Monday after the Third Sunday in Advent
Scripture: Hebrews 10:35-39 (NKJV)
35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: 37 “For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” 39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.
When the writer of Hebrews bids us not to throw away our confidence, he is not simply telling us not to lose our faith. The word used here refers to “outspokenness”—to boldness in confessing what the Christ has done for us. This word can refer to brashness or a licentious use of the tongue. Here, though, it is clearly that we are not to be cowed by the world and its persistent attacks upon us who trust in the One Who was coming, Who has come, and Who is yet to come in glory to judge the quick and the dead. While they boldly proclaim that His having not returned yet is some mark against Him, we must boldly proclaim that the work He did when He first appeared is no less certain now than then, and that He delays as a display of His mercy that desires the salvation of all.
The one who draws back from this confession draws back unto eternal death, because faith lives itself out in such words and deeds by the believer. If the faith is denied, how can it abide? A righteous one is righteous only by faith, so by faith he has life and by faith he lives. If he would not so live, is he not despising the gift of life in Christ? God mercifully grant, then, by the Holy Spirit’s working through the message of Christ read, spoken, washed over us, and fed to us, that we would not shrink back from the confident profession of this faith, but be those believing unto the saving of the soul!
O Holy Spirit, grant that we do not shrink back from the faith you have given us in the Christ, but boldly confess that we who deserve nothing but death now have eternal life in Him. Amen.