Hebrews chapter 10, I want to cover the end part of the chapter. Let's start in verse number 16, but the Bible reads, "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works." Now in this passage, he is using Old Testament teaching and things from the Law of Moses in order to illustrate New Testament truths. That's really what the Book of Hebrews is about. It uses a lot of symbolism and a lot of things from the Old Testament and shows how they relate to things in the New Testament.
Now a lot of scriptures in the Book of Hebrews are misunderstood. A lot of that misunderstanding would be cleared up if we would just turn back in the Bible and look at what is being quoted. Now a little bit later in this passage is one of the scriptures that is often misunderstood or misapplied, and it's beginning at verse number 26 where it says, "For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 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? 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. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
There's a lot of confusion about this passage. Some people will try to use this passage to say, "Hey, you can lose your salvation, if you sin willfully." Other people will say, "This isn't even talking to believers; it's talking to the unsaved," or all different ways the people will apply or misapply this passage. I want to go through and show what this passage is actually teaching because it's a very important biblical truth that we need to apply to our lives, that we need to get into our mind this is an important passage, not to just figure out how to explain it from a doctrinal perspective so that we know, "Hey, you can't lose your salvation. Jesus had given them eternal life and they shall never perish-"
And neither [inaudible 02:56] and collect them out of my hand, but also to understand what is God warning us about or what is God admonishing us about here? First of all, let me just make it very clear to you from this passage that this is speaking to believers, there's no question about it, because if we get the context leading into it, he talks about people being saved, the verses that we just read in verse 16. It says, "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." Then he says, "Now where remission of these is," talking about the remission of sins, "there is no more offering for sin." Now you have to get the context. Earlier in this chapter, he talked about the fact that they used to continually bring sin offerings and trespass offerings, but that now Jesus Christ is the lamb slain once for all, one sacrifice for all of our sins, that doesn't need to keep being offered, but was just offered one time, and it's a done deal.
He says, "Now that our sins are completely forgiven and completely remitted, there is no more offering for sin." We don't do animal sacrifices any longer because of this, okay? Look what it says next in verse 19: "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh." He's saying, "Look, in the Old Testament, in the tabernacle in the House of God, there was a most holy place that only the high priest could enter. He could only do it once a year, where he sprinkled the blood on the mercy seat, but when Jesus Christ died, the Bible said that the veil was rent in 2. That veil represents the body of Jesus Christ. The Bible says now we can have boldness to enter into the most holy place. There is no longer that veil of separation there. The Bible is saying, "Look, no more animal sacrifices," no more most holy place that we don't have access to. Then he says this: "Having an high priest over the house of God." Earlier in the Book of Hebrews, he explained that that high priest in the New Testament is Jesus. It's not Aaron, it's not the sons of Aaron, it's not Caiaphas or Annas; it's Jesus Christ himself. He is our high priest.
The Bible says because we have a high priest over the house of God, verse 22: "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)." What is he referring to there when he talks about our hearts being sprinkled? That's because in the Old Testament, he sprinkled the blood on the people when the tabernacle was consecrated. He said we weren't sprinkled physically, but our hearts were sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament, they had the labor outside the tabernacle. If they were going to approach unto the House of God, they would wash up first. They would wash themselves with water. God is saying baptism is symbolic of that because before you headed into the House of God, you wash up. We're baptized into the body of Christ in the New Testament. There's a lot of parallel there. He's going through all these different things in this passage.
He says in verse 24: "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works." He's gotten through saying, "Look, we're saved, we're washed in the blood, we have our sins forgiven, Jesus is our high priest. We have access to the holy place now. We can come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need, and we've had our bodies washed. We've been baptized; that gives us entrance." He lists all that and he says, "Look, now that we're saved, now that we're washed," he says, "not let's consider one another to provoke unto love and good works." We want to motivate each other to do that, which is right, and exhort one another. Look what he says next in verse 25: "Not forsaking." Is that how you start a sentence, not forsaking?
No. This is a continuation of the same thought. He says, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together." That's the work that we need to provoke each other to. That's one of them. He says, "Provoke each other to love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as we see the day approaching." Look at the first word of verse 26: "For". For means because. It's a conjunction. He's saying that we need to not forsake the assemblings of ourselves together because if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins." Notice it says, "For if we," we who've had our sins forgiven and remaineth and have been sprinkled by the blood of Jesus Christ. If we sin willfully by doing, what? One example would be forsaking the assembly, but he says if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries." Now a lot of people misunderstand that.
