Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Time of Visitation
Pastor Steve Schell
Hebrews 12:18-29
God does things His way, He does not do things our way, nor does He ask our opinion or offer to compromise. He’s God and He doesn’t change. So when He comes to us He forces us to accept or reject Him on His terms. And what He offers is completely at odds with the world which means we’re faced with a difficult, costly choice: whether to follow Him or the way that seemed right to us. And if we reject Him, He’s not indifferent about our choice: He weeps.

A, Jesus’ prophetic lament (Lk 13:34, 35)
• Israel’s spiritual and political leaders had a long history of hostility when asked to repent (v 34)
• The Messiah will not come again until the inauguration of the Messianic Age (v 35)

B. Jesus offers to be Israel’s Messiah (Lk 19:28-44)
• (vs 28-35) What did Jesus offer?
• Zech 9:9, 10 – A salvation that would spread throughout Israel and then throughout the gentile nations
• He was saying, you don’t bring peace with military force or political structures. You bring peace by changing people’s hearts through salvation.
• “The things which make for peace” (v 42)
- A spiritual renewal based on repentance and faith in Jesus
- The crowd: a war of liberation led by the Messiah
- The religious leaders: killing Him to prevent a religious uprising which would provoke the Romans
• Proverbs 14:12 – “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death”
• (v 44) “…you did not recognize the time of your visitation”

C. The author of Hebrews offers Israel’s Messiah to us all (Heb 12:18-29)
In verses 18-29 the author makes his final appeal. This portion of chapter 12 provides the main summary of his letter. Here is where he demands we see the implications of all he has said and make a choice: for or against Jesus.

• He asks us to endure (vs 1-13)
- Persecution (Heb 12:3; 10:32-34)
- Martyrdom (12:4)
- The hardships of walking in faith (11:1-40), but thinking of those hardships as God’s discipline of you as His child (12:5-11)
- The struggle of denying the appetites of your flesh (12:15-17; 13:4)
- The sorrow of turning away from the faith of our family and ancestors, if they don’t believe in Jesus (8:6-13; 12:18-21)
- The loss of homes, fields and finances, and being content with what you have (13:5)
- All this without grumbling as you travel through the wilderness of this world, between “Egypt” and the “promised land” (3:7-19)

• He asks us to believe:
- That the Messiah has come. That He is Jesus.
- That this man is the eternal Son of God who was repeatedly addressed as God in the Old Testament (1:1-14)
- That God the Father will require all creation to kneel in submission to Him (1:13, 14)
- That God’s Son became a man and suffered our temptations and died violently in order to save us. He will come again in power (2:5-18).
- That the priesthood of Aaron has been eternally superceded by the priesthood of the Messiah (6:20)
- That God gives the promised new covenant to those who submit and trust the priesthood of Jesus (10:1-22)

• He asks us to desire: (vs 22-24)
- The eternal city of God (11:10, 16)
- Eternal fellowship with God (6:19, 20)
- Forgiveness for our sins “once for all” (10:11-22)
- The indwelling Holy Spirit (8:10, 11)
- Eternal fellowship with believers from every age of earth’s history (12:22, 23)
- Jesus Himself (12:24)
- The new unshakable universe God will create (12:28)

• He asks us to fear: (vs 25-29)
- The powerful God who caused Moses and all Israel to tremble at Mt. Sinai (12:25)
- The just God who punished Israel for breaking His covenant (12:25)
- The final judgment at which God will destroy the created universe (12:26, 27) and banish those who have rejected His Son (2:3; 6:8; 10:29-31)
- The shekinah glory (fire) of God which will someday consume this present universe (12:29; Rev 20:11; 21:1).

He says to His leaders and therefore to us as well: you must leave the Old Covenant made at Mt. Sinai and come not simply to the temple in Jerusalem but to the priesthood of the Messiah in heaven… to the New Covenant which Messiah gives us by sprinkling us with His shed blood.
• The Old Covenant has passed away, there’s no going back
• This present world is passing away, there’s no holding on
• You must choose:
- A heavenly city, not an earthly one
- A heavenly temple, not an earthly one
- A heavenly altar, not an earthly one
- A heavenly gathering of God’s people, not an earthly one
- A heavenly priest, not an earthly one

There’s a “time of visitation” for each of us when we have to choose:
• On Palm Sunday Jerusalem had to choose
• In A.D. 65 the readers of Hebrews had to choose
• Today you and I have to choose

1) Are there truths of God you don’t understand but just have chosen to humbly accept by faith? Name one.
2) Are there voices that try to lure you away from following Jesus? If you wish to, tell us what it is and how you deal with it when it comes. 

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