According to the billions of people who comprise the hundreds of Catholic/Protestant Churches, faiths, etc., one of the basic “truths” upon which they all agree is the “fact” that sin is an unavoidable and ever-present reality in a Christian’s life. Having long ago abandoned God’s Word as the standard by which he will be judged (Jn. 12:44-50), religious man uses his experience to determine right and wrong. I have heard people say that though God says something must be done, human experience “proves” that He did not mean what He said. The fact that God condemns his refusal to obey His command is irrelevant. The fact that God condemns him for refusing is also irrelevant. Relevance, we are told, equals man’s experience. If man cannot (will not) do it, it is irrelevant. This was the attitude many within the early church had developed within a generation of her founding in 31 A.D. For this reason the apostles were continuously having to warn the churches about the wages of sin that they would earn if they refuse to repent, return to God and live as His Son lived (1 Jn. 2:6; 3:3/ Rev. 3:21). The Hebrews to whom the Apostle Paul wrote his epistle were no exception. His letter to them is summarized in the message found between chapter 5 verse 9 and chapter 6 verse 6 where we are told about the crucifixions of Jesus, why He was and continues to be crucified and by whom. Let us now study that segment of God’s Holy Word. Jesus identified His Father’s Word as Truth (Jn. 17:17).
The Hebrew (Israelite) converts to Christ had followed Satan’s false prophets away from the Lord’s “true gospel” and to the devil’s “perverted gospel” (Gal. 1:6-9). As did their spiritual parents in Eden, the Hebrews had believed the Serpent, embraced his rules and obeyed them, all the while “knowing” that they would “… not surely die.” Let us now turn to Hebrews 5:9 and begin a careful examination of Paul’s message to them which God preserved for “our instruction upon whom the ends of the world have come” (1 Cor. 10:11). “Our” refers to the modern day Laodicean (Catholic/Protestant) Church described in Revelation 3:14-17. This is the Laodicean (final) era of the church which was prophesied to be in existence when Christ returns to earth. The Revelation passage perfectly describes her.
Verse 9 was/is an attention-getter. Here Paul told the Hebrews then and professing Christendom now that SALVATION WILL BE GRANTED ONLY TO THOSE WHO OBEY THE LORD’S WORDS. In verse 11 Paul tells the Hebrew converts that he was having trouble teaching them because they had become “dull of hearing” God’s Words. In verse 12 he calls them religious babies because they would not receive His “strong meat” (deeper teachings). In fact, they had even rejected the church’s “breast milk” (basic teachings)–the “first principles” taught to little children. In verse 13 Paul again calls them babies because they had no knowledge of “the Word of righteousness” (strong meat) which must be believed and obeyed in order to inherit salvation. In verse 14 he tells them that only those who consume strong meat can distinguish between good and evil.
Beginning with 6:1 Paul begins to describe the message of the church of that day, the message that continues to be preached by Satan’s “ministers of righeousness” (1 Cor. 11:13-15). God calls it “breast milk.” If a flesh and blood baby is fed only physical milk he/she will eventually be declared dead. However, if a religious baby is fed only religious milk he will eventually be declared “saved.” In verse 1 Paul tells the Hebrews that they must “LEAVE THE BASIC PRINCIPLES (MILK) OF THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST AND GO ON TO PERFECTION (MATURITY),” which is necessary for salvation. He then lists some of Christ’s “basic principles” that we must leave: repentance of sin, faith toward God, baptisms, the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. Notice that he commanded them to STOP LISTENING TO THOSE WHO PREACHED THOSE PRINIPLES. Do they sound familiar? They should, for those “milky ” messages are ALL one hears in church. They are good if one is a babe in Christ. But we must mature, be “drawn from the breast” (Isa. 28:9,10), reject the church’s milk and begin consuming the Lord’s “strong meat.” Milk is what you hear in church because the church is spiritually dead, having died of natural causes just as a baby will die naturally if fed only milk as he/she ages. The church has never heard God’s Truth (strong meat) and therefore remains in the same condition as the Hebrews–spiritually dead. The church has never been taught to consume strong meat. Only those who have heard God’s true messengers have been exposed to it. THIS MINISTRY PUTS FORTH ONLY STRONG MEAT. I leave the breast feeding to the Institutional Church whose parishioners have never been “drawn from the breast” and therefore cannot learn God’s Truth (Isa. 28:9,10).
In verses 4 and 5 Paul cuts to the heart of the matter by reminding the Hebrews that in the past they had heard the Truth/Word/Law, had believed and obeyed it, but then had “fallen away” from God (Lk. 10:16). Having rejected God’s Word, they had been living in sin. He defines sin as the transgression of the Law (1 Jn. 3:4). Now listen to what Paul, writing under the power of the Holy Spirit, says to the Hebrews (and us) about their (our) sins in verse 6. Here he tells them that EACH TIME THEY SINNED THEY RECRUCIFIED CHRIST. Nothing has changed. Each time we sin we spiritually crucify the Son of God “afresh” (AGAIN). IN THE EYES OF GOD EACH TIME WE SIN WE NAIL HIS SON TO THAT CROSS. Not only that, but we “treasure” (store) up our sins until the day of God’s wrath (Rom. 2:5). Tears fill my eyes as I write these Truths.
But there are no tears in the eyes of the billions of SINNERS SAVED BY GRACE when they answer Satan’s call to defy God. There are no tears when they brag about sinning and getting away with it because of God’s grace. These are those who have turned God’s grace into a license to sin. These are ungodly, condemned men who have sneaked into the church where they have attained positions of leadership. These are men who deny both God and Christ (Jude 4). One sees no tears in their eyes, nor in the eyes of their followers. However, there will be plenty of tears, along with wailing and gnashing of teeth when Jesus says to them: “I NEVER KNEW YOU. DEPART FROM ME YE WORKERS OF INIQUITY (LAWLESSNESS).” How many times has Jesus been crucified? Billions of people, thousands of years–do the math. L.J.