When it says, "There remaineth no more sacrifice for sins," people will think, "Oh, that means Jesus sacrifice is not applicable." No, it's not what he's saying. When he says there's no more sacrifice for sins, it's basically the same statement that he was making back in verse 18, at the end there, when he said there's no more offering for sin. He's saying that if we sin willfully, after that we've received the knowledge of the truth, we don't have the animal sacrifice where we offer a sin offering and everything's fine. That's what he's saying. I'm going to get to that in the Old Testament. Just remember that, but we're going to turn back to that passage, and I'm going to show you the parallel with this passage.
He says but instead of a sacrifice for sins, there's - verse 27 - "a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God" - and watch this - "and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified" - this is somebody who's been saved - "an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 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." Now we're talking about God judging his people. "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." You normally wouldn't associate that verse, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God", with believers, but guess who that verse applies to? Believers, the saved.
They say, "How can this be? Is this teaching we lose our ... ?" No. It's not teaching you to lose your salvation. It's not saying you're going to go to hell. A lot of people see the words "punishment", "judgment", "fiery indignation". What's fiery indignation? It's anger. Fiery anger is what that is. It's not saying you're going to the fires of hell, it says fiery indignation. When they see these words, they think, "Oh, wow! That sounds so bad. These people can't even be saved," but look at 1 Corinthians 11, because these type of words are often associated with believers. Just because you're saved doesn't mean that God does not chasten and chastise you. The Bible says, "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." A lot of people will say, "He chastened you, but he doesn't punish you." First of all, chastening is punishment, number 1. Number 2, God uses the word "punishment" about his own people in many places about believers. If I told you I'd punish my children, you wouldn't think there is anything strange about that, would you? "How can you punish them if they're your child?" Of course. Punishment, chastening, and chastisement are synonymous.
Now look what the Bible says in 1 Corinthians chapter number 11 about God's people. He says in verse number 30, he's talking about things that they're doing wrong and sin and so forth, but he says in verse 30, "For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep." When he says "sleep" there, he's saying they're dead. Look at the next verse: "For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world." He talks about people being sickly and even sleeping as a judgment or a chastening from the Lord. That's the same type of language that we saw in Hebrews 10, when he said, "The Lord shall judge his people," or "Of how much sorer punishment 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?"
Look, even back in the Old Testament, King Saul, who was saved, who was a believer was killed in battle as a result of disobeying the Lord. Also Josiah, who was not supposed to fight against the king of Egypt, yet he fought against the king of Egypt anyway, and God allowed him to die in battle, even though God had promised him that he would be preserved and saved and protected and would be blessed. When he just went against what God told him to do, all bets were off and he's killed in battle. Now let's understand this passage better by going back to the Old Testament passages and understanding it. See, it's a mistake when you're reading Hebrews 10 and we just had this long litany of verses that are all about things that are symbolic, one after the other. Symbolic, symbolic, symbolic, symbolic. We don't understand that this part is also symbolic, because he talked about the blood and the altar and the holy place and the high priest and the washing with water and the sprinkle. Those are all symbolism from the Old Testament being applied to the New Testament. That's what this part is, too.
Let's go back to the Old Testament, to Numbers 15. If we go back to the scripture, Numbers 15, and put it side-by-side with Hebrews 10, you will see how clear it is that God is talking about punishing his children, chastening his children when they sin willfully. I'm going to explain what that means. Look at Numbers 15. You can keep a finger in Hebrews 10, if you want to compare things a little bit, but Numbers 15. It says in verse 24, "Then it shall be, if ought be committed by ignorance without the knowledge of the congregation, that all the congregation shall offer one young bullock for a burnt offering, for a sweet savour unto the Lord, with his meat offering, and his drink offering, according to the manner, and one kid of the goats for a sin offering. And the priest shall make an atonement for all the congregation of the children of Israel, and it shall be forgiven them; for it is ignorance: and they shall bring their offering, a sacrifice made by fire unto the Lord, and their sin offering before the Lord, for their ignorance." What's the Bible saying? We could read the entire chapter of Leviticus 4 and Leviticus 5 and get the same thing, where he goes on and on about all the different offerings for when we sin by ignorance.
