Let’s finish off Hebrews 10 by reading Hebrews 10:29-39
v29: How much worse: The punishment for rejecting the law of Moses is death. How much more severe is the punishment for rejecting the gospel.
- Counted the blood…a common thing: I.e. Of no interest or significance. G-d makes it clear that when we reject the gospel we are insulting the Spirit of grace. All sins committed against the Son will be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit is a serious violation – it has eternal consequences. Someone who knows that the gospel is true, and has been convicted by it, but rejects it (that is what it means to willfully sin) will face serious consequences.
v30: Vengeance is Mine, I will repay: This verse is found in Deut 32:35. Vengeance means an intense punishment that is rooted in anger. Repay or recompense means to turn it back upon himself. The writer is reminding the readers that G-d judged His Old Covenant people because they violated the law. That covenant was not sufficient to save eternally, but His New Covenant one is. Accepting or rejecting this New Covenant has eternal consequences.
- The L-rd will judge His people: Found in Deut 32:36
v31: The writer to the Hebrews takes G-d’s judgement seriously. He is outlining everything that he is speaking about, so that we can know the truth of G-d without any doubt. He has set the gospel side by side with the Torah so that we can understand the gospel better.
v32: Here the author of Hebrews begins to outline for us an experience that is common to all believers. He tells us to remember/recall those former days. If we do not remember what happened to previous generations of believers, and those things begin to happen to us, we will not be prepared and will be overwhelmed by what is happening.
- After you were illuminated (enlightened): After coming to the truth.
- Endured a great struggle with sufferings: Receiving Messiah into our lives does not guarantee an absence of problems. Those believers in previous generations suffered greatly, and we are heading toward another time of suffering.
v33: Made a spectacle: In the past believers were made a public spectacle. This is going to happen again in the future.
- You became companions (partakers): Partners. We are going to have something in common with others.Believers who are bold and rightly reveal to people that Messiah Yeshua is the only Savior are going to be punished and afflicted before other people.
v34: You had compassion on me in my chains: They were compassionate to him in prison.
- An enduring possession… in heaven: This is great news for us, but it does not come without difficulty. Messiah was sent into this world, and He suffered. He demonstrated what it was to be a follower of G-d; being rejected, persecuted, and eventually put to death. We should not expect a different reality or experience than this. We need to store up treasures in heaven. Faith causes us to focus on where our rewards/treasures/possessions are. Kingdom centered.
v35: Confidence: This word can also be translated “assurance”. This boldness that we have, in regard to the Kingdom of G-d, we must not throw away. This world is going to be ultimately consumed by the judgement of G-d, so our hope should not be in it.
- Great reward: Messiah is coming and is going to render to everyone according to His deeds. If we have been wise and humble enough to invest in the Kingdom of G-d (being a blessing to others, staying true to what G-d has called us to) He is going to greatly reward us.
v36: It is through suffering that we are going to be transformed. We are called to suffer. Messiah was persecuted. We will be persecuted. Messiah was hated; they are going to hate us. If we belong to Him, and if we are demonstrating His life and ministry, it is necessary for us to suffer. In the end, we are going to receive the promise! We are not to be people who are worried about what we lose in this world. Those things that belong to the Kingdom of G-d are so much more superior. We want to live in a way that is Kingdom minded, and in a way that produces Kingdom rewards. Those Kingdom rewards are used to honor Messiah and to demonstrate, publicly, how much we love Him.
v37: This is a verse found in Habakkuk 2:3
v38: The just (righteous) shall live by faith: Those who, by the grace of G-d, have been declared righteous will live by faith. There is a relationship between faith and truth. We need to be people who apply the truth of G-d to our lives. That is what faith is all about. That is how spiritually mature people live. When we live in truth it glorifies G-d and manifests His glory in this world.
- If anyone draws back: Usually this word for drawing back or turning away means to turn away from G-d – it is in the range of possibility, but is not the response of true believers.
v39: Draw back to perdition (destruction): If we want the Holy Spirit to work powerfully in our lives it is not about turning away from the things of G-d, but it is about persevering.
- (Making complete): Many translations incorrectly translate this word as the ‘saving’ of our souls. In the Greek it is made up of two words. The first word means ‘to do’ or ‘to make’. The second word means ‘all around’. Faith in G-d makes our souls complete. We become whole, and the people that G-d want us to be. We want our souls to be in a condition where the Holy Spirit is able to function well. If we are hindering or grieving the Holy Spirit – i.e. not a prepared vessel – then He cannot bring about, in our lives, all He wants us to. When we live with a right expectation, perceiving what G-d is up to, then we are able to be G-d’s workmanship and He can work to bring about repair – making us instruments/vessels where the Holy Spirit can function mightily in our lives to bring about changes in us, changes in our situations and changes in the ones around us.