Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Hebrews 12:24-29
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Hebrews 12:24
Verse 24: We’ve come to an eternal city filled with angels (v 22). We’ve come to a “holy convocation” of God’s people in heaven (v 23). We’ve come to God the Father who judges all who come to Him (v 23). And finally the author tells us we’ve come to Jesus our high priest who has sprinkled us with His atoning blood so that we can receive the promised New Covenant (v 24). As our “mediator,” Jesus stands in the middle between us and God the Father bringing together the two estranged parties. Unlike the relationship God had with His people in the Old Covenant, we who have been “sprinkled” are now able to “draw near in full assurance of faith” (Heb 10:22). We have “confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus” (Heb 10:19).

Monday: Hebrews 12:24
Verse 24 (continued): By using the word “sprinkled” the author pictures Jesus as our high priest who has performed a “sin offering” as prescribed by the Law of Moses (Lev 4:2-6, 13-18;16:11-19; Heb 9:11-14, 19-22; 10:22; 1Pe 1:2). It is as though He had taken His finger and dipped it in a bowl of His own blood and splashed it seven times before the veil of heaven’s sanctuary. So when we receive by faith His death on the cross in effect He performs a “sin offering” on our behalf before God the Father. But unlike Israel’s priests He doesn’t need to keep repeating this ceremony because His blood “speaks a better thing than Abel’s” (literal). Just as Abel’s blood continued to cry out to God for justice from the ground after his brother murdered him (Ge 4:10; Heb 11:4), Jesus’ spilled blood continues to cry out to God for mercy for all who come to Him.

Tuesday: Hebrews 12:25
Verse 25: In verses 22-24 the author asked his readers to keep hope alive. He want them to remember the eternal destiny awaiting those who endure in faith. Now in verses 25-29 he warns them about the future judgment that awaits those who do not endure. If hope isn’t enough to convince them to make the right choice then they need to remember there is much to fear for those who turn away from Jesus. They need only let their minds go back to their ancestors’ encounter with God at Sinai to discover that He is willing to punish those who disobey Him (He 3:16-19). There on a mountain in the wilderness He gave His laws to Israel through a man named Moses (Dt 5:1-5, 22-27, 31), and when they stubbornly refused to obey He let that entire generation die before leading the nation into the promised land (Heb 3:7-11). The warning given by their example should be clear: “…if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth…” how much more severe will the punishment of those who rebel against His Son who is seated at His right hand in heaven (Ps 110:1; Heb 1:13). After all, He promised Jesus to make His enemies a “footstool” for His feet.

Wednesday: Hebrews 12:26
Verse 26: When God spoke to Israel from the top of Mt. Sinai “the whole mountain quaked violently” (Ex 19:18; Ps 68:7), but that earthquake was nothing compared to the shaking that will take place when He destroys this present universe. To make this point the author quotes from Haggai 2:6 which says, “Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land.” If we read on in Haggai (Hag 2:7-9) we can see that the prophet was specifically describing the future millennial kingdom which will be set up when the Messiah rules the earth from Jerusalem, but the author of Hebrews looks to an event beyond that preliminary “shaking” of world governments. He’s describing the destruction of heavens and earth as they now exist after the Millennium has ended and the final judgment has taken place (Heb 1:10-12; 1Co 3:13-15; 7:31; 2Co 4:18; 2Th 1:7-10; 2Pe 3:7-13; Rev 21:1-22:5).

Thursday: Hebrews 12:27
Verse 27: The words, “those things which can be shaken” mean everything that is part of this present created order. By “shaking” it he means God will destroy it by releasing upon it the “fire” of His glory in its full intensity (2Pe 3:7, 10-13). At some point in the future the time period in which God has allowed rebellion in both the spiritual and human realms will come to an end (Mt 24:35, 36). When it does such passages as those listed above tell us He will destroy the physical universe by removing all restraint to His glory, so that the “fire” of His holy presence will devour it all. However, since spirits never cease to exist and since both the righteous and unrighteous will be resurrected (Jn 5:25-29) He will separate from Himself all who rebelled, whether angels or humans (Mt 7:23; 25:41; 2Pe 2:4, 9: Jude 1:6; Rev 20:10-15). He does this so that “those things which cannot be shaken may remain” referring to the eternal kingdom just described in verses 22-24.

Friday: Hebrews 12:28
Verse 28: God does all these things to prepare a glorious kingdom for us (Da 7:27). While on earth Jesus made it plain that God’s kingdom authority was already at work on earth (Mt 4:17; 6:10; 10:7; 12:28; Lk 17:20, 21), but in the future His authority will be expressed in its complete form in a beautiful city populated by resurrected believers, located on a newly created earth (Rev 21:1-4). The devil and his angels will be bound (Rev 20:10). Rebellious humans will be removed (Rev 22:14, 15). Sin, sorrow, sickness and death will never again exist, so this new kingdom will be “unshakable.” It will be a place where God’s judgment never occurs again. And because this hope awaits us the author encourages us to “keep holding on to grace (or, “keep on giving thanks”) through which we may worship God in a way that pleases Him with reverent devotion and holy fear” (literal).

Saturday: Hebrews 12:29
Verse 29: The author still has one more statement to add to his warning. He says, “For indeed our God is a consuming fire” (Dt 4:24). Of course God is a person, not a substance, but he wants us to see that His essential goodness is so completed that He exudes a power which acts like fire. It often appears as a light so intense that if it were not restrained it would destroy all that is not holy. This picture emerges when we look at descriptions of Him in the Old and New Testaments (Ex 3:2; 19:18; 33:18-23; Isa 26:11; 33:14; 66:15, 16; Eze 1:4, 13; Da 7:9; Zeph 1:18; 3:8; 2Th 1:7; Heb 10:27; 2Pe 3:7, 10-13; Jd 1:7; Rev 20:11). Those having “the righteousness which is according to faith” (Heb 11:7) are able to longingly look forward to an eternity in that holy “fire” (Rev 21:23; 22:5), but those without it must dread the prospect (Heb 10:27). To them His glory is a “consuming fire.”

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