Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Most Terrifying Verses in The Bible

Hebrews chapter 6 begins with the word “therefore”, just as chapter 4 does. “Therefore” what? The end of chapter 5 seems to show a little irritation with the recipients when the writer says, you ought be on solid food by now, but instead, like a baby, you still need milk. The writer starts chapter 6 indicating that he DOES NOT want to continue on with the basics. He seems to be making it very clear that the basic foundation of Christianity has been laid:

Hebrews 6:1a Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of....

In the rest of verse 1 and verse 2 the writer makes it as clear as it can get what the foundation of Christianity is:

Hebrews 6:1b-2 repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

It is crucial to point out that when anyone is practicing anything that is outside of God's will, they are warned to repent. In the case here, Hebrews is addressing the religious of the day. Their focus was on the religious rituals of Judaism and they were counting on their own "works of righteousness”; which we know amount to nothing. The irritation of the writer seems to be, “I've told you over and over again that your religious ritual is worthless, why do you insist on returning to this silliness when it has no eternal value. NOW REPENT OF THESE DEAD WORKS. Turn from these things and put your faith in God alone for salvation.”

The Word of God is covered with this same message of repentance. Whether someone is practicing sin or sins, whether they are trusting in religion or their own righteousness, whether they have created their own god or determined there is no God; whatever the situation is in our life before we are born-again, God warns us to repent and trust in Jesus.

Chapter 6 continues on to give three of the most terrifying verses in the Bible:

Hebrews 6:4-6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.

Here is these same three verses from the ESV:

Hebrews 6:4-6 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.

Did you see what is impossible? It is impossible to “restore them again to repentance”! Do you realize how terrifying this is? Each one of us has to fall under one of three categories, and only 2 of the 3 offers hope of salvation.

One- You have repented of your sin and/or dead works of righteousness and religion and have put your trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation; in other words, you are born-again

Two- You have not repented and put your trust in Jesus; in which case, there is still hope for you to do so; otherwise you will die condemned

Three- You have heard and received the Gospel, you have “ tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come” and fallen away to a life of unbelief, sin, and/or religion and have now made it impossible to be restored unto repentance.

I am not sure if I know anyone that falls under the third category. It scares me to think of someone in this condition. My personal opinion (which this and $1.06 will get you a cup of coffee at Holiday) is that most that call themselves Christians and have not repented have not really “tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come”. I know there was a time in my life that I thought I was a Christian and was only fooling myself, I was ignorant of the ways of God. I praise Him and thank Him everyday that He didn't leave me in that condition. Instead, in His Grace and Mercy, He broke me, and His goodness led me to repentance and true saving faith in Jesus Christ.

Romans 2:4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

2Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.

2Corinthians 12:21 lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall mourn for many who have sinned before and have not repented of the uncleanness, fornication, and lewdness which they have practiced.

2Timothy 2:25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,

Matthew 3:2 and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"

Matthew 3:8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance,

Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Matthew 9:13 But go and learn what this means: 'I DESIRE MERCY AND NOT SACRIFICE.' For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance."

Matthew 11:20 Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent:

Mark 1:4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

This is a small sampling from the Bible with the word REPENT. It is missing from many churches today, and many consider it a bad word. However, we need a paradigm shift in our thinking. Repent is a glorious word. The freedom and joy that comes with turning away from the lusts of this world and turning to God is beyond words. It is a source of confusion for those that prefer the lusts of this world, but for those that are born-again it is the desire of our heart, to set our mind and heart on Him in everything we say think and do.

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