Hebrews 10:32–39 (NKJV)
The previous passage has discussed the plight of one who had tasted of the grace of God and then went back, renouncing one’s faith. That ominous message portended destruction and judgment. This passage, however, gives hope to those who persevere and withstand trouble in order to serve God faithfully.
32 But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: 33 partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; 34 for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven. 35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:
37 “For yet a little while,
And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.
38 Now the just shall live by faith;
But if anyone draws back,
My soul has no pleasure in him.”
39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.Hebrews 10:32-39
The author, in the style of Paul, encourages the Hebrews to recall their struggles earlier in their walk with God. Once they were enlightened and began to serve God in earnest, they were persecuted and shamed for their faith in Christ. They were reproached and put through tribulations, and even had to watch their friends endure the same. The Hebrews, though, had compassion on the writer while he was imprisoned, and gave willingly to those in need. Their motivation was the future reward in heaven. They knew the end result of their service would be a more enduring possession of blessings in the eternal beyond.
The author further encourages them to hold on to their confidence, knowing the reward. He stresses the need for endurance, so that they may do the will of God, finally realizing the reception of the promise made to them. He quotes Habakkuk chapter two in promising that the suffering will be short, for the Lord will come without much delay. Until then, the just shall live by faith. What a promise! Hold on just a while, and know that the Lord is coming. The instructions are simple: have faith. The passage offers a short warning to not draw back, for God has no pleasure in retreat. The writer, perhaps Paul, identifies the readers and himself as people who do not draw back to destruction, but rather press on, believing, to the saving of the soul.
In a world such as the one in which we live, it is easy to be drawn to competing ideologies and systems of belief. Humanistic philosophies abound. Atheistic and agnostic claims are rampant. Nationalistic religion is seen all over the world. The only true religion is that which names Jesus Christ as Lord. Do not be deceived. Do not go back and live as a sinner again. You can make it to the goal by faith in Jesus Christ. You can experience the staying power of the Holy Spirit. Submit yourself to the power of God, for the just shall live by faith!