Sunday School Material 9-2-12: Faith Calls for Perseverance

(Hebrews 10:19-31; 9/2/12)
Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God’s people are called to draw near to Him, so they will not experience His punishment. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to draw near to God, so we can avoid His punishment and help others avoid His wrath and condemnation.

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Body:

Read Hebrews 10:19-25

I. Faith’s Boldness. In today's Sunday School material the author urges his (i.e., assuming a male author) readers to draw near to God with sincere hearts. He urges them to consider how to spur one another on to love and good deeds. The urgings are based on the readers’ relationship with God through Christ.

Applications –

- Access. Notice in vss. 19-22 of our Sunday School material that the blood of Jesus Christ gives believers access to the Father. No longer do we need a human high priest to go behind the veil for us once a year. Through Christ, we have continued access to the Father.

Let’s live like we appreciate the access. We should use this access to praise God for His love and kindness towards us and to stay empowered to obey His will.

- Drawing near to God. Notice in vs. 22 the urging to draw near to God. Having access and drawing near are two different situations. To draw near calls for us to become more and more conscious of God’s will and obedient to it.

Let’s draw nearer to God. That is, let’s study and obey God’s word at a higher level. At the core of God’s will is for us to love Him and others as we love ourselves.

- Keeping hope alive. Notice in vs. 23 of our Sunday School material that the readers are urged to keep their hope alive because of the faithfulness of God. If all we had going for us was us, hopelessness would be in order.

We desire to good, but evil is always present. If all we had going for us was the good will of others, hopelessness would be in order. The human heart is so deceitful, especially when it doesn’t even try to yield to the will of God.

But thank God, we have more than ourselves and the good will of others. We have God. And God is faithful. We can count on Him.

Let’s keep our hope alive based on the faithfulness of God. Hopeful people keep striving to obey and keep praising God, because they believe and hope for God’s working things out for the good of His people, even if in the afterlife.

- Discipleship encouragement. Notice in vss. 24-25 of the Sunday School material the urge to in essence encourage the discipleship of others. It is not enough for us, as individuals, to strive to be hopeful believers. We are also called to encourage and indeed spur one another on to love and good deeds.

The church is to be focused on evangelism and edification. As important as regular attendance is, we should make sure that when we attend that we encourage each one to be the best that he/she can be.

Let’s work on encouraging each other in our discipleship. This is the essence of our “Each Reach One” Ministry.

Read Hebrews 10:26-31

II. Faith’s Determination. The author goes on to talk about in our Sunday School material the danger of being outside the safety of Jesus’ payment for sin. The punishment of God is talked about. The text ends with mention of the dreadfulness of falling into the hands of a living God.

Applications –

- Christian sin. Notice in vss. 26-31 that the sin in question is the sin of not accepting Jesus as one’s savior after receiving the truth of Jesus’ paying for the penalty of human kind’s sin. It is essentially the sin of unbelief.

It is not the sin of a Christian who willfully does wrong or fails to do right. The sins of Christians are forgivable (see I Jn. 1:9). But the sin of unbelief leaves the unbeliever condemned (see Jn. 3:18).

But on the other hand, Christians should still be careful about sin, because God punishes Christian sin as well. The punishment is not as sever, but it is more than sever enough (see Heb. 12:6).

Let’s live like we believe that God punishes the sins of Christians and the sin of unbelief. Such living should be known for obedience.

- Urgent evangelism. Notice in vs. 31 of the Sunday School material that the wrath of God is no joke. If we really believe that God has as terrible eternal punishment for those who are not saved then the urgency of evangelism should be obvious.

If we really understand what awaits those who are not saved then we should be busy inviting and bringing loved ones with us to church and trying to explain the plan of salvation to them, so they can be saved. Let’s evangelize like we believe that God’s wrath is serious.

Conclusion: Let’s work on drawing near to God, so we can avoid His punishment and help others avoid His wrath an

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