We Haven’t Gone That Far
Read Hebrews Chapter 10
Heb 10:26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
This passage has caused many a believer problems. On the surface it can be misread to say, “anyone who sins deliberately has lost his salvation, and there is no way to get it back.” That interpretation, while not commonly espoused, runs through the hearts and minds of many believers. If that were the correct interpretation, we would have to conclude that no one can be saved and remain saved. Every believer has had a moment when sin was committed deliberately. Every glutton has gone to the refrigerator and ate something fattening when he knew full well he was sinning. Pick a sin. There is no sin that has not at some time been committed with the full knowledge that it was against God’s instructions. We’ve all done it. Permit me to offer an alternative explanation to the passage.
The key phrase in the passage is “keep on sinning.” When we have sinned, even when it was intentional, we have felt the Holy Spirit within us, convicting and convincing us of our wrongdoing. Because of this, we know that we haven’t lost our salvation. If that were possible and true, the Holy Spirit would leave us permanently, leaving us unhindered to do whatever we please for the remainder of our lives. For this reason, we know that “keep on sinning” must have some other connotation. My belief, and I am confident in this, is that the man who has heard the truth and made a permanent and deliberate decision to forever ignore its warning is the one who keeps on sinning. My opinion only, he was never a believer from the beginning. The man with the Holy Spirit inside cannot keep on sinning willfully forever. The Holy Spirit is fully responsible for keeping safe those who belong to Christ. He is capable; He will not fail.
The idea of “keep on sinning” is that a man continues to sin indefinitely and has no intention of turning away from the error of his ways. He knows God and Christ, but has rejected the truth he has heard. Such a man is in effect shaking his fist at God with the attitude of, “God, I know it’s wrong, but I’m going to do what I want to do, and I don’t care what You think!” Personally I don’t know any SSA men who have gone that far in their rebellion against God’s teachings on homosexuality. I know some who erroneously believe that God is okay with it, but none who know it is wrong and at the same time have no intention of giving it up.
(At the time I originally wrote this devotion, it was true that I didn’t know any who have gone that far into rebellion against God. Sadly, today, I fear that I do know some. I pray that I am wrong.)
The man who “keeps on sinning” knows the full truth. He is aware that what he is doing is wrong. He knows that God will hold him accountable for his actions. Despite that, he has no desire to turn his life around and has no intention of ever doing so. He has “a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.” But he doesn’t care. He has decided to continue to sin nonetheless. What a terrifying thought, that someone would refuse to repent knowing full well that his rebellion will lead to an eternity of torment!
Let me assure each one of you, that this passage is not about you. You may falter now and then in the SSA realm, but you are always repentant. Sometimes you even sin intentionally, but you always come back to the truth and repent. There is not a single one of you who have decided to totally ignore the truth and live the rest of your life in intentional rebellion against God. You are indeed children of the King, and the Holy Spirit will never withdraw from your spirit. He won’t let you get away from Him.
Prayer: Lord, for those who have looked at this passage and wondered or feared that they had gone too far in sin, reveal to them the truth. Let them clearly see that they are not the one about whom this passage is written. Once again, we thank You for your grace and mercy. We cannot say it enough!