Please bear with me for this long article. It is necessary to explain background. Do read till the end and I guarantee you, you will be blessed.
Recently I found an interesting blog which states that we can lose our salvation in 70 ways. For the complete list of the 70 “ways”, kindly refer to:https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/70-ways-of-losing-your-salvation-1-stop-believing-luke-813/
You will find links to the rest of the myths at the end of this article. Please refer to them after your finish this article.
Today we will deal with myth No 8: Being sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau. Hebrew 12:16
Hebrews 12 is perhaps one of the most difficult passages to understand. The key to understand Hebrews 12 is found in verse 1 and the understanding of the words “the sin that so easily entangles us”. The whole of Hebrews 12 speaks about how God disciplines you in order to deal with “the sin that so easily entangles you”.
Until you understand this you will think that God disciplines His children with “punishment” and “scourging” when we sin. The whole understanding is thus misconceived. We must understand that Hebrews 12 is written to emphasize what the writer said in Hebrews 10, not 11. Hebrews 11 is written also to emphasize what Hebrews 10 says.
As such it is important to note that the “faith” people in Hebrews 11 are NOT “heroes of faith”. They are merely witnesses. That is why Hebrews 12 starts of with surrounded by a great cloud of “witnesses”. Many times we read Hebrew 11 independently of Hebrews 10. It is here the writer in Hebrews 12 tells us that they are witnesses.
The question is this what are they witnessing to? The answer is in Hebrews 10. The writer paints a picture of a Court room and he calls his first witness. The people in Hebrews 11 are further witnesses waiting to be called. Who is the first witness and what is he witnessing to?
Be excited! He is the Holy Spirit! What is He witnessing to?
15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
16 “This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”[b]
17 Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”[c]
18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
It is pertinent to note that the words “sacrifice for sin” is a reference to the bulls and goats that were offered. There is no need for them anymore. The problem here was that the Jews after receiving this knowledge continued to worship this way. The reason the Spirit can testify this way was because Jesus had not just forgave your sins but also took away your sins once and for all.
So the writer tells them if you know this and revert to placing your faith in the worship of bulls and goats you are “sinning willfully”. I wrote about this in an earlier note. Let me just go through this again.
This is the passage which speaks about “Sinning Willfully” which presupposes that the blood of Jesus only clean your past sins.
Here is the passage from the Jewish New Testament.
26 For if we deliberately continue to sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but only the terrifying prospect of Judgment, of raging fire that will consume the enemies.[f]
28 Someone who disregards the Torah of Moshe is put to death without mercy on the word of two or three witnesses.[g]29 Think how much worse will be the punishment deserved by someone who has trampled underfoot the Son of God; who has treated as something common the blood of the covenant[h] which made him holy; and who has insulted the Spirit, giver of God’s grace!
Notice this sin is a singular sin. It is the same sin mentioned in Hebrews 12:1. One sin. That sin is only possible “after receiving the knowledge of the truth”. Before receiving the knowledge of the truth, you cannot perform this “sin” and the damage only comes when you do it “willfully”. Thus it cannot mean your every day “sins” because all your daily sins are willful.
What then is this “sin”? If you read about this “sin” in Hebrews 12, it is also the sin that entangle “us”. By now you should know the word “us” mean the Jews. What is the cure for this “sin” then? The writer of Hebrews says to look at Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.
So what then is this “sin” that only be cured by fixing our eyes upon Jesus? It is found a few verses thereafter. It is to treat the blood of Jesus like common blood. Look at the context of Hebrews 10. We do not treat Jesus blood like common blood when we sin. We treat the blood of Jesus like common blood if we treat it like the blood of bulls and goats. How?
Well the blood of bulls and goats give you annual and temporal forgiveness. Jesus’ blood cleanses you forever because your sins are taken away (yes even the ones which you have not done) once and for all. Some of you here would argue your future sins are not taken away. But let me ask you something, when Jesus died were your born yet? Were the sins you committed before you came to Jesus future sins the moment Jesus died? Of course. So are the sins you will commit from the point of the cross.
As such “the knowledge of the truth” is to know the sacrifice provided the law, the Torah i. e. the blood of bulls and goats (common blood) cannot save you. Only the blood of Jesus can.
Thus this “sin” simply means not believing Jesus but reverting to believing to that the religious system of the blood of bulls and goats saves you. Simply said going back to worship provided by the temple of Solomon. In short, going back to the Torah to obtain your salvation.
As such when you read such things under context, you will now understand why the writer is calling further witnesses that it is faith in Christ (the champion who initiates and perfects our faith) that saved them. They were credited with their faith not law. They were recognized for their faith. Let me make a bold statement now. They were not credited for their faith in God, but they were credited as righteous because of the faith God gave to them.
You may think now I am dead wrong. Well let’s look at some of these witnesses. How was Noah righteous? He was drunkard. How did get his righteousness? Look at Hebrews 11 “became heir of the righteousness”. It was given to him as a gift. How did Abraham become righteous? He was a liar and a coward. Hebrews 11 tells us “when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” If you actually read Genesis 11, Abraham did not obeyed, he was hesitant to go. He moved from Ur and stayed in Haran for a long time and only when he lost his father and brother, he left for Moreh. Yet God sees him righteous. Why?
