The Journal of Biblical Accuracy
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Hebrews 12:22-25: "we shall not escape if we turn away from Him"

We will now go to the epistle of Hebrews, where many warnings are found. Let’s start from Hebrews 12:22-25. There we read:

"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven"

The epistle to the Hebrews, as every other epistle is addressed to believers. When the word "you" therefore is used, this can only refer to believers. And indeed only to believers could the following phrase apply: "you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem". No unbeliever has come or will ever come into the city of the living God, unless of course he becomes a believer. The author is clearly addressing believers. Then, using the example of the Israelites and how they perished, he warns his audience, telling them: "See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven" From this warning two things become once again apparent:

i) a believer, somebody who has come to the city of the living God, can turn away, can refuse God.

ii) if he does this, then the faith he once had – but he has no more – will not really make him escape, save him.

Also the example given is telling: all Israelites started in one accord for the promised land. But on the way almost everyone, turned away, rejecting God and His plan. Did God allow them to enter the promised Land, for which they had started to go and into which God had originally called them to enter? No, He did not. Those who refused Him on the way died in the wilderness. This is not an analogy that I give, but an analogy that the Word of God gives concerning those who decide to turn away from God. As the Israelites, who turned away did not enter into the promised land, so also we, though we have been called to eternal life, we will not escape, we will not enter into the promised Kingdom, if on the way we turn away from God.

Next section: Hebrews 4:1-3, 9-12: "strive to enter the rest of God"

 

Author: Anastasios Kioulachoglou