But we are not those who draw back and are destroyed, but those who have faith and obtain life.
At the risk of sounding whiny and puny, this entire passage of Holy Scripture at the end of Hebrews 10 reminds us of the difficulty of our walk of faith. It reminds us of the challenges that come along with a commitment to the truth of Christ and His work in this world and in our lives. Presenting the Christian faith as a sort of ‘cakewalk to Heaven’ is wrongheaded and misleading regardless of our motives. I dare say that those among us who are following Christ with such a perspective are walking with blinders that can hinder not only their own faithfulness but also the faithfulness of others.
For believers who are serious in their walk there are certain difficult ramifications. There will continue to be the temptation to rebel and sin. This rebellion always carries the possibility of one actually turning their back on Truth and finding themselves alone and lost yet again. Based on a comprehensive view of Holy Scripture, I personally do not believe that the rebellious believer finds himself here quickly nor do I believe that it easy to abandon one’s faith and hope. However, to be fair to Scripture as given by the Hebrew writer and also to the Biblical doctrine of free will, there is the option for the believer to so turn his or her back in rebellion, abandoning the Hope, as to find themselves once again at odds with God. It is uncomfortable and very unpopular but God’s Word is painfully honest. This straightforward honesty actually protects the one who seeks to faithfully follow Holy Scripture.
Secondly, there will always be suffering of some sort or another for those who follow Lord Jesus seriously. In some seasons and places it is true physical suffering as administered by enemies of the cross. This is still common today in many places. It distresses me greatly to even think about those who are suffering physically for the cause of Christ. In other places it is more insidious and emotional; yet, very real. It comes from outside the church by those who deny God Himself and/or the truths of His Holy Scripture. It also comes from inside the church from those who are either legalizing or liberalizing God’s Truth to such an a extent that it generates condemnation among brothers and sisters. Or those who have simply abandoned the eternal truths of Father God and are implementing truth relatively, as they see fit, in order to avoid conflict and suffering as applied by postmodern society. Truth can begin to sound so old fashioned to us.
Yet, the Hebrew writer is clear – hold tightly to both hope and faith. I would put it like this: grip Hope and Faith in such a manner that nothing on this earth can separate you. The truth is that Lord Jesus has promised that nothing can separate us. Those who come to Him will never be cast out. In His hand we cannot be snatched away by anyone or anything. It is a security that breeds confident hope and faith in the believer. We cannot save ourselves no matter how hard we try. We must not be those who ‘draw back and are destroyed’. We must be those who ‘have faith and obtain life’. We are abandoning ourselves in submission to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Christ in you – the Hope of Glory. Our Hope is secure. Our Faith has a solid foundation. We are saved by His faithfulness. Let us endure by His power through His strength.