From the Preacher’s Pen…
Have you ever tried to tell a small child something when they don’t want to listen? They can squirm and babble and do a million things to keep from paying any attention to what you are saying. It is frustrating and annoying, isn’t it?
Now consider the same lesson from God’s perspective and you will see that the letter to the Hebrews is just as relevant to us as it was to the first ones that read it.
Today’s world is filled with so-called religious people that have literally hundreds of ideas about how God should do things and on what they imagine is right. Every single one of these comes about when we do not listen to God!
The book of Hebrews was written to remind us of how blessed we are to live under God’s ultimate and final revelation. Don’t look elsewhere, God’s answer is here and we need to let Him take control and transform our lives! But to do that, we must first listen to Him.
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. (Hebrews 1:1–2 ESV)
Right from the very beginning of the book God’s message is plain, just as plain as He made it repeatedly throughout time to His people. Whatever else you may have heard, whatever else might have been okay at one time, here is what you must do now!
Just to clarify things, there is never going to be another way! There will NOT be a change of plans in the 1800s given by some man or woman who has new information from God! There will NOT be a famous preacher in the 1900s or the 2000s (or any other time!) authorized to preach a new revelation from God.
What there IS, now and for the rest of time, is Jesus Christ and His plan, His way, His message. The only question is: Who will YOU listen to, God or someone else?
Perhaps the best and most frequently used word to describe the book of Hebrews is better! Notice how the author paints this picture:
Chapter 1 begins with the absolute statement that Jesus is God’s final word. God has saved the best for last! The writer then goes on for most of ten chapters to remind us just how great God’s best really is. Jesus the Christ is superior to the angels and because of that He offers us true holiness and a great salvation.
Our Christ is greater than the great servant of God, Moses, for Jesus is the son and heir. He is a greater High Priest than Aaron and his order. In fact, Jesus is from an older, superior priesthood and He is the eternal High Priest. (Worth noting is how this lesson ties in with Peter’s assertion of our royal priesthood, 1 Peter 2:9.)
In order for us to better appreciate His superior High Priesthood chapters 8–10 detail Christ’s superior covenant, tabernacle and sacrifice. And if we are presented with God’s best we ought to exhibit a superior, fully assured faith.
Again the author reaches back to the old way and the great faith of men and women who lived their lives under that inferior covenant. Chapters 10–12 challenge us to not only remember and examine their faith but to do even better because of our superior blessings and promises. If they could do so well and be so faithful without our advantages, how much more ought we to do in our position?
The lesson is a vital one for us. We desperately need to stop looking elsewhere and invest our lives and eternal souls in what is real, what is the best, what is God’s final word on salvation: Jesus the Christ and His New Covenant.
God is laying it on the line. It’s time that we started listening to and obeying Him. This is, after all, our final chance!
— Lester P. Bagley