See v 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
How did Abraham have descendants as many as the stars when at a time not on Sarah was barren but Abraham too? The term “good as dead” means Abraham was also by now barren. Just as Sarah received a new womb, Abraham received a new lease of life in his body.
But let me ask you a question did Abraham believe all the way? If so we would not the Hagar saga. So again we see here, it is God who never wavered. Why? God credited to him righteousness and thus remember not Abraham’s sins. Yet in Hebrews 10 paints him as the perfect man of faith.
Look at Moses, who was said to “ 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.” But let us look at the facts… Moses left because his murder was discovered by another and he flee because he feared the king’s anger. Yet he was credited for his faith. Why?
All these tell us one very important thing, it was not their faith per se that saved them, it was God’s faith and faithfulness that saved them. What the writer of Hebrews is actually saying is this, they were credited not because they were heroes. The real hero here is God.
Thus the writer is trying to state that even the Old Testament people were saved not by obedience to the temple worship of bulls and goats demanded by the Law. [See Hebrews 10: The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it (being the law) can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.] In other words it was not the Law that saved them. They were saved by faith. Hence the issue here in Hebrews 12 is an issue addressed to the Jews, you cannot be saved by obeying the Law.
So the whole issue in Hebrews 12 is about Jews who refused to come to Christ or that they had come to Christ but were STILL or wanted to revert to trusting the blood of bulls and goats to saved them i. e. by obedience to the Law. That dear friends, is the “sin that so easily entangle us’. This “us” are the Jews. Notice it is a singular “sin”. The cure was this “sin” is looking unto Jesus “the author and the finisher of our faith” or the person who perfects our faith. [You must understand that the bloodshed he is talking about refers to people like Paul and the apostles who constantly persecuted by the Jews who wanted to keep the Law. He is not talking about martyrs.]
Hence the whole idea of God’s discipline there is to train you “like a child” to walk under faith righteousness and not law righteousness. The best translation that reflects this is the Message. “God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.”
Note here the passage clearly says that it isn’t punishment. It is about making them mature. Many have used this passage and teach disaster and sickness comes from God as discipline. That is rubbish. See the next verses.
“12 Lift up your tired hands, then, and strengthen your trembling knees!13 Keep walking on straight paths, so that the lame foot may not be disabled, but instead be healed.”
Hey when God disciplines you “YOU ARE HEALED”! Don’t hate me. I am only reading in context!
Let me remind you that this “discipline” refers to Jewish Christians who were tempted because of persecution to revert back to Judaism or not to believe in Jesus. It is at this juncture; if you are such a Jew, you will escape the persecution and be accepted back to the Jewish community, if you revert back to Judaism.
Hence the writer says if you do that, your focus is short sighted and you are only concern with the temporal. You are thinking like Esau. You only think of the short term blessings rather that was has been given to you through your supernatural birth.
You have to understand the passage is not talking a sexual sins but a person who sells his soul for a short-term pleasure. The word there is:
1) a man who prostitutes his body to another’s lust for hire
2) a male prostitute
3) a man who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse, a fornicator
Notice this is word where we get our word “porn” from?
It however does not mean, Christians who sin sexually will lose their salvation but rather it is an expression who speaks about an attitude of a prostitute who only thinks of temporal satisfaction. It was a reference to Jewish Christians who wanted to turn back to Judaism because they could not tolerate the persecution from Jews. It’s like when we call someone “bitch”. We do not mean she is a dog but she carries a terrible attitude.
Paul in Galatians 5 states they were running the good race and they had stop running. See “7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?” The context here is that the Galatians started in grace and then they reverted to law. So “running the good race” is actually keeping in the grace of God. In fact Paul says he beats his body to be discipline to run this race!
So the “discipline” in its context, is basically keeping you in grace rather turning back to law. See Hebrews 12: 15 “Guard against turning back from the grace of God. Let no one become like a bitter plant that grows up and causes many troubles with its poison.16 Let no one become immoral or unspiritual like Esau, who for a single meal sold his rights as the older son.17 Afterward, you know, he wanted to receive his father’s blessing; but he was turned back, because he could not find any way to change what he had done, even though in tears he looked for it.”
Note the reference to Esau is merely Hebraism. It’s another way of saying “keep in the grace of God. Don’t be Esau who only looked at temporal blessings but not the everlasting blessings”. So the writer of Hebrew is saying, if you give up your birthright as a Christian and go back to Judaism, you are an Esau. It has nothing to do with sexual sins.
I hope you are able to see things in context. Please note I am not saying we can go ahead and sin sexually. Paul states your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Specifically he is actually saying you must know who you are. You are now of the resurrected life and you do not need earthly sensual temporal pleasures anymore.
I pray that those who were somehow had sin sexually and think this passage condemns you. Please don’t. God loves you and wants to forgive you and cleanse you. Let me just close by encouraging you that despite what you did, you are on a beautiful mountain call Zion. There God is waiting to heal and cleanse you.
“22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn,whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”
Be very blessed, you are still saved. Now go to Jesus and get yourself healed.
That’s myth 8. Here are the rest!
For myth No. 3, 20 and 50 please refer to:https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/70-myths-about-losing-salvation-myth-3-and-20-you-can-lose-your-salvation-if-you-shrink-back-and-when-you-sin-willfully-3/
For myth No: 4 please refer to:https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/2012/06/11/70-myths-on-losing-salvation-4-doctrine-of-demons-3/