God means what he says
Open Your Bible
BY Diana Stone
Text: Hebrews 10:19-29
Sometimes in my life I forget how great and sovereign God is, how real the words in the Bible are. In this age of instant gratification and feel-good messages, it’s easy to think of God as a warm and fuzzy persona. It’s easy to talk only of the unconditional love He has for us and forget the importance of the proclamations He’s made.
In Hebrews, we are assured that God means what He says, in two ways.
The first is this: Once we are His, we are His forever. We are instructed to “…hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (Heb. 10:23 NIV). We can come before him and know that, because of Jesus, we are white as snow.
But the flip side is this: For those who hear the Word and turn away from it, who refuse to accept Jesus’ offer of salvation, “…no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God” (Heb. 10:26-27 NIV). That’s pretty heavy stuff.
These verses make us squirm. Surely not, we console ourselves. Certainly the punishment is not that fierce. Sure, some may not believe, but they are probably nice people, right?
Sisters, nice isn’t the condition for salvation. It’s fully, totally, unconditionally accepting that we are broken and sinful by nature and the only way that we can come before God is through Jesus. Jesus makes this very simple: there are no hoops to jump through, no lists, no good works to get to a certain level of holy. Nothing. There is nothing on earth we can do to ensure eternal salvation short of having Jesus as our Savior.
This verse is uncomfortable. It’s not pretty. But it’s the truth. God means what He says. When you’re His, you’re His forever. Period. And if you hear and reject what He’s offered, there is no other option.
As we start this New Year, let’s look into our hearts and make sure we are fully comprehending our salvation, that we have truly given our lives to our Father and not simply been working on getting to heaven because we are nice people.
Good works should come from our thankfulness for salvation and love for Jesus, not as a way to get around what He did for us. Live and walk in fruit, sisters!