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Sufferings for Christ
Heb. 10:32-39


The first three verses of this chapter speak of the past, the beginning after they got saved. The Hebrew Christians have gone through difficult times, yet they persevered. The last five verses speak about the present and the future. The Apostle Paul’s style in writing is, after giving admonition or warning, he encourages his readers. Though this Epistle is written long time ago, it is still very much applicable to us today.

I. A call to remembrance (Heb. 10:32-34)
A. Call to remembrance means to recall or to look back at the days after they got saved.
B. Illumination means to enlighten. It refers to the enablement God gives men so they can understand His truth (Heb. 6:4; 10:32; Eph 1:18; Jn. 1:9; 8:12).
C. Knowing that your sins are forgiven, that you are now surely going to heaven, is one of the most exciting experiences for a man. You feel the great love of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and you are in love with Him too. You are excited to read the Bible, pray, go to church, and fellowship with other Christians who share the same experience as you do. Telling others about Christ, also had become part of your life. I love to look back when I first become a Christian. The joy in heart is truly beyond compare.
D. The happiness, the joy, the excitement after their salvation however, had been mixed with difficulties and sufferings.
E. The Hebrew believers endured a great fight of afflictions. At the time of writing this Epistle, Christians are having a great fight of afflictions. The word fight comes from the Greek “athlesis” which means struggle. As soon as they were saved, they found themselves in a spiritual struggle with the forces of evil probably in the form of persecution. In our Christian life, there will always be struggle, both inside and outside, visible and invisible. This struggle will be there always till we die.
F. Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions. The word gazingstock comes from the Greek “theatrizo” which means to expose as a spectacle.”
G. The word reproaches come from the Greek “oneidismos” and means “scorn, ridicule and mockery.” The Hebrew believers had become a laughing stock. They were publicly mocked and reproached for their relationship with Christ. The word afflictions come from “thlipsis” which means “aguish, persecution, trouble.” It wasn’t easy, but they endured. To endure is to suffer without resistance, or without yielding. They remained faithful to Christ despite of all their sufferings and hardships. Just like the Hebrew Christians, the world laughs at us, even treated as fools. We are indeed fools for Christ’s sake. (1 Cor. 4:10).
H. In the midst of their difficulties, they still sympathized with Paul. They have compassion with him, even sending him some relief while he was in prison. Compassion and caring for one another is a mark of true Christianity. Some of the
Hebrew believers had been imprisoned for their faith, others had experienced the
spoiling (seizure) of their possessions. Some even died or lost their loved ones.
I. To be identified with Christ is very costly, but the Hebrew believers remained strong in their faith knowing that they had in heaven a better inheritance that will never fade. Heavenly treasures are more important than earthly possessions. The believer’s inheritance is described as… incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. (1 Pet. 1:4). No one can ever take our rewards from God in heaven.

Illustration/Application: Learning Through Afflictions
Contrary to what might be expected, I look back on experiences that at the time seemed especially desolating and painful with particular satisfaction. Indeed, I can say with complete truthfulness that everything I have learned in my 75 years in this world, everything that has truly enhanced and enlightened my experience, has been through affliction and not through happiness.
Malcolm Muggeridge, in Homemade, July, 1990

II. The Exhortation (Heb. 10:35-36)
A. The Hebrew believers have proven their faithfulness in Christ. However, due to their afflictions, they are now being tempted to give up, cast away their confidence, courage and boldness. There are times that Christians become weak in faith and in danger or going back to their old self and old ways. The Hebrews are in danger of going back to Judaism. They are exhorted to continue, otherwise, they will lose their rewards.
B. They were encouraged to be patient. Patience is the suffering of afflictions, pain, toil, calamity, provocation or other evil, with a calm, unruffled temper; endurance without murmuring or fretfulness; the act or quality of waiting long for justice or expected good without discontent; perseverance; constancy in labor or exertion; the quality of bearing offenses and injuries without anger or revenge (Webster).
C. We have need of patience to perform difficult duties, to resist strong temptations, to wait for an answer of our prayers, and also to wait for the reward of our patience. After we have done the will of God, we have need of patience to enable us to wait for the receiving of the promise, that is, the good promised. (Burkitt).
D. We need patience so we can do the will of God. Every Christian must know the will of God. Knowing God’s will should be the priority in our lives. Someone has said, “to know the will of God is the greatest knowledge. to find the will of God is the greatest discovery. to do the will of God is the greatest achievement.” So true.
E. The promise in this verse is the eternal life.

