But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (Hebrews 6:9-12)
It Is Easy To Be Discouraged
The danger of giving up the eternal reward is a very real and challenging reality for the people of God. There were saints in the first century who had shipwrecked their faith turning aside to fables and doctrines of men. Jewish Christians were vulnerable to returning to the Law as their spiritual comfort and some Gentiles struggled with the appeal of idolatry. Satan was always busy with persuading the soldiers of Christ to abandon their allegiance and fall prey to his devious wiles returning to a life of disobedience. The writer of Hebrews spends much of his time laying the groundwork of convincing early Hebrew Christians to hold fast to the doctrine of Christ not drawing back to perdition. There were those who had cast away their confidence and faith in God destroying their home in the promises of the Lord. They could not find a better law established on better principles than the law of Christ. There was a better priesthood created by the perfect sacrifice of the Son of God giving the only hope of eternal life in Jesus Christ. Why would these saints give up and return to the weakness of Moses’ law?
It is easy to become discouraged when faced with the trials of reproaches and tribulations. The Hebrew saints had endured great suffering when they obeyed the gospel. They had lost everything for the cause of Christ. Instilling a spirit of courage in their hearts, the Hebrew writer imposes on them the badge of courage to help them know God is not unaware of their struggles and He will reward them when the race of life is finished. The wavering Christians had a good heart and there was an assurance of better things for them. God had seen their work and labor of love toward His people and they needed to know their faith was important to the Lord. He was pleased with their diligence to keep the faith in the face of trial and run the race with patience like Jesus when He bore His cross. The need of the hour was to show the same diligence that had brought them thus far and retain that full assurance of hope until the end. Running the race is of no value if the race is not finished. Pleading with them to not become sluggish or lazy in their faith, they must imitate the example of saints like Abel, Noah, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Samson, David and a host of others who were like a cloud of witness before them. God will never forsake them. He will never leave them. The Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever. Do not give up.
The same appeal is made for the children of God today who face the challenge of giving up or become weak in their faith. It is easy to be discouraged and dismayed turning to the elements of the world to find satisfaction. Hebrews is a book of encouragement to show the danger of falling away and to infuse in the heart the joy of victory found in courageous faith. There is nothing in the world that can compare to the covenant of God in Christ. No religion, morality, faith, temptation or allurement of Satan can offer the peace and security as the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The great chapter of faith declares the trials that will be faced but the victory found in being found faithful in death to receive the eternal home promised by God. Children of God must constantly be aware of the danger of becoming lazy saints who spend little time growing in Christ. God has greater confidence in the lives of His people and expects the same. It will require diligence to attain the full assurance of hope until the end but it can be done. Do not give up. Never give up. God does not lie and the promises He made are sure and true and eternal. Do not miss Heaven or you will miss everything.