The Weekend Word
22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,
- “you have come” at salvation, God has placed you at Mt. Zion – all benefits will be realized at a later date, but Mt Zion is the New Jerusalem..
- 3 mountains – Mt. Sinai – Mt Zion – Mt Calvary
- This is very familiar to 1st century Jewish ears – not so much for 21st
- You do not want to meet God on Mt Sinai, let me repeat, you do not want to meet God on Mt. Sinai – you want to meet him on Mt. Zion.
23 and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,
- This seems like a good place to be among those who are the assembly of the firstborn.
- All believers hold the rank of firstborn in God’s sight – All believers are the spirits of the righteous made perfect
- Assembly = those who gather for the feasts and festivals
- Enrolled in heaven = How do I enroll?
- How do I get into the Book of Life?
- Jesus enrolled me! Jesus is the Book of Life.
24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
- 10 And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.
- Is Jesus speaking through own His blood?
- The blood of Jesus cries out for justice.
- God does not not see our sin – he does not just ignore it and make like it never happed or that it is not there.
- Those who say JUSTIFIED = just as if I have never sinned – make a mockery of the atonement.
- There it is, look, you will see it there in the blood of Jesus.
25 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven.
- There is no escape from the Law.
- The Law kills – The Law condemns.
- Even today God speaks to us from Mt. Sinai through the law
- Even today God speaks to us from the heavenly Mt. Zion through the gospel.
- If you refuse the gospel, where are you going to go?
- Whether these Hebrew Christians realize it or not, they are walking away from the gospel – right back into darkness and a world controlled by the law.
26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”
- Several times in the OT we see the reference “the earth shook”
- Examples Exodus, Judges, Psalms
27This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.
- Comparison of things that can be shaken vs things that cannot be shaken
- The unshakable are the important things.
- The author does not mention what they are.
- This is God’s final decision to distinguish these.
28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,
- Remember, these are believers and they can come to this kingdom
- An unbeliever cannot – no matter how hard he tries.
- Acceptable worship = did you worship today with reverence and awe?
29 for our God is a consuming fire.
- God has spoken – we ought to pay attention.
- We cannot just read this as if it is written only for their eyes and not think of our own situation.
- Today, if you leave the gospel, you too are walking back into the abyss.
1 Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters.
- Loving = brotherly love = You must be involved in the lives of others.
- Continue = You must keep on keeping on. Nothing should stop you.
- Is this a clue that he had a good feeling they were going to stay?
- So why do people drift away from church? It’s easy to miss church – the other activities, the inconvenience and soon you realize you haven’t been there much.
- What suffers is involvement with others. You have removed yourself from caring for others and from being cared for by others.
- Left to itself, you walk away from the faith – you become a Christian in name only.
2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
- How would you show hospitality back then? Now?
- Back then it was a sign of Christian love.
- “Angels without knowing it” – would take anyone back to Abraham in Genesis 18
- NOT after you help someone you look around for feathers.
3 Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
- Picture yourself in prison. Rightly or wrongly, what would bless you, what would help you make it through?
- Who were these prisoners?
Good lesson. MLD.
“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,
•Remember, these are believers and they can come to this kingdom
•An unbeliever cannot – no matter how hard he tries.”
One other thought: We “receive” His kingdom (like all of his gifts); we don’t create it or force it upon others. And the kingdom of God should never be confused with temporal kingdoms (i.e., countries), or the visible Church.
Excellent lesson. 🙂
These are your own sermon notes, Michael? Thank you for sharing/teaching me/us.
Those are MLD’s Sunday School notes.
He does great work for his students, I think…
Ok…. Thank you MLD……