The Epistle to the Hebrews: 5 Critical Warnings to Believers

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The author wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews to strengthen the faith of Hebrew believers under great persecution. He wanted to prevent these Christians from abandoning their faith in Christ. For this reason, the author endeavored to show the superiority of Christ (Hebrews 1-7.)

The writer also called the Epistle to the Hebrews the word of exhortation. This is evident by the many warnings written in this epistle.

And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.

Hebrews 13:22

The Epistle to the Hebrews: The warning against drifting.

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

Hebrews 2:1

The first warning in the Epistle to the Hebrews is a warning against drifting doctrinally. This is not just a warning to the individual Hebrew believers. This is also a warning to believers in general. We need to hold on to the doctrine of God’s Word, not man’s word. And the reason churches are drifting away from the doctrine of God’s Word is because of neglecting the Bible.

For this reason, preaching fundamental and profound doctrines is essential because Bible doctrine sets us apart from religion. Religion is based on the word of man and the traditions of man. In contrast, Christianity is based on the Word of God.

Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.

2 Peter 1:12

Even the Apostle Peter understood the importance of preaching fundamental doctrine (Salvation, eternal security, Trinity, the Bible, the deity of Christ, etc.) Because the essential doctrines are our fundamental doctrines. Preachers and Pastors must teach basic doctrine to believers even if they already know it. This ensures they will not drift into damnable heresies that are dangerous to believers.

The Epistle to the Hebrews: The warning against departing.

12Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Hebrews 3:12-13

Notice that the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews is talking to believers since he calls them brethren. In this context, “unbelief ” means being doubtful of the Word of God. Therefore, a believer can have a heart of unbelief towards God’s Word, just as Thomas doubted the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

John 20:25

Thomas is an example of someone who has listened to the Lord Jesus Christ teach about His resurrection but refused to believe. Sadly, many believers know about God’s Word but don’t believe it or choose not to. As a result, their constant unbelief in God’s Word hardens their heart, and they refuse to get right with God.

The author instructs us to encourage one another daily. This means that if we see one of our brethren faltering in the faith, don’t look down on them. But instead, encourage them.

The Epistle to the Hebrews: The warning against disobedience.

Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

Hebrews 4:11

In chapter 4 of the Epistle to the Hebrews, the writer uses the example of the disobedience of the Israelites while they were in the wilderness. God did not allow the first generation who came out of Egypt into the Promised Land because of their constant disobedience. This is also why many believers can’t seem to have a victorious Christian life. It’s because they constantly disobey God.

A central principle that we need to learn from the Bible is that there’s a blessing in obedience and punishment for disobedience. I’m not saying that if you obey God, you won’t have any problems or persecution. I’m saying that if you follow God, you will have His presence, provision, and protection despite the difficulties and persecutions of life.

Many believers are stagnant in their Christian life because they refuse to obey God’s Word. They treat God’s Word as an option, not their final authority. For this reason, the writer reminds us that God’s Word must be our final authority.

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

The Word of God knows what you need and the things you must do as a child of God. All you have to do is obey it. The question is, is the Bible your final authority? Or is it just an option?

The Epistle to the Hebrews: The warning against dullness.

9And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; 10Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec. 11Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.

Hebrews 5:9-11

Being dull of hearing is not a physical impediment. It is a spiritual condition. It is a lack of interest in the Word of God. The author’s topic in Hebrews 5 is the Lord Jesus Christ in connection to Melchizedek. However, many of those believers have no interest in it.

The reason why the Lord Jesus Christ is the center of our preaching is for us to learn to appreciate Him more. Many Christians think of the Lord Jesus Christ only as their savior. And that’s enough reason to appreciate Him. But He is not just our savior. He’s also our great high priest and the founder of our church. His death abolished and fulfilled the Old Testament.

The more you learn about the Lord Jesus Christ, the more you will appreciate Him. And many don’t appreciate the Lord Jesus Christ because they have no interest in learning about Him. Consequently, they become spiritually stagnant because they are dull of hearing.

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

Hebrews 5:12

Their lack of interest in learning about Christ had caused their faith to regress instead of progress. To avoid this, the writer encourages the readers to aim for spiritual maturity.

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

Hebrews 6:1

The Epistle to the Hebrews: The warning against defying.

25See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: 26Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

Hebrews 12:25-26

A believer can defy God’s Word despite knowing the truth. There are so many characters in the Bible who have done so. The consequence is that those who defy will not escape the chastisement of God. The solution that the writer gives us is to fear God.

It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Hebrews 10:31

The Epistle to the Hebrews gives us warnings and the consequences. But it also gives us the solutions for those warnings. It certainly is a word of exhortation.

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