Hebrews 10:26-34 “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. And again, ‘The Lord will judge His people.’ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

     This is a section of scripture that scares me.  If I, as a confessed Christian, ‘willfully sin’ and go against what Jesus commands and teaches then that’s it for me.  The only thing I can expect is certain and fearful judgment.  Is this the ‘straight and narrow road that few take’?  Or is it more the case that many start on it and then slide off it because they ‘willfully’ give in to one or more of the  many temptations the world puts in our way? This is hard!

      This is so hard I have trouble reconciling this scripture with Jesus’ words; “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)  Am  I missing something?

     The Forerunner Commentary says; “The first thing to note in Hebrews 10:26-27 is the word ‘sin.’ Paul is not speaking of sin in general but the specific sin of apostasy from the faith that was once known and professed. The apostasy he has in mind is not so much an act but a state brought on by many individual attitudes and sins, reproducing the original, carnal antagonism a person has toward God before conversion.”  This scripture isn’t talking about a slip or even several slips. This scripture is taking about repeated wayward decisions and actions without any repentance that rebuild the hard hearted wall against Jesus that we had prior to coming to Him.  We have to work at ‘willfully sinning’.

     The Forerunner Commentary continues; “The sinner is deliberately, even eagerly, determined to abandon Christ, to turn away from God and His way, having completely become an enemy once again. He sins with barely a second thought, if with any thought at all. He sins automatically, as there is none of God’s Spirit left to constrain him. His conscience is totally defiled; he has forsaken God.”  Note God hasn’t forsaken this sinner; it’s the other way around!   The ‘narrow road’ is narrow but you can get back on it and continue along it; “People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13)

     Who is in danger of ‘willful sinning’?  “All who have made a profession of faith in Christ but are now neglecting their salvation.” (Forerunner Commentary)  If we count the ‘blood of the covenant’ a common thing then we develop a casual attitude towards sin and  salvation!  And that’s a short step to not caring about anybody’s salvation.including our own.  Hardening your heart, holding grudges and allowing bitterness to take hold in your life are all ways of neglecting your salvation.  Willful sinning doesn’t take outright disobedience just  a ‘habitual neglect’ that comes from taking God for granted.

     There is outright apostasy and then there is a creeping quiet kind of apostasy that culminates in no less a repudiation of God and His Gospel than the more outspoken kind.  Both bring the Gospel into disrepute.  Those who follow false prophets as well as those who live for their own flesh are examples that the Bible speaks of; “Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned. . . ” (2 Peter 2:2) And; “For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.” (Philippians 3:18,19)

     A casual attitude towards salvation seems to arise out of an inner casual attitude towards our own sin and its sidekick self-righteous pride.  Jesus doesn’t think we are too good to be saved but we might.  There is no sin so great that Jesus can’t reach us but for many of us its the smaller sins we stumble over  without even noticing them.     Paul Van Buren, a pastor, observes; “. . . we have grown too casual with the acceptance of our sin. I think we are too comfortable with it and forget the pain that it causes our Father. I think we forget what it is to repent, how devastating sin is to our soul and because of it we make very little effort to avoid it. If we understood how passionate God was in his hatred toward sin, we would not be so casual about it.”

     Jesus described this kind of casual attitude towards Him when He explained the attitude of the sinful woman who was forgiven to His uncaring host; “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” (Luke 7:44-47)

     Lets keep Jesus up close and personal in our lives.  Hang on to Him!

     Come Lord Jesus!