Look, you mess up, you do something wrong. You weren't setting out to just defy the Lord, but, no. You made a mistake, you didn't know that what you were doing was wrong, or you didn't realize that you had done wrong, and it comes to your knowledge and you realize, "I made a mistake here. I've done wrong." Then what do you do? You take the animal to the priest and you offer a burnt sacrifice as an atonement for your sin, and it'll be forgiven. This isn't talking about salvation, this isn't talking about your entrance into heaven by bringing an animal. The Bible says it's not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." It's salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. It's not of works, [but he mentioned both 15:36], it's not by making offering. You don't buy your way into heaven with the fat of rams and lambs and so forth. You say, "Then what was the purpose of the animal sacrifices?" Here was the purpose: to repair the relationship between you and God. You've done wrong. God's going to cloud up and rain on you. He's going to chastise you, he's going to come down on you for sinning, but when you come to him with an offering and make a peace offering - a trespass offering, a sin offering - you come to him and you're showing that you're sorry and you're making things right with God. Then when you bring that animal then God will forgive you for that. Again, we're not talking about salvation. Salvation is a one-time thing, but aren't we constantly confessing our sins to God as believers and constantly going to God and saying that we're sorry? The Bible says his mercies are new every morning. If we confess our sins, he's faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
It's just like if my children had done wrong, if they came to me and said they were sorry and made it right, they're going to get way less of a consequence, if any at all. Whereas, if they are stubborn about it, if they just willfully defy me, they're going to get serious punishment. It has nothing to do with whether or not they're my child. That's what this forgiveness is. It's making things right with God so that he doesn't punish us. Look at all the punishments he said in the Old Testament, on the whole nation. When the nation would do wrong, they'd go into captivity. He said, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." When they're being brought captive to the Philistines or the Babylonians or the Assyrians or the Moabites or whoever was coming after them, if they made an offering unto the Lord and said they're sorry and sought after him then he would forgive their sin and heal their land. That's what we're talking about here in this passage. Let's keep reading.
It says, verse 26, "It shall be forgiven all the congregation of the children of Israel, and the stranger that sojourneth among them; seeing all the people were in ignorance. And if any soul sin through ignorance, then he shall bring a she goat of the first year for a sin offering. And the priest shall make an atonement for the soul that sinneth ignorantly, when he sinneth by ignorance before the Lord, to make an atonement for him; and it shall be forgiven him. Ye shall have one law for him that sinneth through ignorance, both for him that is born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them. But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the Lord; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people." What's the Bible saying here? It's saying that if you just willfully, presumptuously defy God, it's not through ignorance, it wasn't an accident, it wasn't just a slip up, but you just go and defy the word of the Lord, the Bible says you don't just bring an offering and just fix that. He says, "No. You're exiled. You're cut off from among the people. You're basically expelled from the children of Israel. You're not allowed to dwell among them." That's what he means when he says that they'll be cut off from among his people.
Then look at verse 31: "Because he hath despised the word of the Lord." Now that's exactly the word that was used in Hebrews 10 because in Hebrews chapter 10, it says, "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" - watch this - "and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?" Notice that word "despite". Then a few verses earlier, it says, "He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses." That's what this is referring back to here when it says, "Hey, they've despised the word of the Lord if they sin presumptuously." Let me just give you an illustration of this that you'll be able to understand in our modern day, in 2015, because we're not living in Old Testament Israel. Think about how the Catholics do it. They have, what? The confessional booth. Supposedly, the confessional booth is how they make things right with God, isn't it?
They go to the confessional booth and they confess it to the priest and he tells them, "Hey, if you chant this 20 times then I'll forgive you. You're absolved, my son," and all these kind of crazy stuff. That is something that we can relate to because we've known people who were Catholics who've done that. Here is the mentality of some Catholics. They would say, "You know what? I'm going to go out and just commit all these sin willfully, knowingly, premeditated, just go out and sin knowing that I'm just going to confess it later and fix it." Who knows what I'm talking about?
Does that sound familiar? Yeah, just go out and sin and be wicked and then fix it later. Go to the confessional booth and fix it later. First of all, the confessional booth is a fraud, it's not scriptural. Who can forgive sins, but God only. That priest, he might as well confess his sins right back to you, but it'd probably be so perverted you wouldn't want to hear it. It'd be so disgusting, the sins of those perverts. The thing is the confessional booth is not scriptural, but isn't that a wicked mentality, though, to sit there and say, "I'm just going to go out and sin and defy God and then I can just go to the confessional booth and fix it."
What God is saying is that, in the Old Testament, when they would go and offer an animal sacrifice as a way to get absolution, if you will. He's saying, "You can't just go out and sin willfully and then bring me an animal sacrifice and think that it's going to be okay with me or that I'm going to accept it from you. I'm not going to accept an animal sacrifice from you when you defy me and just forgive you and it's fine, no." He said, "That's for people who mess up, it's not for people who just despise God's word and just willfully go out and presumptuously disobey it." Does everybody understand what I'm saying? That's what he's teaching here. He's saying, "This is for the one who does it through ignorance."
