( HEBREWS 6: 7-9 )
FOR THE EARTH WHICH DRINKETH IN THE RAIN THAT COMETH OFT UPON IT, AND BRINGETH FORTH HERBS MEET FOR THEM BY WHOM IT IS DRESSED, RECEIVETH BLESSINGS FROM GOD: ( 8 ) BUT THAT WHICH BEARETH THORNS AND BRIERS IS REJECTED, AND IS NIGH UNTO CURSING; WHOSE END IS TO BE BURNED. ( 9 ) BUT, BELOVED, WE ARE PERSUADED BETTER THINGS OF YOU, AND THINGS THAT ACCOMPANY SALVATION, THOUGH WE THUS SPEAK.
I look at and, understand this to be one of the most revealing couple of verses that is found in scripture; especially to the Hebrew believers. If you remember the first part of this chapter he says, ( leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ ). As a teacher, I sought to lay out some of the things that only pertained to that particular doctrine. Here, the Apostle Paul is using a picture of the way the earth works to make the same point, that is; in a sense.
As you read; you will notice that the earth takes in the water that’s rained upon it. It brings forth food that can be eaten. however it also brings forth thorns and briers that are good for nothing but to be burned. As you read through the Old Testament you will notice that the ( Nation of Israel ) worked the very same way. When they yielded themselves to the will of God, blessings flowed upon them and, all that were contrary to God were destroyed. When that same nation followed God they were blessed with the riches of this earth, when they didn’t; famine would come.
Even once, as we read in Genesis, Josepth was sold into Egypt; which was totally contrary to God the Father. Although that was the case, because of his obedience to God the Father, he became ( the savior ) of his own people. You can read this in ( Genesis, chapters 37-46 ). As you read that, you can see a picture of ( the Church ) in this world. Born again believers in this world can flourish ( spiritually ) if we will surrender or yield our members to the will of God.
You see, God would bless Israel ( physically ) when they were obedient unto hin, even in Egypt. Israel would have victory over their ( physical enemy ) as long as they were seeking to do God’s will. If not, they would always be defeated. In the Old Testament God would have a spokesman so to speak. He would tell Israel the direction they were to go and basically every move to make. For example: in Joshua we can read about the walls of Jericho falling down flat. ( Joshua 6 ). If you look at all they did; it might look foolish to the world but, the victory was won. That, is or, can be seen as a ( physical victory )
Personally, ( I believe ) that if Israel as a nation would have yielded themselves to God the Father; they could have conquered the whole world. Today, Jerusalem would have been the Capitol of this world and we all wpuld have been submissive to that nation, bu they would not as a people follow God’s will. All that we see there was ( physical victories ).
Jesus Christ being born into this world in the Nation of Israel; as their rightful King was suppossingly God’s last effort to cause them to see and follow his will as a nation. While I might say that; we recognize that it was not to be. Jesus Christ was not born into this world to be king at that time but, to be the Savior of the whole world. I like this verse of scripture:
( Matthew 12:24-33 )
( Verse 31 )
Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
You can read that whole account however, I want to basically show you what he is saying. The Jews had rejected the voice of ( God the Father ) all through the Old Testament; As we see here, now; the same thing is happening to ( God the Son ) ( Jesus Christ ). Jesus is basically looking right into the eyes of the pharisees and saying. All this is blaspheme and, it will be forgiven unto. ( God the Father ) and ( God the Son ) will put this behind you but, I’m sending the Holy Spirit, this will be your last chance, if you reject that Spirit, there is no forgivemess, ever!
All this time the Nation of Israel has been looking for physical blessings from God, even all the way through the gospels when Jesus Christ walked with them. Now, look at what the Apostle Paul is telling them in verse ( 9 ) But, Beloved, we are persuaded ( better things of you ) ( and things that accompany salvation ) though we thus speak.
I want you to notice the phrase ( things that accompany salvation ). What are some of the things that accompany salvation? First, what is salvation? Salvation can be defined as the ability of God to place himself within the physical body of any individual that will allow him to do so. This is an act that the Nation of Israel had never experienced before. God had always placed his spirit upom whom he chose to. It wasn’t within man’s ability to possess his Spirit like it is today. I’d like to show you a verse that I often relate to how Israel looked at things vesres; how it had become as the Apostle Paul was teaching here.
