Throughout this study, keep in mind the “better and enduring substance” from our previous study (Hebrews 10:34). Now, let’s consider the following Scriptures: “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry” (Hebrews 10:35-37).
We are going to start our study by looking at the word translated “confidence” [παρρησία] (Strong’s # 3954) as it is used in a few other passages of Scripture. Through those verses we will get a pretty clear meaning that applies to our current study. Here are those Scriptures: “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming… Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God… Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world” (I John 2:28, I John 3:21, and I John 4:17). So, the saints addressed in the Hebrew letter were being taught not to do something that would remove their confidence in their salvation (cf. Hebrews 3:1-6; 3:14). They needed to continue looking forward to the reward ahead of them.
The “great recompense of reward” means: “Requital (good or bad): — recompence of reward. Payment of wages due, recompence” (Strong’s # 3405). As the definition states, this is not only a reward for good. Earlier in this letter the same Greek terminology was used to describe a reward of punishment (Hebrews 2:1-2). Later in this letter the same Greek terminology is used to describe a reward of good. Notice: “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward” (Hebrews 11:24-26). We know our Lord rewards the good and the bad based on a person’s works (Matthew 16:27, John 5:28-29, II Timothy 4:14, and Revelation 22:12). Considering the context and the wording of verse thirty-five the focus at this point was on the promise of eternal life (I John 2:25).
From those statements, they were told that they were in need of patience. The word translated “patience” [ὑπομονή] means: “Cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy: — enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting). Steadfastness, constancy, endurance; in the NT the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings; patiently, and steadfastly
a patient, steadfast waiting for; a patient enduring, sustaining, perseverance” (Strong’s # 5281). I love that definition. The Scriptures clearly support it.
The faithful endure with hope (I Peter 1:1-13). The faithful are steadfast (I Corinthians 15:58 and I Peter 5:8-9). The faithful are awaiting the return of the Lord (Luke 12:35-40). Therefore, these saints are basically being told to keep on faithfully until the end. Whether that was being faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10) or the coming of the Lord (Matthew 24:44-25:13); the message was to not give up.
We know that people do sometimes give up. Some walk away from the Lord. Some are led astray from the Lord. Apostasy is real. A child of God can fall away from the faith (Acts 8:12-24, I Corinthians 9:24-27, I Corinthians 10:1-12, Galatians 1:6-9, Galatians 3:1, Galatians 5:4, Galatians 5:7-9, I Timothy 4:1, Hebrews 3:12-13, Hebrews 6:4-6, II Peter 2:20-22, Revelation 2:1-7, and Revelation 22:18-19). In a Parable Jesus taught about some that fall away. This is what He said: “They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection” (Luke 8:13-14).
We all understand that a laborer is worthy of his or her wages (Leviticus 19:13, Deuteronomy 24:14-15, Jeremiah 22:13, Malachi 3:5, Matthew 10:1-10, Matthew 20:1-16, I Corinthians 9:1-14, I Timothy 5:17-18). This principle certainly applies spiritually (John 4:34-36). So, both they then and we now should think about the work we put in. Don’t work so hard for eternal life and then throw it away. The elder later wrote: “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward” (II John 1:8). We will reap what we sow, so don’t get tired and give up (Galatians 6:7-9).
After those messages, they were then reminded that in a little while He that shall come would come. Earlier in this chapter, we studied about a “day approaching” that they could see (Hebrews 10:25). That was clearly the destruction of Jerusalem (Matthew 23:37-24:34, Mark 13:1-30, and Luke 21:20-24). This could be about that. Throughout various passages in the New Testament saints were looking for that day to come and knew it was near (Romans 13:12, James 5:8, and I Peter 4:7). Though, this is most likely about the end of the world that will come at a time in which no man knows (Matthew 24:35-36 and II Peter 3:9-14). We are in the “last days” (Hebrews 1:1-2). We are supposed to live as though there will be no tomorrow (James 4:13-16). Personally, I cannot say for sure that this is one or the other. The verses to come seem to be about eternity. At the same time, before the final coming or our Lord, death comes with an immediate reward or punishment (Luke 16:19-31). Either way, don’t give up!
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