Watch this. In verse 31, it says, "Because he hath despised the word of the Lord, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him." Look, we're continuing the same story here. Don't miss the connection. "And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. And the Lord said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the Lord commanded Moses." I don't know about you, but whenever I've read the Bible and I came to this exact story, I always just thought, "Wow! That is harsh. The guy picked up some sticks. What in the world? What is the big deal?" Have you ever thought that when you're reading this, just thought, "That's a little bit harsh. I don't understand"?
Here's what you have to get: the context. This guy, according to the Bible despised the word of the Lord because when Hebrews 10 says, "He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses." It's specifically talking about this guy, because look at the passage; it's about people sinning presumptuously versus sinning through ignorance, not being able to make an offering for their sin anymore, and having despised the word of the Lord. That's all the same stuff in Hebrews 10. What it is is it's not that the guy picked up sticks, and that was just such a horrific thing to do, but it didn't matter what he did; it's the fact that he was just defying pointblank, just brazenly. God said to do something and he's just saying, "I don't care what God says. I'm doing what I want to do, and nuts to you. You can't tell me." That's what he's doing, and that's what the Bible says about this guy - he despised the word of the Lord. That's why it says in verse 31, "He despised the word of the Lord," and then he gives the example of the guy who despised God's word. He dies without mercy under two or three witnesses. That's what the Bible is showing us in Hebrews chapter 10.
Now flip over to Deuteronomy 17. The next book after Numbers is Deuteronomy. Look at chapter 17. See now Hebrews is coming clear when we go back and get the context and read the story and understand what it's really about; not talking about personal salvation, going to heaven or hell, but it's talking about God's people not defying God and despising his word. It says in verse 8 of Deuteronomy 17, "If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, being matters of controversy within thy gates: then shalt thou arise, and get thee up into the place which the Lord thy God shall choose; And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and enquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment: And thou shalt do according to the sentence, which they of that place which the Lord shall choose shall shew thee; and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they inform thee: According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall shew thee, to the right hand, nor to the left.
And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the Lord thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel. And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously." Now what does this mean, presumptuously? It's the same thing as when it says sin willfully. It's the same thing. It's when you just have totally processed the fact that God does not want you to do this, that the Bible says that you are not to live this way, and you just say, "I'm just going to do it anyway. I'm going to just sin because I just decided that what God says is not going to dictate to me, and I'm just going to do it anyway." God says there's a serious punishment when we do that. Here he talks about defying the word of the Lord and also even defying God-given authority - the priest and the judge that God had given them. They weren't to defy that authority.
Okay, how do we apply that today? How about your parents, children? Defying your parents, despising the word of your parents because, you know what? The Bible commands you, children, to obey your parents. The Bible says, "Children, obey your parents and Lord for this is right." "Honor thy father and mother (which is the first commandment with promise), that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth." What does that mean? That if you don't, you're going to die because he says if you do it, you're going to live long. What's the opposite of living long? Dying sooner. What's the opposite of going well for you?
Going ill for you. When he says, "Obey your parents, honor your father and mother that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth," that's a warning there. Yeah, it's a promise of God's blessing, if you obey, but it's also a warning of what's going to happen if you don't obey. God-given authorities in our life, like parents unto children, and, by the way, husbands are the authority over their wives. I'll say it until I'm blue in the face. You say, "Oh, you're going to upset the feminine Nazis and the women's lib and everything like that." Look, I will say it until I'm blue in the face. I'll never back down on this. The Bible teaches that wives are going to obey their husbands-
The Bible calls the husband the Lord of his wife.
I said Lord. That's what it says. It's the Bible. It's the word of God.
Audience: Right. Amen.
Get out of here. Go find some liberal, pantywaist preacher that will tell you what you want to hear and tickle your ears, but I'm not going to lie to you tonight that if you despise the authority of your parents and if you despise the authority of your husband, let me tell you something, God is going to punish you.
He's going to punish you.
