Sermon:  Don't Throw it All Away


Summary:  In the Christian life, we must persevere in our faith, confession, and service because if we do not, the consequences are dire.  When we do not persevere in our faith, we throw away what is most important, including our savior, our brethren, and our promised reward. 


Know:  We must always persevere in our devotion and commitment to Christ or we throw away all that is most important.


Feel:  Motivation to serve in the name of Christ


Do:  Discuss the dangers and consequences of sluggish faith and the reward for perseverance.  Consider the things that contribute to exhaustion in faith and the things that help to renew strength in faith.  List and describe characteristics of a growing, enduring, and persevering faith.  Describe a personal plan to ensure this kind of faith.


Text:  Hebrews 10:26-39


Scripture Reading:  James 5:10-11



1.  Remember when in 5th grade, we walked 6 miles to go fishing on Saturday

            a.  We always had to stop and rest on the way back

            b.  But had to keep going, or never make it back home

2.  There are many things in life in which perseverance in absolutely necessary

            a.  The Christian faith is no exception.  Have been several exhortations

                        - 2:1-4 - Pay closer attention to what we heard or may drift from it

                        - 3:12f - Take care there not be an unbelieving heart, falling away

                        - 4:11 - Don't follow Israel's example of disobedience, diligence

                        - 6:1 0 - Press on to maturity, don't become dull of hearing

            b.  Many things sap our physical, emotional, spiritual energy

            c.  Previous text in 10:22-26 gave us three strengthening exercises

                        - Draw near to God

                        - Hold fast our confession without wavering

                        - Consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds

            d.  Now the text is showing what happens when we don't persevere

3.  Sometimes need reminder of dire consequences - can become complacent

            a.  But the pilot still needs to do preflight checks

            b.  The electrician still needs to observe safety protocols

            c.  The soldier still needs to maintain his rifle

            d.  If you do not practice perseverance in some things, results disasterous

4.  Text built around v.35-36 - Not throw away confidence, need endurance

            a.  If not persevere in our faith, we throw away what is most important

            b.  Text reminds us of three things we throw away if we do not persevere


I.  Jesus (v. 26-31)

            A.  We turn our back on Christ and he is no longer our savior

            B.  This is very serious

                        1.  No longer a sacrifice for sin

                                    a.  Only Jesus can take care of sin

                                                - He the only one who is man and God

                                                - He the only human without sin

                                                - He the only one raised from the dead

                                    b.  For unintentional sins

                                                - 9:7 - Said sacrifices for unintentional/ignorant sins

                                                - They were not for high handed rebellion

                                                - Typically there was no mercy for high handed crimes

                                                - The same is true today

                                                            = Premeditated crimes receive no mercy

                                                            = Crimes of passion receive mercy

                                                            = Unintentional crimes receive mercy

                                    c.  v.30 - Quotation originally was to comfort (Dt.32:35-36)

                                                - It was written against God's enemies

                                                - Here it is applied to all who do no persevere

                                                - Those who do not stick with Christ become enemy

                                    d.  Truly, there is no longer a sacrifice in rejecting Jesus

                        2.  Rejecting Jesus brings a more severe punishment

                                    a.  Those who had set aside law of Moses were punished

                                                - This is Dt 17:2-7- If they worshipped other gods

                                                - They died without mercy on basis of 2-3 witnesses

                                                - Seems pretty serious and pretty severe

                                    b.  Have seen Christ's blood, priesthood, covenant, greater

                                                - Christ is God, and the Son of God

                                                - Christ is our merciful and faithful High Priest

                                                - Christ took care of sin, enacted a new covenant

                                                - Christ rose from the grave, defeat sin and death

                                    c.  Much more severe consequence setting aside Christ

                                                - If he is greater and better than Moses, more severe

                                                - Jesus is the fulfillment of Israelite religion

                                                - Jesus is the center of Christianity

                                                - Jesus is our Lord, creator, and savior

                        3.  Text tells us what turning away from Christ is like

                                    a.  Tramples Jesus underfoot

                                                - Like throwing out old tea on the ground

                                                - Throwing it into the road like refuse

                                                - Wind up walking across it without a thought

                                    b.  Treats his blood as unclean

                                                - The blood is precious

                                                            = Blood of the covenant - Brings you to God

                                                            = It sanctified, redeemed, cleansed your sins

                                                - Rejecting Christ treats his blood as unclean

                                                            = Grk: koinon - common, unholy, profane,


                                                            = What difference between holy & common?

