God is serious about redemption. He is serious about the Gospel. He is serious about bringing His kingdom. He is serious about loving us to the uttermost. He is serious about salvation. He is serious about accomplishing all things for our good and His glory.
He has shown us extravagant grace, goodness, and perseverance. While we were at our very worst, Christ died for us. God is so good that we cannot even begin to understand the shallowest depths of His goodness.
Upon first glance, Hebrews 6:4-12 may seem severe and perhaps even unloving. But the message of this passage, while serious and urgent, is laden with love. Biblical warnings don’t exist to diminish freedom; they exist to shift our hearts and eyes to the One who brings true freedom. This is love.
This passage is not a caution to those who have experienced genuine repentance and true conversion. No one can pluck you from your Father’s hand. This passage is a caution to those who are pretending.
“One of the ways that Hebrews makes us truly happy is with warnings about false security. There is a kind of happiness that will kill you. And the book of Hebrews is relentlessly loving in exposing this dangerous happiness and warning us to flee from its deceptions and pursue the solid happiness that will never let us down. In other words, Hebrews is written to deepen and strengthen the joy of our assurance in God, and one of the strategies of the book is to expose false assurances and fleeting pleasures.” (John Piper)
Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. - Hebrews 4:9-12
Pretending and genuine belief both have eternal consequences. The former leads to death; the latter leads to life. The former may lead to fleeting pleasures, but the latter leads to solid joy that outlives time.
We played a video on Easter called, “That’s My King,” and the question asked over and over again in that video was, “Do you know Him?”
That’s the question of this passage too, and of all of Scripture.
“A little knowledge of God is worth more than a great deal of knowledge about Him.” – J. I. Packer
Father, we desire to know You. You've said that when we seek You, we will find You. So, God, give us hearts that seek You. Thank you for your seriousness and your joy. Thank you for your goodness. Thank you for your relentless pursuit of us. Please make us sincere in our convictions and committed in our hope. And give us Your heart for those around us who don't know You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
See you Sunday!
Further Reading: John 13:1, Romans 5:8, Jeremiah 29:12-14, John 10:28-30, Ephesians 1:15-23