In the second of two posts of at Christward Collective on spiritual lethargy and the letter to the Hebrews (part one can be found here), I talk about the audience of the letter and how the discussion of apostates is used to encourage them in the faith. The logic is the logic of costly grace.
The author of Hebrews here lays out two paths, the path of belief and the path of unbelief, and neither are to be taken lightly. This difficult choice is not new to the author of Hebrews. There were times in Christ’s ministry when he seemed to dissuade followers, times when he would remind them that the faith he offers might mean death. Faith might mean losing everything; it might even mean a life of service to others.
Christ knew that there is a gravity to evangelism and we do well to take it to heart. We are not offering membership to a political party, or a social club, or a retreat center; we are offering life and death. Those who hear the gospel and reject it or receive it insincerely heap condemnation on themselves. Those who receive the gospel with faith and repentance receive an inheritance that the world cannot contain.
Either way, we dare not withhold the gospel from them but we should not be careless when we offer it.
The implication for ministers is sobering.
For those of us in ministry, it is easy to fall into habit. We can comfortably slide into the dangerous act of rote performance of the duties of ministry. Those in ministry are rarely the ones to receive encouragement and support in the community.
Followers of Christ, remember and yearn for grace, recognizing that it is a costly grace, but a grace that God gives generously to each of us.
Read the rest here.