I need to be very careful. God loves me but God has expectations. What can I expect if I know better and keep on missing God’s goal for my life? I can expect a just God will judge me.
Defiance is a big problem. It is one thing to ignore God. It is another to defy Him.
- Hebrews 10:26–27 (NASB) — For if we go on missing God’s goal (aka sinning) willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.
- Numbers 15:30 — ‘But the person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the Master; and that person shall be cut off from among his people.
- Hebrews 6:4–6 —For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.
- 2 Peter 2:20 — For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Master and Savior Jesus the Messiah, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
The evidence of defiance is willful sin. The tense of the verb indicates that Hebrews 10:26 should read, “For if we willfully go on sinning.” This exhortation is not dealing with one particular act of sin, but with an attitude that leads to repeated disobedience. Under the Old Covenant, there were no sacrifices for deliberate and willful sins. Presumptuous sinners who despised Moses’ Law and broke it were executed. This explains why David prayed as he did in Psalm 51. Because he deliberately sinned “with a high hand,” he should have been slain; but he cried out for God’s mercy. David knew that even a multitude of sacrifices could not save him. All he could offer was the sacrifice of a broken heart.
- How does an arrogant attitude affect a believer’s relationship with God? It is as though he trods Jesus the Messiah underfoot, cheapens the precious blood that saved, and insults the Holy Spirit. Instead of having a bold profession of faith, hope, and love, a backslidden believer so lives that his actions and attitudes bring disgrace to the name of Jesus and the assembly of disciples.
- What can this kind of a disciple expect from God? He can expect severe discipline. There is no need to “water down” words such as “judgment and fiery indignation”, or “sorer punishment”. We have already seen from the history of Israel that hardly anybody who was saved out of Egypt by the blood of the lamb entered into the promised inheritance. Nearly all of them died in the wilderness. “There is a sin unto death” (1 John 5:16). Some of the Corinthian believers were disciplined and their lives taken because of their presumptuous sins.
- God does not always take the life of a rebellious believer, but He always deals with him. “Vengeance belongs unto Me” was spoken to Israel, God’s people. “The Lord shall judge His people!” (Heb. 10:30) “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31).
- The major theme of Hebrews is “God has spoken—how are you responding to His Word?” When the nation of Israel refused to believe and obey His Word, God chastened them. Paul used this fact to warn the Corinthians against presumptuous sins. Note that the examples given in this passage involve people who died because of their willful sins. When we study the subject of “chastening” in Hebrews 12, we will get greater insight into this awesome aspect of God’s dealings with His children.
- It is important that every disciple obey God and please the Father in all things. Dr. William Culbertson, late president of the Moody Bible Institute, used to warn us about “the sad consequences of forgiven sins.” God forgave David’s sins, but David suffered the sad consequences for years afterward. David had “despised the commandment of the Lord” and God dealt with him.
- What should a believer do who has drifted away into spiritual doubt and dullness and is deliberately despising God’s Word? He should turn to God for mercy and forgiveness. There is no other sacrifice for missing God’s goal, but the sacrifice Jesus made is sufficient for all our sins. It is a fearful thing to fall into the Master’s hands for chastening, but it is a wonderful thing to fall into His hands for cleansing and restoration. David said, “Let me fall now into the hand of the Lord; for very great are His mercies” (1 Chron. 21:13).
Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, pp. 315–316). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.