ETERNITY IS AT STAKE
May I live with eternity in mind today, my King.
Read Hebrews 5:11 – 6:3
Warning Against Falling Away
11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
6 Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death,[a] and of faith in God, 2 instruction about cleansing rites,[b] the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectIf to love God and others is your greatest desire, does the way you choose to spend your time give evidence of that?
There’s a sense in which it is impossible to stand still in the Christian life. Either we move forward, or we slip back. These Hebrews had once tried to grow in their knowledge of God, but they were no longer bothering (5:11). They’d been Christians a while, but they were in no place to teach younger believers.
They hadn’t moved on from the basics, in fact, they’d forgotten them (5:12). And that was borne out by how they were living their lives (13). It may be that they had slipped back into a Jewish legalism, thinking that law-keeping and ceremonial washings were what mattered (6:1,2) rather than repentance from sin and faith in Christ. It makes sense of all the warning passages that pepper the letter.
Instead, they should have been moving forward to maturity (6:1). And so should we. A Christian shouldn’t remain forever in ‘the sin that so easily entangles’ (12:1). We are called to train our hearts to love good and not evil, and to know the difference (5:14). Is there entangling sin in your life? What practical step will you take today to move beyond it (Matthew 5:29,30)? What are the standards for Christian devotion in our churches today? How hungry are we to know God through His Word? How devoted are we to prayer?
If you really believe that this life is just preparation and practice for the life to come, how would your life and actions differ from the way you live now? What needs to change?
‘Change my heart, O God, make it ever true; change my heart, O God; may I be like You.’1
1‘Change My Heart, O God,’ 1982, Mercy/Vineyard Publishing.