Radiant Church’s Lead Pastor Keith Welton continues our series on the Book of Hebrews with a sermon entitled, “Let’s Go!” on Hebrews 10:19-39. Below, you can listen to his sermon, watch our whole service, and use the outline below for a reference.
Missed last week’s sermon from Pastor Welton entitled, “Access to God”? You can listen to it and watch the whole service here.
19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. 26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. 32 But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. 35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 37 For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; 38 but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” 39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls. (Hebrews 10:19-39 ESV)
When I’m playing tennis, if a guy on my team makes a good shot, I see him hit his chest and say to his partner, “let’s gooooo!” You see this a lot. Good news hits and people chime in saying “let’s go!” Quarterback on the football field says, “Let’s go!” A singer goes on stage for the solo, “Lets go!”
“Let’s go” is an exhortation. People are being exhorted and encouraged to do something. Notice: it is not a command. It is not one person commanding another. What’s the difference in “let’s go” and “you go”? A command is to others. An exhortation includes yourself. There’s a contraction in there, so it really says, “Let us go.”
You need to hear this at times. It gets hard playing a game, and sometimes you need someone to call you to pay attention. Let’s push harder. Let’s focus.
The book of Hebrews has these exhortations a number of times. At least thirteen times it says, “Let’s go.” Three are in this chapter today. It is a call to pay attention, to get going. It is said we people are trying to stir up the others. I feel like we need to hear this today. I feel like the church needs to say this.
1. Let us Draw Near To God
In light of all that Jesus has done for us. Let us draw near to him.
“let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:22
Barriers have been broken down. We can come close to God. He has made a way. We have read in past weeks about the holy place, most holy place, the divisions in the camp separating the holy from the common, the most holy from the holy. Ceremonial washings and offerings. Jesus has made a way for sinners to come to God. That is a primary theme of this book.
So stop being theological, and let’s get practical. Are you drawing near to God? Are you seeking him? No? If Jesus did what Scripture says he did, then why are you not drawing near to him, praying to him, reading his word. There is no good reason not to pursue Jesus. Don’t say you are too bad, too slow, too… Those are excuses. Draw near to him.
Draw near in truth. It’s not to be something you are not. Sunday best. This referred to clothes and life too. Don’t wear what you normally wear and what you like. Be someone different.
Full assurance of faith. be completely certain of the truth of something – ‘to be absolutely sure, to be certain, complete certainty.’
The more you draw near, the more you know of God, the more you want to draw near. It is a constant every day battle. You need to be reminded to make time with him a priority.
Let us draw near to God. If you’re at a crossroads in marriage- draw near to God. Crossroads in career- draw near. If you have friends in that place, say, “Let’s go to God.”
Theology is always practical.
Mom says, “You go down and watch all the movies you want. Eat all the food you want out of the pantry. You have free access.” You go eat. You go watch. You’re crazy if you don’t. Jesus has given us free and complete access to God. Will you go?
Lead others spiritually. Let’s go to God. Lead yourself. When things are bad what do you do? Lead people to draw near to God. When things are good what do you do? Lead people to give thanks. Draw near to God.
2. Let us Hold Fast the Confession
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23 ESV
A confession is a statement of what we believe. “Jesus is Lord.” He probably has in mind what was said at baptism. Baptism is an expression of trust in Jesus. He is your Lord, and you are leaving everything behind. Hold fast to that confession.
We’re a Bible-believing church. We hold fast the word of God. We don’t need to teach the morality of today’s culture. We’re not going there. We are going to hold fast the word of God. I hope you will too.
Unwavering. bending to neither side; hence steady, unwavering. Firm and unmoved.
This is great. But life is hard. It gets scary. Remain steadfast. Hope of the Gospel does not come to Jesus, and all your problems go away. It is that Jesus is with us in the midst of our problems. He will redeem all of them one day. Look what this church had been through.
32 But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. (Hebrews 10:32-34)
They were publicly exposed to reproach and affliction. It may have been formal persecution by the empire for not worshiping the Roman gods. It may have been informal persecution by individuals. We do not know. But they were being mistreated because of their faith, because of their lifestyle, because of their beliefs. It happened after they were enlightened. Sometimes following Jesus makes things harder. He is reminding them that they have better and more enduring possessions. Don’t lose hold of what you have. Don’t forget.
Hold fast to the confession. Hold fast to the word of God. Following Jesus and suffering are not incompatible. In fact, if you don’t have suffering it is impossible for you to look like Jesus. If you want to look like Jesus, then suffer.
Hold fast the confession. Be shaped by his word. Be shaped by what Christ has done for you.
I read this article that basically talked about why Gen X “gets it.” In my opinion, it described the moral dissolution of Gen X., saying television is the primary shaper of our values. We get this because we saw _____ on TV. It wasn’t the philosophers. It was not what mom and dad said. It was not the Bible. It was what they saw. Don’t fumble the word of God. Don’t drop it. Guard what is shaping your kids. Television is the biggest tool the enemy uses to make his disciples.
3. Let us Stir One Another
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Heb 10:24-25 ESV)
It’s just me and Jesus. Drawing near to him. Why are we going to let others come in and mess things up? Because Christians have a calling to care for others, particularly those of the body of Christ. Particularly those in the church.
Tell us to draw near. Tell us to hold fast the confession. Now we hear an exhortation about community, stirring up one another.
-Let us consider. attentive scrutiny; a careful attention to a person or thing, think about carefully, understand. First step to stirring people up is to be around them. Second step is to consider them.
We talk about making a difference in the world. If we pay no attention to people, then we have failed to make a positive difference. Some people don’t even pay attention to their spouse or children, much less people in the store.
