: to describe the spiritual u-turn Jesus, God’s raised Servant, wants every wicked person to make. “To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.” When someone apostrepho-s, the action taken is a complete change of their spiritual direction.

Sadly, it is possible to apostrepho and be going the wrong direction spiritually. Paul informed both Timothy and Titus that their Christian brethren could turn away from the truth (2 Timothy 4:4; Titus 1:14). The same horrific possibility is contemplated here in Hebrews 12:25.

The only way to prevent such spiritual catastrophe is to “not refuse Him who speaks.”

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Author: jchowning

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