                                                            = Holy means set apart, dedicated, special

                                                            = When you reject Christ, treat him as common

                                    c.  Insults the Spirit of grace

            C. ILL:  New Base Commander, POW in Viet Nam, came to base theater

                        1.  National Anthem came on (this what they do in military theaters)

                                    a.  First time went to movie after Nam, they played it

                                    b.  Seeing the flag, hearing the music, emotional experience

                        2.  The Base Commander experiencing a different emotion now

                                    a.  Everyone in the theater talking, some didn't stand up

                                    b.  He stopped the movie and closed the theater for months

                        3.  This behavior was a huge insult to the flag

                                    a.  He fought for that flag and for those people

                                    b.  Many of his friends died for that flag, and the people

                                    c.  These people who enjoy the benefits of his imprisonment

                                         and them blood of his friends insulted him severely

                        4.  That is what it is like to Christ, but much worse

            D.  So we need to persevere in keeping Christ number one in our life

                        1.  He is the crucified and risen Son of God

                        2.  Do not get wishy-washy in your faith

                        3.  If you get wishy-washy, you throw him out and insult him

                        4.  Can wind up being lost


II.  Your brethren  (32-34)

            A.  If you turn away from Christ, you turn away from your brethren

            B.  The text now softens the rebuke by encouraging them to remember

                        1.  They former endured a great conflict of suffering

                                    a.  Conflict is aqlesin, where we get "athletic"

                                    b.  They were just suffering aimlessly

                                    c.  They were persevering so they could win the prize

                        2.  There were made a public spectacle

                                    a.  Grk:  qeatron - From where we get, "theater"

                                    b.  Enemies made a show out of their persecution

                                                - Being brought to trial was a public spectacle

                                                - The cross was a public spectacle

                                                - The arena was a public spectacle

                                    c.  They were following in the footsteps of Christ

                        3.  They became sharers with those so treated

                                    a.  They did not distance selves from brethren in crosshairs

                                                - Did not do as Peter did and deny Christ

                                                - Recognized them as brethren and became sharers

                                    b.  They visited their brethren in prison

                                                - Typical practice was to bring food, clothing, etc.

                                                - Prison not provide much like our prisons

                                                - Took great risk in doing so - Would be identified as

                                                   Christians or sympathizers

                                    c.  But Jesus identified with us

                                                - Became human, was persecuted

                                                - Died death of a criminal, the death we deserved

                                    d.  These Christians were following in Christ's steps

                        4.  They accepted joyfully the seizure of their property

                                    a.  Does not say they accepted it with cool detachment

                                    b.  Says they accepted it joyfully! They were not masochists

                                    c.  ILL:  How many of you have a penny?

                                                -  What if I took it? Mad, call police, effort get back?

