Listen:  78 Question 2

Let’s look at those two verses individually and I think we can get a correct understanding of what they mean and how they apply to our lives.  Let’s read Hebrews 12:15-17, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;  Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.”  This portion is dealing with Esau.  For a little food, he sold his birthright to his younger brother, Jacob.  Let’s read Genesis 25:30-34, “And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.   And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?  And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.”  Later, when their father, Isaac, was about to bless Esau with the honors and powers of the birthright, Jacob tricked his father and received the blessings of the birthright.  Realizing that his father had been tricked and the blessings of the birthright had been given to Jacob, Esau cried and pleaded with his father to repent, or change his mind, and give him the blessing.  I encourage you to read Genesis, chapter 27 for this incredible account.  So, we see that Hebrews 12:17 does not mean that we cannot receive forgiveness from the Lord.  The lesson for us in this portion is a warning to any who would handle the blessings of the Lord in a careless manner, such as Esau did.  In the Day of Judgment, many will try to change the Lord’s mind when they are condemned for rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior.  It will do them no good.  When one refuses God’s gift of eternal life through faith in the Lord Jesus, the Lord will not change His mind and bless them.  We have a good example of that in Matthew 7:21-23 which says, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”  Trying to earn salvation while rejecting Christ will only bring the eternal judgment of God.

Now let’s read Hebrews 10:26-27, “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.”  Does this mean that if we commit sins after we are saved that we will not be forgiven?  No, it doesn’t mean that at all.  A careful examination of these verses shows us a different thought altogether.  The lesson here is of someone who continues in sin after receiving full knowledge of the truth of the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of sinful men.  He receives the ‘knowledge of the truth’, but he does not receive the One who is the truth…the Lord Jesus.  This person knows the way of salvation; he may even have surrounded himself with true believers, but in the end, he repudiates, or rejects, the true Gospel of Christ.  For this person, “there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin.”  He has rejected the true salvation; there is not another way for him to be saved.  He will only receive the judgment and fiery indignation of a sin-hating God.  The Lord Jesus said in John 14:6, “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  If someone refuses to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior, there is no salvation for them.  There is only one way.

It is so important for the believer to understand that if we sin, we can still be forgiven and restored, no matter what the sin is we have committed.  1 John 2:1 says, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”  On the occasion of our sin, the Lord Jesus is our advocate, or intercessor.  We see an example of that intercessory work of the Lord in Luke 22:31-32 where we read, “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”  Even before Peter denied the Lord, Christ had already interceded for him, praying for his conversion, or more properly, his restoration.

Now let’s read 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  What a precious promise of God!  The Lord has promised to forgive and cleanse us when we confess our sins to Him.  Sometimes, our problem is that we find it hard to forgive ourselves.  May we learn to forgive as the Lord forgives.  Satan will use this to hold us back from serving the Lord and from enjoying the blessings of salvation.  The Lord does forgive us when we confess our sins.  Remember his words to the woman that was caught in the act of adultery in John 8:11, “…Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”  (78.2)