Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

The Greatest Mistake!

Meditation for the week of April 8, 2012

Hebrews 10:29  Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?

This weekend, the fact that Christ is risen has been publicly proclaimed over and over.  The empty tomb and the many witnesses to the resurrection should convince an unbelieving world that God really has provided salvation in the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  But how many of us have really believed in the Lord and how many of us still reject Him?

Apparently, those who have rejected Christ and his sacrificial work on the cross suffer differing degrees of punishment.  I am convinced that heaven awaits those who trust in Christ and that the Lake of Fire awaits those who don’t.  What I don’t understand is how there can be degrees of punishment in that Lake.  Being tormented forever and ever for rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ would seem to be the greatest punishment that a person could endure.  Yet our verse reserves the worst punishment for Hebrews who reject Christ after having had all the blessings mentioned in the passage in their dealings with God through the centuries.  They were a people that had been sanctified or set apart for God in a national sense.  That doesn’t mean that they were all saved in the new testament sense.  But having had all the privileges that the Hebrews as a nation had, they still nailed the Lord to the cross.  Rejecting Christ with a rebellious spirit when the Lord had done everything possible to draw this people to Himself was a sin above all other sins.

Since the Hebrews are an earthly people with earthly promises, the Lord could be referring to the coming destruction of Jerusalem under Titus, the Roman general here.  He might also be looking forward to the tribulation period when the Hebrews will align themselves with the man we tend to call the Antichrist.  The Jews rejected the Lord when He was here but will accept the world’s counterfeit messiah in that day. The Lord may be telling the Jews that they had experienced judgment through Babylon and Assyria in the past because of their idolatry, but now they have made the gravest mistake that anyone could make.  They haven’t just worshiped idols, they have rejected their Savior.  Because of that, their past punishments will seem like a Sunday School picnic compared to the judgment that is coming.

However, while this may be the interpretation of the passage, the application has to be to those of us who are not Jews reading this today.  God is now calling a spiritual people out of the world to be his holy people.  These spiritual people are called believers and  have spiritual promises.   They enter a spiritual kingdom upon believing.  If those who have heard the Gospel and have had every reason and opportunity to believe in the Lord reject Him, I believe that their punishment will be greater than those who have not been the recipients of such opportunity.  While we are either saved or lost and there is no in between, yet some of those who are lost will suffer less than others that had great opportunity to be saved.  That principle seems to be found in the Gospels when the Lord says in several places, that Sodom and Gomorrah will be treated better than those who rejected the ministry of the Lord and his disciples when He was here on earth. (See  Mark 6:11 for example.)

There is a lot more to the Gospel than just providing a “fire escape” from the eternal burnings.  However, if we assume that the pictures in the Bible of eternal conscious punishment are simply allegories, then what must the real thing be like?  I hope these pictures are literal and not allegories.  And if punishment is more severe for those who have had the greatest opportunity to believe, then having a “fire escape” from the eternal burnings is reason enough for them to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.  However, we can thank the Lord that those who do worship the Lord in Spirit and in Truth have a lot more available to them than just salvation from punishment.  They get to enjoy a new life with Christ and all the spiritual blessings that come from being saved by grace through faith.

In view of the cost of trampling underfoot the Son of God and in view of the blessings that are available when we trust in the truth of the Scriptures, why would anyone in his or her right mind turn to man-made religions and philosophies when they could have the risen Lord as their own personal Savior and friend?.  Believing in the Lord saves. Rejecting Him condemns for eternity.  And that condemnation or judgment will be the greatest for those who were given every opportunity to believe.

Bruce Collins

1 Comment »

Comment by Mike Donahue

April 10, 2012 @ 11:20 pm

Very sad but very true. Alan Martin, who preached a lot about hell, (you can find some of his sermons on said that the people who suffer more in hell will be the ones who have a greater understanding of what they did because of the greater knowledge they had. He used the example of them getting 80,000 watt electrocution of God’s wrath while others may get a 50,000 watt charge. Whatever the case, I’m glad I don’t have to find out by experience since there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1), and I agree with you that this truth needs to be pressed home to the lost.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>