                                                -  It is just a penny

                                                -  These Christians realized that it is all just a penny

                                                            = What is of true value is spiritual

                                                            = Earthly property could be taken, and decay

                                                            = Spiritual inheritance never taken away

                                                            =  New body & home, no enemy, no death

                                                -  v.34 - We have better and lasting possession

                        5.  Initially, they did not throw away Christ or their brethren

            C.  ILL:  Recently read about Hussein, an Iranian minister

                        1.  Life changed when he devoted life to Christ

                                    a.  Years before, he on drugs, prostitutes, and miserable

                                                - A friend introduced invited him to a meeting

                                                - Friend spent hours talking to him of Jesus

                                                - Friend gave him a Bible

                                                - Eventually, Hussein devoted himself to CHrist

                                    b.  Quit his job, sold his car to pay his debts

                                    c.  Traveled all across Iran to meet with Christians in homes

                                    d.  Of course, all of this was in secret

                        2.  One day, Iranian secret police burst in a meeting

                                    a.  Confiscated Christian materials

                                    b.  Three boxes Bibles in middle of room, they didn't notice

                                    c.  Hussein beaten and questioned, and sentenced to death

                                    d.  Thrown into solitary cell, water on floor, no bed

                        3.  Put into another prison with 250 death row inmates

                                    a.  Other prisoners treated him like royalty

                                                - They gave him a top bunk to sleep in

                                                - Asked him to tell friends in USA about their plight

                                                - Gave him their food, and private shower

                                                - Could even use the phone and call his wife

                                    b.  He began to minister to those in the prison too

                                                - The other inmates knew he was a Christian

                                                -  When a guard offered to move him to a safer part of

                                                   the prison, Hussein declined

                                    c.  Family brought deed to house, he released on bail

                                    d.  A friendly judge found mistakes on Hussein's appeal

                                        document and offered to help him with it

                        4.  Hussein told a Voice of the Martrys representative:  "One of two

                             things will happen, they will either kill me or there will be other

                             miraculous events like these.  Which one is bad?"

                                    a.  Hussein was doing well in his faith

                                    b.  He did not throw away Christ or his brethren

            D.  These Hebrew Christians had been doing well at one time too

                        1.  So what was the problem?  They got sluggish, slowing down

                                    a.  They had been persecuted off and on for some time now

                                    b.  We know from 12:4 none of them had been murdered yet

                                    c.  Imagine if they had children, makes it hard

                                    d.  After awhile, they got tired of it all

                        2.  Eventually they started to distance themselves

                                    a.  From Christ, because they not holding fast confession

                                    b.  From the brethren, they assembling less and less

                        3.  They needed to remember the fire they had

                                    a.  They did well at first, needed to keep it going

                                    b.  Understood persecution not a strange thing for Christians

                                                - Jesus said the world hates him, and would hate you

                                                - World loves its own, but we are not of this world

                                                - They persecute Christ, would persecute flowerers

                        4.  What about us here today?

                                    a.  No tribulations like they had

                                                - No one going to haul us away because of our faith

                                                - No one going to seize property due to our faith

                                                - Probably not going to get assaulted because of it

                                    b.  With lack of these persecutions, should be strong right?

                                                - Hold fast our confession without wavering right?

                                                - Jesus is always #1 in all we do right?

                                                - We have habit of assembling and encouraging right?

                                    c.  If can't say yes, then why not?

                                                - Prosperity and comfort can be a challenge too

                                                - Just before Israel enter land, they were warned

                                                - When they become prosperous, don't forget

                                    d.  Comfort and prosperity can make you weak too

                                                - Don't throw away Christ

                                                - Don't throw away brethren

                                                - 10:24 - Consider how to stimulate one another to

                                                   love and good deeds


III.  Your Reward (35-39)

            A.  Lack of persistence in Christ throws away your reward

            B.  The exhortation is very clear here - Do not throw away your confidence

                        1.  Syn for confidence:  Assurance, boldness, trust, faith

                        2.  Essentially we are talking about unwavering faith in God

                        3.  Text quotes from Hab 2

                                    a.  Hab 2:3 - God is coming to recompense

                                                - This was a prophecy of judgment

                                                - Lord of Hosts would devastate those not with him

                                                - God's coming is a coming in judgment here

                                    b.  Hab 2:4 - BUT the righteous shall live by faith

                                                - This devastation is only for the unrighteous

                                                - It is by their faith that the righteous shall live

                                                - If you are to have life, it will be by faith

                                                - You cannot be right with God without faith

                                    c.  If he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him

                                                - Shrinking back is denying Christ

                                                - Shrinking back is like taking off wedding ring

                                                - Shrinking back is like committing adultery

                        3.  Basis of our confidence/faith:  Promise of God

                                    a.  When endure and do will of God, receive the promise

                                    b.  God's promise is sure and steadfast, an anchor

                                    c.  God made promise four thousand years ago to Abraham

                                    d.  Any other 4000 year old promises that are good?  No.