Your parents are going to spank you, but you know what? God's going to punish you also. God said, "If you despise the word of the Lord, if you sin willfully after that you've received knowledge of the truth, don't come to me and try to make things right with me." He says, "I'm going to come down hard on you." You don't defy him. He's God. He's the creator of the universe. It says, "It's a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." You better mind your Ps and Qs when you're dealing with the God of the universe. You say, "I'm saved, so it's all forgiven, it's all great." Yeah, but God will judge his people. Yeah, but, "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." Yet Christians today will just say, "It's all great. I'm just going to do whatever." Go ahead and do whatever and despise the word of the Lord. God says, "I'll give you a sore punishment that was given in the Old Testament." This is what's so bizarre to me is that people today think that the God of the Old Testament was just this [raffle 29:24], angry God, and then God just lightened up in his old age. Then Jesus came along and just relaxed everything and toned everything down. Isn't that what people believe? It's bizarre because if you actually read Jesus' sermons, everything's stricter than the Old Testament, everything. Everything.
Everything was more lenient in the ... If you read the Old Testament, it's lenient. In the Old Testament, these guys will have multiple wives and gods. He didn't like it, but they're getting by with it. In the Old Testament, they're worshiping God in the high places. He told them not to. In the New Testament, God is saying, "No." "The times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent." You've heard that it was said, "Thou shall not kill," I'm saying don't even be angry with your brother without a cause. Don't even hate him in your heart. Don't even lust in your heart. It's not just don't commit adultery, it's don't even lust in your heart. He says, "Look, if he that despised Moses' Law died without mercy under two or three witnesses," but now God has just relaxed everything. Is that what it says?
No, it says, "He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy."
That's the New Testament version, sorer punishment. Why? Because unto whom much is given of him shall much be required.
Amen. That's right.
God has a higher standard in the New Testament because we've been given more in the New Testament. In the New Testament, we have been dwelling in the Holy Spirit that they did not have in the Old Testament. We have the complete word of God that they did not have in the Old Testament. We have our local church, which is more helpful than what they had in the Old Testament. Look, we have been blessed and given more knowledge, we've been given more of the Holy Spirit's blessings, so why would God expect less of us? It doesn't make any sense because it's not true. If God's so relaxed then why is the most vengeful book in the whole Bible Revelation, the last book? If he was really going to take it easy and relax, wouldn't it be by the last book, Book 66? That's the one where he's given people blood to drink and burning them and scorching them and sending all kinds of wrath and plagues. What Bible are people reading? Oh, yeah, it's because they're not reading the Bible.
It's because they are listening to liars and these TV evangelists who tickle their ears and preach unto them smooth things and prophesize deceits. No. The Book of Hebrews in the New Testament, chapter 10, says that God will punish us more severely when we defy him in the New Testament than he did even under the Old Testament. He wasn't playing games in the Old Testament. He's dead sure not playing games now. We need to not sin lightly and think to ourselves ... Look, I've heard it so many times, where people just say, "I know it's wrong, but I'm going to do it anyway." Major sins, big sin, stuff like fornication, stuff like divorcing their spouse, stuff like committing adultery, stuff like drunkenness, whatever. Just, "I know that's what's the Bible says, but you know what? I'm not perfect. I'm just going to do it anyway." That angers the Lord. It displeases him. Fiery indignation from the Lord when we have that attitude.
Go to Psalm 19. Right in the middle of your Bible is the Book of Psalms. Psalm 19. Psalm chapter 19, the Bible says in verse number 9, "The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward." It's a two-edged sword, the word of God. There's a warning and then there's a reward. If we do it right, we get the reward. If we do it wrong, there's a warning of God's punishment. There's a blessing to those who obey their parents, there's a curse on those who disobey their parents. Then he says this: "Who can understand his errors?" Now what does that question mean? "Who can understand his errors?" What the Bible is asking is does anybody really know every time they make a mistake? If I asked you, "Okay, write down every sin you've committed in the last week," you'd be like, "Oh, man. I don't even know." If I said write down every sin you've committed today, we don't even know a lot of it because we sin all the time without even knowing it.
That's why the Bible says, "Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults." What are secret faults? Sinning through ignorance. Secret faults, stuff that I'm doing wrong and I don't even realize it's wrong. I don't even know about it. Then he follows that up by saying, "Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins." Notice the presumptuous sins are different than the secret faults. The secret faults is like the Bible went on and on in Leviticus 4 and 5, Numbers 15, Deuteronomy 17, where he talked about sinning through ignorance. Secret faults: you're constantly making mistakes, you're constantly sinning. He says also, "Keep thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression." What's the great transgression? The great transgression is when you sin presumptuously. Secret faults, they're bad. I'm not condoning sinning through ignorance, I'm not condoning messing up and sinning. It's still wrong. We should still seek to avoid it, but what's the big transgression? What's the big sin? What's the great ... ? It's when you willfully know what the Bible says and just say, "I don't care. I'm doing something different."
