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A Fearful Thing

Exodus from Egypt. God's wrath against Egypt 
is shown afteward by covering up the chariots 
and men of Pharaoh with this same wall of water
He allowed Israel to pass through. Such is God's 
wrath against him, the truth, and willful rebellion.

By Benjamin H. Liles

For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. ~ Hebrews 10:30-31, NKJV

Whoever the writer of Hebrews is, he finshes this passage off with these sober words of warning, However, they are not words against those who have no belief in God. Rather they are words to those who are in danger of losing their salvation. "Wait! What? A believer can lose his or her salvation!? Come again?"

Check it out. Verse 29 says, "Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?" Now, I don't know about anyone else here, but I won't be one who does this kind of willful, apostasy against my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The writer is essentially saying that "Would you take a worse punishment by trampling over the Son of God with your feet? Would you count the covenant of His sanctifying you as nothing? Would you insult the Spirit which gave you grace?"

Doing so is akin to basically--and let me say also I can be wrong--claiming the Holy Spirit is not only unclean but does the work of demons (see Matthew 12:31).

So, why is there any kind of judgment toward a believer? Because this is one who has sinned "Willfully after...[been given] the knowledge of the truth," I can liken this to a fully rebelled child who knows dad is coming home soon, and knowing he is about to arrive, does the uttermost thing his father hates. Will this child go unpunished? No.

Does it mean the father enjoys handing out punishment as if it was candy? Hardly. I remember in my youth when I did wrong I often heard my dad tell me, during discipline, "This hurts me more than it hurts you." But--and here's the bigger picture here--imagine Christ's look of compassion on the cross disappearing. You know the look. He hangs there, compassion on His face. It's soft and looks warm, inviting. By rebelling against the truth of what He's done, and putting it all on the head, instead of a compassionate, loving look, His eyes are burning with indignation. It literally hurts Jesus to burn with anger when He came to bind up broken hearts, heal all sorts of pains and bruises, restore sight to the blind, and loosen dumb ears to hear again.

You see, the Son of God gave up His position in Heaven for you. His heart has been the heart you have born. You know those bruises you bear? They're His. He desires to take them, but you have to be willing to give them up to Him. Now, let's say you have done all of this and you know He's given you His peace; His righteousness. Would you want this taken from you and to take unrighteousness up as you were previously before He gave His life for you? This is what the writer of Hebrews is getting at.

Despising your own salvation to the point where His anger can be put on you is a huge and fearful thing. Granted we all heard the phrase, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding" (Proverbs 9:10, New American Standard). But in this case this is hard-lined judgment of God; His wrath expelled.

We can say all day long God is putting His wrath on mankind even in this hour as well, with all the weather and earth-related phenomena as well. BUT--we're not even close to being in the confines of the Tribulation or even Great Tribulation. But, and I imagine the writer of Hebrews isn't far off from describing God's wrath against unrighteousness as is described in the Great Tribulation passages of Revelation (see Revelation 12-17).

Friends, we have an amazing opprtunity here. If you desire a relationship with God, the Father, through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, you can do so. However, don't shade the truth by accepting the lie He won't return. Don't shake off your salvation by trampling Christ under foot, making Christ's atoning sacrifice on your behalf as common, or even insulting the Spirit of grace and power. Endure. Persevere in doing what is right and noble. Do as Paul commends and "Think about these things; [that which] is excellent or praiseworthy [such as] what is true, respected, right, pure, loved, and well though of" (Philippians 4:8). God doesn't desire to punish anyone. If anything His thoughts are for you, not against you. So, why be against Him. Remain steadfast in Him. Cling to Him as if you had just been saved from a fiery furnace. He is the One who is called Faithful and True. So, give it your best, your very best to remain and live in and with Him. As we have found, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."

And if your in the position now to desire a relationship with Him, He'll give you the words to speak to Him to be yours and only yours. He is as much your Lord and Savior as He is mine. You can easily say something to the effect of this: "Father, you alone are holy and pure. I've thought on this a great deal. I don't believe half of what I thought I did. I see your Son, Jesus Christ, fully divine and fully man having taken the cross on my behalf. The sin He bore; that was mine. I give it up. I put my heart and life in your hands. Have mercy on me a sinner. I rather be a servant than a child, knowing how far I have fallen from you. Thank you for this gift you gave at the cross. I am yours. You are mine. In Jesus' name. Amen." Beloved, you are more than anything to Him. This is His desire for you. It is what He wants for you. To desire life with Him so much that you give up your own. It means this--you are now His. Fully and exceptionally. Walk in Him and learn from Him.