Staying near means we are to hold unswervingly to our hope, not because we are strong and able, but because he who promised is faithful. Today we learn the components of a life which is staying near to the Lord Jesus and is lived in expectancy of his return…
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For,
“In just a little while,
he who is coming will come
and will not delay.”
“But my righteous one will live by faith.
And I take no pleasure
in the one who shrinks back.”
39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
Hebrews 10:23-25, 32-39
In our last reflection on Hebrews 10, we were considering the privilege we have to draw near to God through Jesus who is our access and our righteousness before the Heavenly Father. Today we see that the next idea after drawing near is staying near.
Staying near means we are to hold unswervingly to our hope, not because we are strong and able, but because he who promised is faithful. We can only hold to our hope because Jesus is faithful to do what he promised. Jesus lives forever to intercede for us (Hebrews 7:24-25). Hold to your hope. Don’t let it go.
Let us consider, now, how to spur each other on – how to encourage each other to stay near. The pursuit of love and good deeds is part of staying near. We are to encourage each other to commit to being a force of Jesus’ love and service in the world around us. Turn outward and love the world in Jesus’ name. What is your outward?
Meeting together is a part of staying near. The Body of Christ, which is the church, is to meet together consistently and regularly in order to encourage each other. Don’t give up on the church. Don’t give up on meeting together. This can be very difficult for people who have burned by the church, and especially for leaders who gave their lives to ministry and who chewed up and spit out. Our experience does not change the purpose and form of staying near. We need the church of God.
Home church, small church, or large church isn’t the point. The assembling of the Body together is the point. This may be a handful of people in underground or mission field scenarios. In cities and towns, however, this is larger than you and your closest friends.
Staying near means that you will likely suffer and be persecuted. When we hold on to the hope of Jesus, there is joy in loss for his sake. We can compare our loss on earth with our gain in heaven, and the comparison leaves us smiling.
Staying near is an issue of perseverance toward the return of Jesus. He will come, and when he does, he will take pleasure in those who live by faith, and not those who shrink back. Will you embrace vs. 39 with me and make this pledge?
“We do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.”