It’s a Terrible, Terrible Thing–Hebrews 10:28-31

28 Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses29 How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 3It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God (NASB).

If a person ignores the 613 laws that comprise the Law of Moses, i.e., ignores its teaching or guidance, he or she can be found guilty by the testimony of at least two witnesses and sentenced to death. Is there a more severe punishment than death? Most certainly! A person who mocks, belittles, or views the sacrificial death of God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as a useless myth or the self-destructive gesture of a troubled narcissist is also guilty of insulting or rejecting the work of the Holy Spirit, who is the only purveyor of God’s grace to fallen humanity. This person will, after physical death, fall into the hands of the living God. That’s right—He is not dead; He is the Living One who most certainly exists no matter how often the world attempts to ignore Him, recreate Him, diminish Him, mock Him, or deny Him. He is life eternal and it is to Him alone that every soul must give account for every thought and action, good or bad if you are a believer (2 Corinthians 5:10), and only bad if you are not (Romans 3:10-20).

The Lord has revealed Himself throughout human history by deeds and through His Word. Each person is individually or personally accountable for the way he or she handles the information God has provided. The only people with a Defense Attorney, when it comes to divine judgment, are Old Testament saints and Christians—that attorney is Jesus Christ. Those who mock or deny God have no one to defend them, there are no arguments for or against the accused, no jury trying to pour over all the evidence to determine guilt or innocence. There is only a Judge who knows everything about the guilty individual standing before Him.

Can you picture the scene? Evil is standing before Good-an absolute contrast. Unlike righteous Moses (Exodus 33:17-18), when looking upon the Almighty, the accused cannot withstand the glory that engulfs him. His shame and guilt are made visible and are self-accusing. He cannot make a sound for there is no argument that can be uttered at a time like this. Untainted holiness devastates the profane and irreverent state of the accused. The presence of absolute morality silences every immoral impulse. Unconditional love consumes self-righteous hate and petty denials that cannot be voiced. The aura of justice stifles any inkling of an unjust retort. The righteousness of God is so penetrating that the unrighteous soul lies penitently and facing away from God’s stare. Like Adam, there is no place to which he can run and hide from the guilt-producing presence of Yahweh. The anger of God feels like an all-consuming fire. Truth is so discernable to the accused that a response cannot even be imagined much less uttered. A human person with no Savior and no possibility of a defense stands before the all-knowing Creator. Repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation are all lost to eternal judgment. There are no more second chances, retrials, or acquittals. Christ alone is the Savior of the world, who through His sacrifice makes a way for human beings to become sons and daughters of God. Christ is the Great Reflection of the goodness of God (Exodus 33:17-18). With Him, there is goodness with its many fruits in this earthly life, but without Him, “it is a terrible, terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).

In the end, every human person will know the truth, understand love, observe righteousness, and experience justice. Those who are made righteous through faith in Christ the Lord become familiar with truth, love, righteousness, and justice throughout their walks with the Lord, and then receive eternal peace with God. Those who seek “righteousness” of their own making, whether personally or through generational neglect (those who irresponsibly failed to pass on God’s truth to their progeny, i.e., their children) will become familiar with truth, love, righteousness, and justice upon their deaths and at their individual appointments with the Good Judge, who will reward them with the fruits of their own will and deeds, which in the end is eternal separation from God for all eternity. Ultimately, good demands a permanent separation from evil, that which diminishes or destroys good. And God has prepared a time for this separation to take place. Even so come, Lord Jesus! Christians “are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of our souls” (Hebrews 10:39). In Christ, people are free; in the world, people are in bondage to whatever human scheme engulfs them. Choose God the Creator or choose Man the Destructor. From a human perspective, eternal life and death is simply a matter of choice. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

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I am a published author, co-author and editor of 13 books, written numerous articles, taught online at Liberty University and Grace College (Indiana), and appeared on numerous radio and TV programs. I am a theologian, bioethicist and retired veteran.

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