Sermon #49                                    Hebrews Notes


          Title:            “We Are Not of Them that Draw Back”

          Text:            Hebrews 10:26-39

          Readings:     Bob Duff and Bobbie Estes

          Subject:       Encouragements to Perseverance

          Date:            Tuesday Evening – April 3, 2001

          Tape #         W-34a



          There are many who begin the race, but never finish, -- many who run well for a season, but in time fall by the wayside, -- many who, like Judas, Demas, and Diotrephes, seem to be stalwart examples of faith and faithfulness, but at last deny the faith, forsake Christ and his people, and make shipwreck of their souls.


These facts, so often illustrated in Holy Scripture and verified by observation cause great concern in the hearts of men and women who, like ourselves, struggle with sin. True believers are often like the true apostles of our Lord. – On that night when he announced that one of them would betray him, those whose hearts were true quaked with fear, saying, “Lord, is it I?


          After reading the warnings given to us in this tenth chapter of Hebrews against such apostasy, when we read verse 39, we have reason to shout with joy and thanksgiving to our God.


{Hebrews 10:39}  But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.


          The title of my message tonight is found in the opening words of verse 39. – “We are not of Them that Draw Back.


          This last section of Hebrews 10 was written specifically to encourage us in perseverance; and the source of encouragement is the assurance that true believers shall persevere unto the end. The righteous shall, indeed, hold on his way. Christ’s sheep shall “never perish.” Nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ.


Proposition: God’s elect shall persevere unto the end because we shall be preserved and kept unto the end by God’s almighty, immutable grace.


Divisions: I want you to hold your Bible open on your lap and follow along as I show you three things plainly set before us in Hebrews 10:26-39.

1.     A Word against Apostasy (vv. 26-31)

2.     A Word about Assurance (vv. 32-34)

3.     A Word of Admonition (vv. 35-39).


I.                   First, in verses 26-31, we are again given a sober warning. Once again, we have here a word against apostasy.


A.   In verses 26 and 27, the apostle describes what apostasy is.


This description must be understood in its context. The Holy Spirit clearly makes apostasy to be connected with the forsaking of Christ, his gospel, his church, and the worship of God in the assembly of his saints.


{Hebrews 10:25}  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.


{Hebrews 10:26-27}  For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, {27} But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.


These verses are perverted by many in their attempts to prove that true believers can be lost, that people who commit sin after being baptized are lost, or those who sin should be excluded from the fellowship of God’s church.


An incorrect interpretation of this passage has caused great distress upon many genuine believers. The fact is, honest hearts, burdened with a sense of inward sin and realize that all of our acts of sin are, to one degree or another, willful acts.


This is what the text means. -- After a person has embraced and professed the gospel of Christ (and particularly the great truths revealed in this chapter -- that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only and all-sufficient High Priest of God’s elect, that his blood our only and our effectual atonement, that his sacrifice the end and fulfilment of all the types and shadows of the law) -- and yet, against all evidences, light and revelation, willfully denies the sufficiency of Christ and the efficacy of his sacrifice, there is no other sacrifice for sin; there is no other Savior! There is no help for him, no hope for him, but only a certain fearful judgment awaiting him eternally. There is no going back to the Mosaic law, rituals and ceremonies. So if anyone willfully turns from Christ, there is no hope!  (Acts 4:12; 1 Cor. 3:11).


{Acts 4:12}  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.


{1 Corinthians 3:11}  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.


          The willful sin spoken of in verse 26, is the abandonment of Christ, his gospel, his worship, and his people.

·        It is to go back to the law. – To go back to works religion.

·        It is to go back to the world.


Look at how this apostasy is described in verses 28-29.


{Hebrews 10:28-29}  He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: {29} Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?


God gave the law to Israel by Moses. Anyone who rejected God’s law or set at naught the rules and sacrifices of the law was put to death (Deut. 17:1-6). While the tabernacle, temple and ordinances of the law stood, they were binding upon the people.


