Hebrews 10:10-39 is basically a three section passage. verses 19-25 contain reasons and ways to persevere, verses 26-31 are some serious warnings about abandoning the Christian fellowship, and verses 32-39 are kinda like a pep talk to those who are persevering, to help them to keep on keepin’ on. Right now I am going to focus on the first section.
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:19-25, NIV)
As I said, this passage speaks of some practical reasons and methods to persevere. I am going to take it in a little bit of a chopped up order.
Reasons To Persevere:
1. Confidence To Enter “The Most Holy Place”
In all of history, no one but the high priest, and then only once a year and under special requirements, could ever enter God’s presence in the innermost chamber of the temple. But now, by Christ’s sacrifice of His blood and body, we can. Each and every one of us, at will. He was the only perfect sacrifice possible.
2. We Have A Great High Priest
Sometimes it is best to let the Bible speak for itself: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16, NIV)
4. The Day Approaches
“Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” (I Thessalonians 5:1-3, NIV)
No one knows then it is. When that Day comes there will be no more time to work, play, sin, love, nothing. All that will matter is who we believed Jesus to be (faith) and what we did with that belief (works). Will we be among those who persevered with the belief that Jesus really was who He said He was, and then lived it? Or will we have squandered our hearts and lives? Time may be short. And even if not, it is best to make the most of our time here.
Practical Ways To Persevere:
1. Draw Near To God
This one comes with four conditions to be possible. And may also be the most important way to persevere. For by drawing near to God, we can draw strength for everything else.
a. A Sincere Heart (Ps. 51:16-17)
We must always strive to know that we mean it when we say “I believe,” and not be lukewarm or fake (Revelation 3:15-17).
b. Full Assurance Of Faith
The reasons for persevering that are given above are great reasons to be full of faith. But if not, remember what Jesus did for us while on earth, and still does today. And think over in your heart and mind the facts of the matter. Remember: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1, NIV)
c. Hearts Sprinkled From A Guilty Conscience
Christ died that we may keep “no record of wrongs,” even against ourselves. (I Cor. 13:5b, NIV) Guilt only holds us back.
d. Bodies Washed With Pure Water
We must allow ourselves to be purified by the Holy Spirit from sin. Pray, read your Bible, do everything you can to fill yourself with the Spirit and rid yourself of the world, the flesh, and the devil.
2. Hold Unswervingly To The Faith We Profess
Don’t stop, don’t reverse, don’t turn. Keep at it. This is the heart, the very meaning of perseverance. Not. Quitting. No matter how hard it gets, how lonely you feel, or how strong you think you are on your own.
3. Spur One Another On Towards Love And Good Deeds
Sometimes we will find a brother or sister in need of some kind advice, or even some gentle prodding. We all have our moments when we become lazy or indecisive, and it is our job to help each other out in these moments. I know if I was having one of those times (and I kinda am now) I would want my brothers and sisters to say something about it to me. And then there are times that parts of the body stop working, or even start damaging the surrounding tissue with the cancer of sin. These are the times when rebuking, teaching, and correcting come into play. (Matt. 18:15-20 ; II Tim. 3:16-17)
4. Do Not Give Up Meeting Together
The Greek word used for “give up” means to desert and abandon. We should meet together as often as we can. Whether it be in church, homes, coffee shops, the park, or even facebook if necessary. Don’t cut yourself off or you will not have the support you need. Your faith will shrivel like a raisin. We were never called to a life of solitude. Remember: “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” (I Cor. 12:26, NIV…read verses 12-30 tho, good stuff)
5. Encourage One Another
If all members of the body were to push each other on, rooting for one another, we would be able to do so much more than we are now. We each should be cheerleaders for our brothers and sisters, and they ours.
Always keep these reasons in the forefront of your mind. Don’t stop, and don’t give up. I know, first hand, that it can feel pretty dire sometimes and you just want to quit. But don’t, please don’t.