Memory Text: “For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise” (Hebrews 10:36, NKJV).
We only have excerpts of how the apostles in the Bible preached sermons and we are only left with the option to imagine how it could feel to hear them preach full sermons. However, Hebrews however contains a complete sermon, these sermons were addressed to those who experienced difficulties, and these sermons as much as they were relevant to the Hebrews are relevant to us as well.
What was the experience of the audience of Hebrews when they were first converted?
The Hebrews had never heard Jesus preach to them before, the messages they heard were from Evangelists. However, the Spirit gave early Christian Believers the conviction that their sins are forgiven and they were not to be afraid of judgment, this Spirit also led the apostles to announce the gospel in languages previously unknown to them.
What was the experience of the audience of the Hebrews after their conversion?
The Audience of Hebrews suffered verbally and physically in the hands of mobs stirred up by opponents (eg. Acts 16:19-22, Acts 17:1-9).
Why were Christian Believers persecuted based on the experiences of Moses and the Readers of 1 Peter?
Public animosity against Christians was the result of their distinctive religious commitments. To “bear the reproach of Christ” means to identify Oneself with Christ and endure the shame and abuse that this association implied.
What was one of the challenges Believers were facing?
It is usual among persons that after the thrill of victory passes, psychological and other kinds of defenses are relaxed and people tend to be vulnerable to counterattacks. Elijah had been so victorious after the contest at Mount Carmel, however, He was posed with a threat that caused Him to run away.
What did Paul suggest that Believers do in the face of the challenges?
Paul emphasizes the practice of hospitality, and care for fellow Believers. He also warns them against drifting away and having a heart of unbelief, He also exhorts them not to forsake the assembling of the Saints.
Paul also encourages them with Jesus and His ministry in the heavenly sanctuary.
What warning is Paul passing to us for these last days?
Paul exhorts the Hebrews to hold fast to the confession of their faith, to fix their eyes upon Jesus, He exhorts them against sexual immorality, covetousness and He also exhorts them to observe and obey their leaders.
Challenges and persecutions may come because of our strong decision to abide by Jesus and His principles, but we should draw encouragement from 2 Corinthians 12:9 which says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness…”. For the disheartened, there is a remedy – faith, prayer, work. I pray that these attributes be found in Us all by God’s grace in Jesus’ name.