It says in verse 14, "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer." Listen to this scripture, Proverbs 29:1: "He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy." Hardeneth his neck. Basically, the rebuke comes, the correction from the word of God comes, the preaching across the pulpit comes, and you harden your neck and say, "I don't care what that preacher says. I don't care what that judge says. I don't care what that priest says." If it was the Old Testament, "I don't care what the Bible says. You know what? I'm not doing it." You know what? When that comes and you harden your neck, you will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. That's like where he said, "There remaineth no more offering for sins. I'm not interested in making peace with you. You're just going to be punished, you're just going to suffer, you're just going to reap that which you have sown." God is merciful to us, he is loving unto us, and he really gives us a lot of leeway, especially when we sin through ignorance, but there's one thing that God doesn't put up with, and that's despising his word. Despising his word is defined us hearing the commandment and saying, "I'm not doing it." That's what the Bible ... He said, "You despised my word."
When you hear the commandment and you learn what is right and you say, "Okay. That's what the Bible says, but I'm not doing it," be prepared to be destroyed without remedy. That's what the Bible is teaching here. This is a New Testament teaching in Hebrews 10. Flip over, if you would, to Hebrews 10, and we'll finish up over in Hebrews chapter 10. Defying the Lord is what I'm talking about tonight - defying his word, defying legitimate God-given authority, defying the commandments of God. Look, the Bible says if we sin willfully ... " Look down, if you would, on verse number 26, "For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth." Now what does he mean there, "after we've received the knowledge of the truth"? He's not just talking about being saved.
When he says, "After we received the the knowledge of the truth," is when we know that something's wrong and then we do it anyway, because there are a lot of things that we've done that we didn't even know they were wrong. As you read the Bible, you'll find stuff where you're like, "Wow! I didn't even know that was a sin," because you're not always taught growing up. I guarantee you that there are a lot of ladies who grew up in a church that didn't preach the whole word of God that have been dressing in a sinful way their whole lives and just didn't even know what the Bible taught about clothing.
The Bible told the church at Laodicea, "You don't even know that you're naked." He said, "Thou knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." You don't even know that you're naked. There are people today walking around naked and they don't even know it.
Audience: That's right.
Because what the Bible teaches as nakedness is from your loins to your thighs. If you have women out there, or men, for that matter, God forbid, men in short shorts. Help us all. They wear this little ... With the 3 stripes on the side or whatever. I hope those never come back into style. When you're out there in the short skirt and the shorts, and they don't even realize that they're naked, but God defines that as nakedness. God doesn't look at you in a string bikini and say that you're clothed. God doesn't look at you in a bathing suit and think that you're clothed. That's not what God considers clothing. God said your loins and your thighs should be covered. That's what the Bible teaches.
If you're going to go out in your colored underwear, and you wouldn't come to church in your underwear. Would you come to church in your underwear? No. Would you go to the store in your underwear? Just walk into Walmart at ... Maybe you would do that. Anyway, you don't walk into Walmart at 2am in your underwear or what? No, you wouldn't do that. Why does digging a hole in the ground, filling it with water, and instead of white, it becomes a color and, all of a sudden, it's not underwear anymore. All of a sudden it's clothes, it's a bathing suit. God forbid that men would ever wear ... If you go to Germany, which is ... Unfortunately, Germany is a pretty heathen place. They need the word of God over there. You go to Germany and all the men are wearing Speedos.
Audience: What are Speedos?
You don't want to know what it is. It's like what women wear, except men are wearing it on the bottom. Does that help? Ask my wife, you go to the beach, you go to the pool in Germany, and it's all men. They're all in Speedos. It's bizarre. Thankfully, our culture still thinks that that's a little weird, right? Please tell me that I'm right. Don't they?
If a dude shows up in this, what in the world? At least today, most men wear knee-length shorts when they go swimming. Thank God. Over there, it's just a Speedo. You know that? It's obscene whether it's on male or female. It is not [acceptable 40:55], but our society says it's fine. Don't you think it'd be possible for a girl to grow up in a Christian home and be taught, "Oh, just wear the one piece bathing suit," and it's still totally exposed, her thigh? Don't you think it'd be possible for a girl to grow up in a Christian home and love the Lord and love Jesus and be going out and wearing that stuff and never even been told that it's wrong, or never even taught that it's wrong?
Don't you think?