Most people come to a church building like they are in the cereal aisle of the grocery store. I need granola, but not one with too much sugar, but also not one without some sugar. I want blueberries and not raisins. And if they don’t have exactly what you want, you go somewhere else. What if you stopped looking at what you need and looked to the needs of the people around you? That is crazy right? You have so much to do. You have to get home at a certain time. We are trained consumers. Church is an opportunity to rewire ourselves. It’s about God. It’s about others.
–Let’s focus on what we are supposed to do: stir up.
Irritation, sharp disagreement Ac 15:39. 1) in a positive sense incitement, encouragement, stimulation ( HE 10.24); (2) in a negative sense sharp argument, provocation, sharp disagreement
with the implication of stimulating a change in motivation or attitude – ‘to cause, encouragement. It is a strong word. Love is provoked in the sense of being stimulated.
Provoke toward love and good deeds.
Kids provoking one another. Horse. Jockeys will strike it.
We fail to do this if we fail to be around people. It’s like failing to show up to school. You don’t learn and you are not helping others learn. Fail before even starting. If you want to grow strong spiritually, get around others focused on pushing you to know Jesus more.
“They will never be steadfast and hold on to their hope if they keep one another at a distance.” NT Wright.
Not neglecting the “Episunagoge.” Synagogue. It is people oriented and focused on them coming together as the people of God. Something powerful being with others who believe and advocated Jesus.
as is the habit of some (Heb 10:25 ESV) The importance of gatherings of believers– church. Don’t neglect it. Make it a priority. Some have developed a habit, ethos, of not going to meetings. It’s not that they missed an event because the kids were sick, took a vacation. Those happen. But they had an ethos that did not value and prize the gathering. It begs the question how do you view church? God views it as important and not something that is to be neglected. Don’t neglect it. What is the culture and attitude toward it?
Things we neglect: Garden. Working out. Things you don’t neglect: Work? School? They’re essential to life. If we are going to serve God we need to make sure we don’t neglect church. It is a gathering.
Don’t neglect the gathering. stop. to abandon, desert, i.e. to leave in straits, leave helpless, Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34. What is amazing is that is the same word used of Jesus being abandoned and deserted at the crucifixion. If you want to serve Jesus you serve the church. If you abandon the church you are abandoning Jesus. It’s an amazing connection! When you neglect the gathering you leave people to fend for themselves.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mat 27:46 ESV)
Church is essential to the faith. In COVID it became clear our culture does not believe church is essential. Liquor stores are essential. Cigar stores were open. Recoil at that. Does your lifestyle say church is essential or inessential? Foundational or peripheral? Necessary or ancillary/accessory?
Community is not the Savior. You will be disappointed with community and the people around you. But you will also see God work in you through that community and even in your disappointments.
No one was more let down and hurt by the church than Jesus, and no one was more committed and enthusiastic about the church than Jesus. He gave his life for the church. Why have you turned from it?
We are an ordinary church. Ordinary people. Lots of love here. It’s neat talking to people because we’re so different with such different gifts and interests.
“but encouraging one another, and all the more.” (Hebrews 10:25) We want to encourage others to remain faithful. We want to encourage others to do what they need to do, to be here, to be in the word, to hear the reasons to trust Jesus when the world is screaming not to.
There is a great warning. This admonition to encourage one another then gives way to one of the strongest of warnings in Scripture.
26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. (Hebrews 10:26-27)
How are they continuing to sin? Is it because they are not drawing near, are not holding fast, are not meeting together, and neglecting their spiritual responsibilities? Yes!
This is one of the most fearsome warnings in the New Testament (apart from some of those on the lips of Jesus). (NT Wright)
The ethos of the Christian faith and church may be as low as it ever has. Are people passionate about it?? Willing to sacrifice?
We are creating a time and space for people to come and learn about Jesus. To hear it, but if it is only words on a page something is missing. Yes, it is powerful. But the church is to be a living example of serving God.
Are we doing things that are going to ensure that our children will be able to find a church one day? People have abandoned it. Few churches are as healthy now as they were pre-COVID.
Kids, get out on your own. Find a church. Make that a priority. When you go every Sunday, find a way to serve, join a small group. It will bless your life. If you start to have doubts or concerns then talk with someone about that. Don’t let things fester.
V36 need of Endurance. 1) as a basic attitude or frame of mind patience, steadfastness (2) as steadfast adherence to a course of action in spite of difficulties and testings perseverance, endurance, fortitude (RO 5.3, 4; probably HE 10.36; perhaps 2TH 3.5); (3) with a component of hope and confidence expectation, patient waiting.capacity to continue to bear up under difficult circumstances – ‘endurance, being able to endure. There are hardships. There is opposition. Our own sinful flesh.
Let’s talk about how we cook frogs for dinner. Everybody knows that if you boil the water and throw the frog in he will see how hot it is and jump out as fast as he can. He will live to croak another day. So instead of getting it real hot and throwing him in, you put him in the cold water and slowly turn up the heat. The frog doesn’t pay attention to the rising temperature and he gets cooked and eaten for dinner.
There is a rising tide of spiritual indifference and intolerance. The culture has become intolerant. The church is too indifferent. Temperature has been increasing and we don’t realize how hot it is. We need to wake up.
We need to call people back to the Lord. We need to stop making excuses. More and more people today don’t know Scripture and don’t know what God’s word says. I want to help them know that. Some people have been hurt and need to heal. Don’t send someone back into the game too quickly. But we also need to see that many people in our culture are in the dangerous waters.