If God poured his wrath upon those who made light of the types, think how severe shall be his judgments upon those who reject and make light of the precious blood of his dear Son! A return to circumcision and ceremony (away from Christ) is to bring contempt upon the person of Christ (Gal. 5:1-4; 4:21).


{Galatians 5:1-4}  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. {2} Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. {3} For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. {4} Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.


{Galatians 4:21}  Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?


          We must not fail to notice what strong words the apostle was inspired to use in describing what this apostasy involves.


·        It is treading under foot the Son of God.

·        It is counting the blood of the covenant wherewith a person has been outwardly sanctified (by the profession and practice of religion), a unholy, common, ordinary, meaningless thing.

·        It is doing despite to the Spirit if grace.


Now, read verses 30-31.


{Hebrews 10:30-31}  For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. {31} It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.


Those who abandon Chris and the gospel of God’s grace and glory in him never knew him. “They went out from us because they were not of us.” Such people, those who choose will-worship, circumcision, works and law in the stead of the revealed Christ, have every reason to expect the wrath and judgment of God to fall on them (Deut. 32:35-39).


It is a fearful thing to incur the wrath of the eternal and living God (John 3:36). Example after example is given in Scripture of God’s wrath falling upon those who turn from him to idols.

·        The Flood

·        The Sons of Ham

·        The Children of Israel in Captivity

·        Ephraim

·        Israel Cut Off


Be not high minded, but fear.


{Romans 11:21-22}  For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. {22} Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.


{John 3:35-36}  The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. {36} He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.


II.                Second, in verses 32-34, the Holy Spirit gives us a word about assurance.


{Hebrews 10:32-34}  But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; {33} Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. {34} For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.


Here Paul calls us to remembrance. To encourage us in perseverance, to encourage us to go on in faith, trusting Christ even in the face of great temptation and opposition, to hold to our confidence in him and not be disturbed and discouraged by false prophets, ceremonialists and legalists (who would rob us of liberty in Christ and take us away from the simplicity that is in him), Paul urges us to remember the early days of faith when we endured mocking, ridicule and affliction.


When you left the world to walk with Christ, the world did not allow you to leave peacefully; but you knew that in heaven you had a family, an inheritance and an everlasting glory, even if you lost everything here. The people you lost for Christ's sake are nothing compared to the family you gain. The comforts, pleasures and fame of the world are nothing but soap bubbles. The glory of heaven is eternal.


III.             Third, Paul concludes this chapter with a comforting, assuring, and challenging word of admonition (vv. 35-39).


A.   Here is an admonition.


{Hebrews 10:35}  Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.


B. Here is a need we all have – Patience!


{Hebrews 10:36}  For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.


C.               Here is the promise by which the Holy Sprit inspires our perseverance.


{Hebrews 10:37}  For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.


          When our Lord Jesus Christ comes, he will put an end to all suffering and death and sorrow.


{John 14:1-3}  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. {2} In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. {3} And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.


{Acts 1:11}  Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.


{1 Corinthians 15:24-26}  Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. {25} For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. {26} The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.


{Revelation 21:4-5}  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. {5} And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.


D. The believer’s life is a life of faith.


{Hebrews 10:38}  Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.


True believers live by faith, not by law, works, merit or ceremony.


1.  They receive spiritual life by faith in Christ.

2.  That life is sustained and kept by the power of God through faith.

3.  That life shall be perfected by faith -- all of grace!


Works make no contribution to our life in Christ; and if any professor of faith draws back to ceremonialism or away from pure faith in Christ, 'My soul hath no delight in him.'


E. We are not of them that draw back to perdition.


{Hebrews 10:39}  But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.


True believers cannot, will not and do not leave Christ, nor will they take up the weak and beggarly elements of the law and their own works in the place of Christ. 'To whom shall we go?  He hath the words of life.'  (John 10:27-30; Rom. 8:38-39).


{John 10:27-30}  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: {28} And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. {29} My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. {30} I and my Father are one.


{Romans 8:38-39}  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, {39} Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.