You see Christians girls all the time, and even Christian teenage girls wearing shorts and wearing bathing suits and wearing short skirts, and the thought's not even crossing their minds that it's wrong, because they're being told, "Oh, as long as its fingertip length, it's modest." Unless you're an orangutan, it's not modest. Fingertip length is not modest, unless you are like a knuckle-dragging neanderthal. The bottom line is that people sin through ignorance. I just think that's a good example of sinning through ignorance, right?
They just never read that scripture, never thought it through, and they're dressed that way. It's not that they're just ... Do you think that every girl who's dressed that way just defies the Lord and despises his word? No. It's just a lot of them just haven't been taught because it's not being preached and it's not being taught. They grow up in a home where the stance were relaxed, other things that people just grow up and do and take for granted and don't even think about it, whether it's drinking, whatever the case. They don't even know it's wrong. There's a lot of sinning that can just take place through ignorance. A lot of people have never been taught that covetousness is wrong, even though it's in the Ten Commandments, "Thou shall not covet." When you explain to them what covetousness is, they're like, "That's wrong? Really? That's a sin?" They've been doing it their whole life and they didn't even think about it. God is going to be more gracious with that when you just don't know better. New believers, when people just got saved, they don't know much about the Bible. They're brand new babes in Christ. They're going to make all kinds of mistakes, they're going to be committing all kinds of sins; not because they just don't care, but because they just haven't learned yet, they just haven't grown, they just don't know the truth.
That's why we should be gracious and patient with people as they're learning, and not just come down on them. Let me tell you something, when you have read it in the Bible and the light bulb comes on and you say, "Oh, wow! That's wrong," or you're in church and you hear a sermon that nails you and you hear the word of God and the scriptures are turned to, and you say, "Wow! This is wrong. This is sin. I shouldn't be doing this." At that point, if you continue to do it, it becomes a major sin in your life." Now before you know any better, God still considers it sin. He's not going to bless it, but he's going to be much more gracious and merciful and lenient with you, which makes sense. As you learn more, though, and continue to do it then it just becomes defiance. Then it becomes defiance. Now, for example, think about this: obviously, anybody should know that, for example, when you have children and they play in the front yard, they make a mess of the front yard. They have trash and stuff everywhere. Now should they be leaving their trash and junk in the front yard? No. Is it wrong for them to just go out there and trash the place and be lazy? Of course. Do we want them to do that? No. Are we going to be happy that they do that? No.
Think about how much worse ... If they go out and do that and we don't say anything, but what if they actually went out there and made a mess and we said, "Look, go outside right now and go pick up that trash and clean that up," and they just said no. Wouldn't that be a lot different than they just weren't thinking about it? Because kids don't think about stuff. Just eat a popsicle, throw the wrapper down. Kids litter. I'm not an eco warrior, environmentalist, or anything, but I don't like littering. I don't litter. Now it's not littering when stuff's biodegradable. For example, like orange. People act like, "You're littering when you throw orange peels and bananas," like, "This is going back to nature. I'm releasing it back to nature." Shells of nuts and banana peels and apple cores, those things are just being released back into the wild, where they belong. I mean when you're throwing plastic and paper and aluminum out the window, to me, that's just a lack of character, a lack of class. It's just a derelict, trashy thing to do. Who thinks of that as just a trashy, derelict thing to do, to throw trash on the ground? If I see my kids throw something, "Go back and pick it up." If we go hiking, "If you pack it in, you pack it out, and everything like that."
Hold on a second. Isn't there a big difference between just throwing stuff on the ground because you're a child and you don't know any better and just unpacking stuff? That's what kids do, unless they're taught. That's why if you go to a derelict area where parents are not teaching their kids, there's just trash everywhere. A lot of it is just kids just not even thinking about it. When I say, "Don't throw that on the ground," and my kid just looks at me and just goes ... That would be a severe chastening that's going to take place, the scourging. Why? Because of the fact that it's defiance. Defiance is wicked. The Bible says rebellion is the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness is an inequity and idolatry. What is stubbornness? Being often reproved and hardening your neck. No contrition, no remorse, no humility, no respect for authority, no respect for God's word, and no fear of the Lord that says, "You know what? I fear the Lord and I don't want to make him upset. I want him to be pleased with me. If that's what the Bible says then that's what I'm going to do."
"It's one thing if I don't know it, but as soon as I see it in the Bible, I want to conform to that because it's God's word."
You know what? If God told me something, I'd do it. As soon as I find out what God's will is for my life, that's what I want to do with my life.
