I am not fond of reading Hebrews 6. You see, I know what it says about those who once tasted the goods set out on our Lord’s table, only to spurn them and walk away. Frightening thoughts of severe punishment, of permanent estrangement, and of final judgment fill me with anxiety and dread if ever I or those whom I love should choose to turn from God. Rather, I cling to Scriptures such as Psalm 31:1-2, which says, “In You, O Lord, I put my trust, Let me never be ashamed; Deliver me in Your righteousness. Bow down Your ear to me, speedily; Be my rock of refuge, A fortress of defense to save me.” For in these verses, I find constancy and comfort in God’s Presence so close beside me.
Yet, we cannot deny that God is concerned about those who come near His grace and goodness, but who reject His righteousness. What if our faith is small or our works of service to others do not demonstrate that we are ‘good enough’ to be saved? There are times when most of us question our faith and waver in our faithfulness. We may entertain, even if briefly, that our belief in the resurrection is in vain. Or we may look around us at the evil that man is capable of and wonder who is in charge in this earth and what benefit is all this striving to do good. At these times, are we in peril of losing our salvation? What if we are hurt by the very ones that profess to be children of God or His priests? If that pain drives us from Him, will this cause damnation to our souls? And what of those whose mind has been broken, like the wing of a great bird, grounding that person from soaring free and beautiful with heavenly song?
If in these questions you hear me falling away, think again. What really happens when I go down this thorny path of uncertainty is that I search the heart of God for the truth that heals. Truth such as Leviticus 17:11, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” My fears and questioned are always answered by this one Truth – sacrificially, Christ became that flesh and blood that once and for all atones for whatever mistakes, bad choices, fears, misunderstandings, and deep hurts we experience here on earth.
Why would Christ do this for us, for me? Hebrews 6 goes on to tell us that God’s faithfulness to His promises is so that “we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…” So in the end, it is because of Truth’s sacrifice, not because of anything we have done or not done, or said or left out, or hoped to be but were not, that we will one day be able to say, “Into your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.” Psalm 31:5
I do not know the final call that the dead hear, but I’m sure that there is one.