            C.  ILL:  How do you ensure a promise?

                        1.  Some call it a written guarantee - We ask or look for one

                                    a.  Satisfaction guaranteed - You WILL like it

                                    b.  Guaranteed to remove stains or money back

                        2.  God gave us a guarantee

                                    a.  Guarantee to remove the stain of sin

                                    b.  Satisfaction is guaranteed - No more mourning there

                        3.  This guarantee is written and sealed in blood, the blood of Christ

                                    a.  Bible calls it a covenant

                                    b.  Bible also says that God swore by himself

                                    c.  Nothing can be more reliable than this

            D.  Don't throw away your reward, it is guaranteed

                        1.  There are many dwelling places, and one has your name on it

                        2.  You also have a new body waiting for you

                        3.  Will eat at the Lord's Table in his presence



1.  Need to persevere, don't ask - "how little can I do and still get by?"

            a.  ILL:  Observer wrote:  I look at a stone cutter hammering away at a rock a hundred times without so much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the 101st blow it splits in two. I know it was not the one blow that did it, but all that had gone before. 

            b.  Don't stop hammering, don't slow down hammering

            c.  Most don't just stop abruptly, most turn away from Jesus gradually

            d.  Persevere in your faith

2.  Maybe you never turned to him to begin with

            a.  Only he can take care of sin in your life, only he can bring you to God

            b.  Come to him now (inv)

3.  Have you stumbled and fallen short?

            a.  Pick the tool back up and keep hammering away, don't stop

                        - If you fall, persevere

                        - If you fall over, persevere

                        - If you get tired, persevere

            b.  Maybe you have picked up something else instead of the tools

                        - Need to put it down and pick the tools back up again

                        - Some sort of sin in your life to get rid of, do it today

4.  (v.39) - We don't shrink back to destruction because we have faith.  Right?

            a.  Okay to say this

            b.  I always wonder at the change in the Jesus loves me song

                        - "I will henceforth live for thee"  or  "I will try to live for thee"

            c.  Would never say "I will try" in our marriage vows right?  We say, "I will"

5.  Be strong, be encouraged.

            (1 Cor 15:58)  - Be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, knowing that your hard work is not in vain in the Lord


Small Group Notes:  Don't Throw it All Away


Summary:  In the Christian life, we must persevere in our faith, confession, and service because if we do not, the consequences are dire.  When we do not persevere in our faith, we throw away what is most important, including our savior, our brethren, and our promised reward. 



Open:  (choose one)

- When in your life has hanging in there and sticking it out really paid off?

- How do you typically deal with exhaustion?



Explore:  Hebrews 10:26-39


1.  This section begins with the warning of going on sinning willfully or deliberately.  Discuss the difference between this kind of sin and unintentional sin.  How does one know the difference between the two?  How does becoming sluggish or slow of hearing contribute to this kind of sin?


2.  What are the consequences of a lack of endurance in faith according to this passage?  Are the consequences more or less severe than under the old covenant and why?


3.  Describe what an enduring faith look like for these Hebrew Christians?  How did they exemplify it in the past? 


4.  What were these Christians in need of?  How does the text help them to get it?





5.  What are some things, practices, activities, ministries, or challenges that causes exhaustion in your faith? 


6.  What are some things, practices, activities, ministries, or challenges that help you to renew or strengthen your faith?


7.  Do you feel you are at a down time in your faith, or on an upswing?  Why?


8.  What do you need at this time to strengthen your faith for the long haul?