God means what he says
Open Your Bible
BY Diana Stone
Text: Hebrews 10:19-29
Sometimes in my life, I forget how serious God is – how true the words in the Bible are. In this day and age of instant gratification and feel good messages, it’s easy to start to think of God as a warm and fuzzy persona. The unconditional love He has for us is talked on more than the firmness of the proclamations He’s made.
In Hebrews, we are told that God means what He says. In two ways. That once we are His, we are His forever. That we are 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 shown as white as snow.
But the flip side of this is the last part of these verses. 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. How often do we hear this in the same paragraph as a loving God?
“But,” we may think, “not really. I mean, surely when they die God tells them it’s ok, no worries. They might be really nice people. He won’t send anyone to eternal hell.”
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 your 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. No second chance at those pearly gates.
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.