II HEBREWS 12
Chapters 4 – 6
WITHOUT JESUS CHRIST THERE IS NO HOPE
At the close of chapter 4, our writer makes a great statement, just prior to his discussion of Jesus as our eternal High Priest. It should cause us to rethink our commitment to prayer, and realize the incredible importance of his discussion of our High Priest. He says, “Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need”.
Before spending time discussing this, I want to skip forward to verses 4 through 6 of chapter 6. Here the writer gives the most dire and frightening threat in the entire New Testament. He says, “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened…have shared
in the Holy Spirit…if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance”. This dire threat has been misunderstood by many who have often interpreted it in ways contrary to the overall purpose of God for the creature that He loves.
First, it clearly states that it is possible for one to fall from grace and be eternally lost. Paul recognizes this when he says, “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” His answer is, “God forbid”. So Paul recognizes that Christians are not permitted to continue to sin, for God does not allow that.
However, in another place, he makes it very clear that “We all sin and fall short of the glory of God”. So this threat, which the Hebrew writer records, does not mean that any person who becomes a Christian, and then commits sin, is without hope, as some believe. It means we must never deny our High Priest, and must fervently believe that He can and wants to forgive our sins. “God is not willing any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”. So, taking all the teaching on this subject, what does it mean to us, as we strive to be a Christian today?
At the beginning of this essay, we quoted the writer as saying, “Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence”. We have a great High Priest, who sacrificed Himself on the Cross to make it possible for Him to forgive our sins. Such forgiveness is available to all His children on the condition that they continue to have faith in Him, and that they live penitent lives, coming to Him for “grace to help us in our time of need”.
Never a day goes by but, in the eve, I look back and realize that I have failed to do as He would do in every situation. We all sin. But that only means that I must go to my eternal High Priest for access to the grace of my Father, and the forgiveness of my sins. Prayer is the recognition that Jesus Christ exists and that His death and resurrection were real, proving Him to be the Son of God. With that in my mind and heart, I am accepting His invitation to come into the
throne room of Heaven, and talk to Him. My prayer does not inform Him. It says that I need Him, for I am a sinner. Only those who deny the Lord in their hearts, and sin with no repentance, are condemned by the dire threat the author records in chapter 6. If one denies His Lord, there is no place to go for forgiveness. No man can forgive your sins. Only God can, and Jesus Christ is my only access to His grace, and is my only hope.