Warning 5 – Defying the Word
See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven,… [Heb 12:25]
This verse reveals a fifth and final warning in the Hebrews letter. Within this discourse on “better” things, the writer provides several warnings. In Heb 2:1-4 he warned of drifting from the word; in Heb 3:7-4:13 doubting the word; in Heb 5:11-6:20 dullness to the word; in Heb 10:26-29 despising the word; and now in our text this morning, Heb 12:14-29, he warns of defying the word.
These “Exhortations” are outlined in Warren Wiersbe’s commentary, Be Confident. I’ve used the word “Warning,” however, because of the serious tone that is in each of these passages. I believe that they can even be warnings of apostasy, a willful decision to walk away from the faith. Even here in our passage this morning is a very serious tone of judgment, i.e., “…much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven,…”
While we do enjoy more privileges in a New Covenant of “better” things, they come with more responsibility. “To whom much is given, much will be required” [Luke 12:48]. Such was the case with the Christian Hebrews that this letter was written to, and it is the same for us. We have great privileges in Christ. We therefore have great responsibility. What is that responsibility? It is to mature [ref. 6:1]. How do we mature? It is at the Throne of Grace, behind the veil, within the Holy of Holies [ref. 10:19-22]. We are called to growing up, becoming spiritual adults through whom Christ can use to further His kingdom. And we will be held accountable to this call on the day we see our Lord face-to-face.
But even as this word has gone out, there is a warning of disregarding it. The digression is drifting, doubting, dulling, despising, and defying. It is a dreadful road for those who disregard God’s Word.