( Acts 21:11&13 )
And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, so shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.
( verse 13 )
Then Paul answered, what mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.
As you consider these two verses; you can imagine Agabus as the prophet doing the same thing he had always done, not realizing that now, not only would God speak to him as a prophet but, ever person that was born again had the very same spirit living within them and had the ability to yield to the voice of that Spirit.
In a sense, the prophet Agabus was still seeking to live as things were before the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul here in Hebrews is trying to get the Hebrew believers to see ( a better way ). Even today many people struggle with the ( things the accompany salvation ). Often we still desire to be physically when there are things we should be more concerned about as we seek to die to our flesh and yield to the Spirit wihin us. In:
( Galatians 5:22-23 )
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, goodness, faith, ( 23 ) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
These are ( things that accompany salvation ). What comes along with your body each time you move? Can you leave your house and leave your hands or feet behind? It’s the very came way with the Spirit that lives within you as a born again believer. You just can’t say ( I have God’s Spirit ) but, I don’t have the ability to have joy, love, peace and so on. It’s very understandable that it might take time to reachsome of these things but we don’t have the ability to say that they are not within our bodies if we are born again.
We often fail to realize that the very same spirit that lived within the body of Jesus Christ now lives within each born again believer. The question is; can you yield the members of your body to that spirit? ( I’m persuaded better things of you )! It’s never a question of ( Can ) it’s always a question of ( Will )! Let’s look at this list again. You see and recognize what you see of yourself in this list. ( LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONGSUFFERING, GENTLENESS, GOODNESS, FAITH, MEEKNESS, TEMPERANCE. )
What are your weak points that are listed there? If you recognize any then God’s Spirit desies to help you with those weaknesses and, he will if you are willing to allow him to. Personally; ( I believe ) that what we call the modern day Church has become a great handicap for the average person that says they are born again. We rarely go beyond what our pastor says, we only follow a Sunday School quarterly, it we even do that. These are things we are taught by our leaders causing us to be spiritually weak. Let’s say you have no patience. Well, if you continue to take the same pill you’ve been taking for years, you never will. There is ( a better way )! That’s what the Apostle Paul is saying to the Hebrew believers.
The better way is for an individual to look at themselves, see their spiritual need, pray and study God’s word for the answers we have need of, truly willing to yield to him as much as possible.
I’d like to share something I see. First of all; what is the actual function of a local Church? It’s true fuction is to draw people to Christ and, to enable them to grow to spiritual maturity. It’s focus should the to become missionaries to the community it is centered in, teaching its members to lead people to Christ.
As I sit in Sunday School and, ( what we call ) worship service, almost every prayer request that is made has to do with the physical needs of people, never spiritual. In most cases, you never even hear the pastor mention prayer for someone that is lost. For instance; let’s say I go to work, I witness to an individual asking them if they are born again, and the man answers no. I can’t convince him to be saved. On Sunday morning in Sunday School and worship service; I stand up and say. I have a burden for Marshall Clayton, he is lost without Christ and in need of salvation. I request that this Church help me pray for him and, if you see him, tell him we are praying for his salvation. What if every Church member had that same burden for souls like it should be?
The Hebrew believers were clinging to the physical aspect of their lives and, starving to death spiritually. Are we not doing the same thing in our Churches? The Apostle Paul said; for him ( to live is Christ, to die is gain ). When we begin to treasure this life or the lives of others more in the physical sense then we have lost the true meaning of what Church or salvation is all about.
I think the next time someone asks me to preay for a physical need for someone, I’ll ask them; does this person know Jesus Christ as their savior, are they born again? It the person asking for that prayer says ( they don’t know ) then, I’ll say go ask them, if not witness to them, let’s seek to to get them saved first!
I’d like for you to consider this: In the Old Testament, didn’t God instruct Israel to completely destroy all of their enemy, any nation that walked with false gods? If you’re asking God to heal a man that is not born again, tell me, what good is that person’s flesh to God the Father? If that person is not willing to change their spiritual direction, even if it’s me, what good am I to God the Father?
The Apostle Paul was seeking to show the Hebrew believers ( a better way ). Today, the Church is that part of any community that seeks to show a people a better way, if not then we as members of that Church become just as the rest of the community and are completely worthless as part of God’s work?
We’ll continue this next week!
2 Timothy 1:7