Study Notes

Hebrews 10:26-39


Before we jump into this morning's verses, I want to take a few minutes and make sure to cover the history and the context of where we are in the Scriptures. I believe that this is all-important, because the very first verse we're looking at this morning has been frequently misquoted and been a source and cause for fear among Christian believers who love God.

Jews In The Church

Although today we tend to think of Jews as being separate from the Christian church, it is important to remember that in the beginning, the church was comprised almost exclusively of the Jews.

Jesus had sent out his twelve Jewish disciples to the Jews, saying,

Matt. 10:5-6 ..."Do not go in {the} way of {the} Gentiles, and do not enter {any} city of the Samaritans; but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

Paul also clarified that the gospel was,

Rom. 1:16 ...for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

The large majority of people in the early church were Jews who had come out of a lifetime of Judaism. They had been raised on the Law of God, the sacrifices, the feasts, and the rules and regulations of this religion.

The New Covenant

But when Christ had come, He initiated the new covenant which God had been promising.

- The multiple sacrifices were done away with by the single sacrifice of Jesus.

- The priesthood had been replaced by Jesus' priesthood, after the order of Melchizedek.

- The earthly temple, which had kept people out of God's presence, became obsolete when the way into the heavenly temple was opened by Christ.


These Christians that came from Judaism had received an incredible blessing - they no longer needed to offer sacrifices, to perform the rituals, or to be bound up under the Law. However, their belief in Jesus Christ did have a terrible consequence:

- Their Jewish friends forsook them.

- Their Jewish families banished them.

- Their Jewish coworkers ostracized them.

- The Jewish synagogues disfellowshipped them.

- The Jewish leaders persecuted them.

- The Jewish authorities confiscated what belonged to them.

Drawn Back

What the author of Hebrews had seen is that many of these Jews that had professed faith in Christ were about to give up on Christ. They were starting to think that it would be easier to go back to the old ways, to what they knew, to what they remembered as the "good times," to restore those relationships that had been broken.

He has been warning them that to do so would be to forsake Jesus, to put Him back on the cross, to subject Him to open shame, and to give up their salvation.

This is the context that we must keep in mind, as we begin to read at verse 26.

10:26-31 No Longer Sacrifice, But Expectation Of Judgment

If these Jews, who had received the knowledge of the Truth, knowingly rejected Christ and instead decided to go back to the temple and offer sacrifices for their willful sins, they could expect nothing from God but judgment.

Christians have often had these verses blasted at them when they struggle against sin in their lives. "If you don't start living holy, brother, then you're not saved! God is going to send you to the lake of fire!" But in reality, if you are trusting in Jesus Christ to forgive your sins, you need not fear God's fury of fire. It is those who reject Christ, turning their back on His sacrifice who no longer have a sacrifice for their sins.

Setting Aside The Law Vs. Setting Aside Christ

Then the author reminds them that under the old covenant, the penalty of rejecting the Law was death. There was no mercy for those that willingly and blatantly set aside God's command.

If God's response to someone rejecting the Law was this severe, then how did they think He would react when they rejected His son? To reject Jesus Christ is to make yourself an enemy of God. Jesus said,

John 3:35-36 "The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

To say, "I'm not going to be a Christian anymore; I'm not going to trust in the cross anymore; I really don't care about the death of Jesus Christ anymore," is to trample Him, to call His blood unclean, to insult the Holy Spirit. Certainly, you could not expect anything from God but judgment in that case.

10:32-35 Remember The Former Days

When the writer of Hebrews had earlier in his letter brought up the subject of falling away, he then immediately said,

Hebr. 6:9 But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way.

He does this now again. After warning them about the judgment of God which would befall them for rejecting Christ, he again follows it up with an encouragement about their walk with Christ.

"Remember when you were first saved?" he asks. "Yes, you were suffering from persecution. You were mistreated, abused, rejected, and stolen from. But you were rejoicing, showing sympathy to others. You had eternity in view!"

Joy In Suffering

Saints, this is the key to being victorious through troubled times, the way to maintain your joy when you're suffering:

Hebr. 10:34 ...knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and an abiding one.

If you're looking for happiness, fulfillment, and satisfaction out of this life you have on earth, I can guarantee you that you won't have joy much of the time, and you won't be victorious in your Christian walk. Jesus said,

Matt. 6:19-21 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Are you investing in toys and entertainment here on earth? Your heart will follow right along. And when your stuff breaks, so will your heart. But if you're investing in heavenly treasure, then you will be joyful no matter what happens here on earth. That's why we're commanded,

Col. 3:1-2 If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

We will never find lasting joy and satisfaction in this world - it's not our home. When Jesus was talking about us to His Father in heaven, He said,

John 17:14 "...they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."

These new Christians kept their joy when they lost their property, because they were no longer citizens of this earth. When their bodies were bruised, their hearts weren't, because they knew that they had a hope in heaven.

But when these Hebrews lost sight of eternity, they lost their joy. When they stopped looking up, they stopped walking in victory.

Remember The Former Days

Have you gotten to this point? Where you no longer have joy in your heart? You no longer have victory in your walk? All you have to do is remember. Jesus would say to you today,

Rev. 2:5 ‘Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first

Remember, repent, and return.

Think back to when you were really joyful and victorious in your walk. What has happened since then to take your eyes off of heaven? It was sin. Oh, it may have been a troubled situation, a hurtful relationship, but it was your sinful response to it that really caused your eyes to leave Jesus. You allowed bitterness, unforgiveness, fear, or anxiety to take over. That needs to be repented of. Once you do that, just return to where you were before. Go back and do the deeds you did at first. That is a guaranteed method to get your joy back, to get back on the path of a victorious walk with God.

10:36-39 Endurance, Not Shrinking Back

They had need of endurance. In verse 32, the author pointed back to their earlier endurance in suffering. As the book progresses over the next two chapters, he's going to point out the endurance of Moses, who endured being mistreated. Also, that Jesus endured the cross and the hostility of His enemies. Therefore, we need to endure as well. To have discipline, to finish the race, to receive our promised reward.

He Will Come

Saints, listen: Jesus is coming back in just a very little while. He asked the question,

Luke 18:8 "...when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?"

How is He going to find you? Will you be wrapped up in your possessions? Will you be tied up in bitterness and sin? Will you have given up your faith entirely?

Or will He find you running that race, enduring to the end?

James 1:2-4 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have {its} perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

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