That's a tender heart to the Lord, a heart that's submissive to God, a heart that loves God and wants to keep his commandments. The opposite of that is the stubborn, wicked, "nobody's going to tell me what to do", "we will not have this man to rule over us", just wanting to harden your neck and say ... You think of Jonah hardening his neck when God gets on him, where God says to him, "Doest thou well to be angry, Jonah?" and he says, "I do well even unto death." Think about that. What if you said to your child, "Hey, are you right to be angry with me right now?" to your child and they said, "I do well even unto death." That's just defiance at that point. That's why God took away his gourd and gave him a sunburn that Jonah's had before. We need to take this warning seriously.
It's a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. God can really do a number on you. In fact, you'd rather fall into Satan's hand than God's hand, because if you remember ... You know what God said about Job? He said to Satan, "Behold, he is in thy hand." He allowed Job to be put in Satan's hand, but God restrains Satan so that Satan could torment Job, but he could not touch his body; only just his possessions, his family, his wealth, but he could not touch his body. Then later, God lifted that restriction and said, "You can touch his body, but you can't kill him." The thing we've got is when you're in God's hand, nobody's restraining him.
Audience: Yeah, right.
There's nobody talking him down, when you have trodden under foot the Son of God. You say, "Trodden under foot the Son of God." Hey, look, in the beginning, was the word and the word was with God and the word was God, and the word became flesh and dwelled among us. When you despise his word, you're despising Jesus.
When you treat the word with disrespect, you're treating Jesus with disrespect because he is the word, he's the author of the word. The Bible says, "You've done despite unto the Spirit of grace?" It's this attitude that says, "I'm unto grace, so, therefore, I will continue sinning." The Bible says, "Should we continue in sin that grace may abound?" God forbid. God forbid that you would just say, "Oh, I'm saved," and turn the grace of God into lasciviousness and say, "You know what? Because I'm unto grace and I can do whatever and still go to heaven, I'm going to go out and do whatever." Where sin abounds, grace does much more abound, but you know what? That doesn't mean God's not going to judge his people when they sin willfully after that they've received the knowledge of the truth. You know what's right. You've received the truth, you've received preaching over the years, you've read things in the Bible, and you need to be sure that you're not defying the Lord. You can sit there and say, "Oh, I would never defy the Lord. I have such great respect for him." If you defy your parents, you just defied the Lord. If you defy your husband, you just defied the Lord. That's what the Bible teaches-
Because God put those authorities in place. If you defy them, you're defying God. Just like in the Old Testament, if they defied the judge, they got put over. Remember the judges? Basically, the judges were men like Othniel and Ehud. I don't want to say Barak; I'll pronounce it Barak. Men like Gideon and men like Samson and all these different judges that God gave them as spiritual rulers over them. God gave them the high priest as a spiritual ruler that was supposed to guide them. God said, "Don't despise their word, but you need to listen to what ... " Let me just close by reading it one more time, because it's pretty important.
In Deuteronomy 17, you don't have to turn there, but it said in verse number 9, "And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and enquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment: And thou shalt do according to the sentence, which they of that place which the Lord shall choose shall shew thee; and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they inform thee: According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall shew thee, to the right hand, nor to the left. But the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the Lord thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel." God's saying don't rebel against God-given authority or you're rebelling against the Lord. Look, who's the priest in the New Testament? Jesus Christ. That's who you're despising when you defy his word. Not only that, but God has placed other judges in your life and other authorities in your life, and you need to treat them with respect and not just defy them because who are you defying at the end of the day? You're defying the Lord.
I hope that you'll take this warning to heart because we don't want to be guilty of this and we don't want God to cloud up and rain on us. We need to walk humbly before God every day. That means every day, we need to get on our knees and just tell God that he is in charge. God, you're the boss. I want to please you, I want to honor and glorify you. I'm not just going to go out and do what I want and just not care and disregard what you want, but I'm going to search the scriptures and figure out what you want me to do and I'm going to do it because you are the Lord, you're the boss, you are the final judge, and not have this attitude that just says, "You know what? Nobody's perfect. I know God said it, but you know what? I'm not going to do it."
[inaudible 53:31] word of prayer. Father, we thank you so much for the salvation that you've offered us, Lord, through the blood and through the sprinkling and through your grace, Lord, but help us not to think that that just gives us a license to sin, Lord, but that rather we realize, "Hey, there's nothing we could do to lose our salvation," but that doesn't mean that you're not going to cloud up and rain on us on this earth and in this life. Help no one to walk out of here stiffed neck and stubborn and saying, "This is too strict." Lord, help everyone to have a tender heart and to realize that you have the right to tell us what to do because you're God. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.