Illustration/Application: The Purposes of God
The purposes of God often develop slowly because his grand designs are never hurried.
The great New England preacher Phillips Brooks was noted for his poise and quiet manner. At times, however, even he suffered moments of frustration and irritability. One day a friend saw him feverishly pacing the floor like a caged lion. “What’s the trouble, Mr. Brooks?” he asked. “The trouble is that I’m in a hurry, but God isn’t!” Haven’t we felt the same way many times?
Some of the greatest missionaries of history devotedly spread the seed of God’s Word and yet had to wait long periods before seeing the fruit of their efforts. William Carey, for example, labored 7 years
before the first Hindu convert was brought to Christ in Burma, and Adoniram Judson toiled 7 years before his faithful preaching was rewarded. In western Africa, it was 14 years before one convert was received into the Christian church. In New Zealand, it took 9 years; and in Tahiti, it was 16 years before the first harvest of souls began.
Thomas a Kempis described that kind of patience in these words: “He deserves not the name of patient who is only willing to suffer as much as he thinks proper, and for whom he pleases. The truly patient man asks (nothing) from whom he suffers, (whether) his superior, his equal, or his inferior…But from whomever, or how much, or how often wrong is done to him, he accepts it all as from the hand of God, and counts it gain!”
Our Daily Bread, April 18

III. The Coming of Christ (Heb. 10:37-39).
A. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. (Heb. 10:37). The greatest motivation for us to persevere, to be patient, and to live by faith is the eminent coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Yes, He is coming back and that there will be a day of judgment. It would only be a little while but He will come without fail. At the second coming of Christ all the hopes of believers concerning the future will all come true. Christian, are you ready for His coming?
B. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. (Heb. 10:38). The writer quotes Hab. 2:3-4 in order to enforce his teaching. Be Faithful; do not draw back or become an apostate, for God has no pleasure in such. Trust in the Lord, pray, and be obedient. Whatever your difficulties or problems are, it will come to pass. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. (Ps. 34:19).
C. In verse 39, Paul is comparing two different groups.
1.The just. These are the truly saved believers whose lives have proven their testimony or  profession. They did live by faith.
2. Those who draw back. These are the make-believers or impostors. Not everyone who makes a profession of faith or joins a Church is truly saved. The word perdition means “damnable, destruction.” This word is used to describe Judas who was clearly an unsaved man (son of perdition). Judas deceived many but Christ sees his hypocrisy. Judas’s drawing back or departure was evidence of an unregenerate heart. John said, They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. (1 John 2:19). Judas was not the son of God but the son of perdition. Satan entered into the heart of Judas (Jn. 13:27, Lk. 22:3). He is one of the few men possessed by Satan himself. (Ezek. 28:12-15, 2 Thess. 2:3, Rev. 13:3-5)

Illustration/Application: Return of Christ
The Second Coming is a term applied to the return of Christ. If there is a second coming, it follows that there must have been a first. The first coming of Christ was His incarnation when He was born. At the second coming of Christ every eye will see Him (Rev. 1:7) as He descends from heavens in the clouds (Matt. 24:30; Mark 14:62).
Christ’s return at the end of the world to establish God’s kingdom (1 Cor. 15:23-25). The New Testament does not use this expression; it refers simply to “the coming” (parousia), also called a “reveal(ing)” of Jesus (1 Cor. 1:7), or an “appearing” (Titus 2:13). There is dispute about the
relationship of Christ’s second coming to the thousand years, or millennium (Rev. 20:4), but none as to the fact that it will be God’s decisive and indispensable intervention. Christ’s coming to destroy all evil will be the culmination of his redemptive work.
The Shaw Pocket Bible Handbook, Walter A. Elwell, Editor, (Harold Shaw Publ., Wheaton, IL; 1984), p. 358

IV. Conclusion:
We must remember the days and look back at what Christ has done for us. We must have patience despite of all the hardships and oppositions of our enemies whether in spiritual realms or not. To be identified with Christ is costly. We may lose our precious possessions even our love ones, but heavenly treasures are more important than earthly possessions. We must remain strong in faith in the Lord no matter what happens. Will you do the same my friend?

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