“Hebrews” is a serious letter that lays a groundwork for a sustaining hope. It is called a “blessed hope” because it holds us up during trying times, and even, persecution. Have you already started reading?
Hebrews was written before Jerusalem was leveled by the Romans. The early church fathers believed it was written by Paul to Jewish Christians who already were being persecuted for their faith in Jesus as the Messiah. The letter was an eloquent appeal to believers to hold on to what they already understood about the gospel, and to work hard to grasp even more of its usefulness. The author explained the relationship between the Old and the New Testaments. They were to take serious heed to what they had heard and not let it slip away,
Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip (2:1).
Without paying attention, it is easy for unbelief to spring up, and the result is a turning away from God, especially when bad things start to happen (3:12). Since we can be easily deceived by a desire for ease and comfort when our circumstances go south, we are to encourage one another every day to hold tight to the gospel (3:12-14). And events were soon to dramatically change these their lives forever. They would certainly need an anchor to keep from crashing on the rocks of life. What about you? Do you have an anchor for your soul if your expectations of the future fall flat?
Seriousness about religion is frowned upon today. We’ve all heard comments like these: “Why get all riled up about religion? It is like politics: it just divides families and friendships.” “Keep it off Facebook and Instagram.” “Lighten up!” “Don’t get so bogged down by so many little details that don’t matter.” The call to take heed in Hebrews is to be sure you understand and believe what the Bible as a whole teaches so you have an anchor when the storms hit. A little seriousness now could pay big dividends later!
Have you ever listened carefully to a sermon, and yet, just couldn’t figure out what the application was? This author states his application right up front and repeats it over and over again. “Listen up! Work to understand. Believe it. Make sure you have faith.”
And ‘exhort one another daily…lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin'(3:13).
I hope this study will be an encouragement to us to work hard to understand and rest in the glorious promises inherent in the good news that the Lord Jesus Christ has risen from the dead and has gone to prepare a place for us to be with God forever. He will come again. If it wasn’t so, he would have told us. Our salvation is assured; we will one day see God. Jesus said,
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live (John 5:25 KJV).
Hebrews is written so we can be sure of that. Now that certainty is worth a little serious reading.