The Father's Final WordRev. Michael Calvert, Ph.D., January 5, 2020
Part of the Hebrews series.
As 2019 was winding down, I had all but decided to begin preaching from 1 Kings 7 on the building of Solomon’s temple. This is, after all, the next step in our journey through the ‘ Great Events in the History of Redemption,’ our on-going sermon series.
But as I reflected upon this over the week of Christmas, I began sensing that we should go in a different direction here at the beginning of a new decade. Over and again, my heart was drawn to the Epistle to the Hebrews.
Oddly enough, I have never once in all of my years of ministry preached completely through this letter. There have been the occasional sermons from Hebrews here and there, and some lectures on the epistle in the seminary, but never a series of messages from beginning to end, covering every verse in this inspired New Testament book.
Perhaps the main reason I am drawn to Hebrews at this time is what it says about remaining faithful to our Lord and His Word.
The message of the book of Hebrews is focused upon the persistent threat the Church faces to “fall away” from Christ (Hebrews 3:12, 6:6). I mean by that the ever-present possibility that the pressures of the world–both in its hatred for the Truth, and in its seductive strategies designed to shape us in its image–will prevail, and that some will abandon Christ.
In 2019 we were rocked too many times by the news that once prominent Evangelical leaders had done precisely this; they turned their backs on the Savior and the Gospel they once proclaimed. And we’ve also learned of local churches, and even entire denominations, doing the same.
Sadly, and as we have mentioned many times before, our own PCA has also witnessed this very sin of apostasy creeping into her ranks.
Currently, we are embroiled in yet another fight for the Bible, for the Gospel, and for our unity as those who are under the full authority of Christ and His Word. Long-time members of the PCA tell us that we are repeating the very sins of the past generation, those sins that first led theological conservatives to depart from the PCUS and form the PCA back in the early 1970’s.
My heart is broken by this, but we should not be surprised at all. The fact is, the Church and the Truth are always under assault, and always have been. And this will be the case until our Savior returns in glory and victory.
Well, all of this has been bouncing around in my mind as we have entered another year. And if there is one book of the New Testament that addresses where we are right now, it is Hebrews.
On Sunday, we will begin our trek through this majestic letter. And in our initial sermon from this epistle, we will pay close attention to its purpose, major themes, dire warnings, and amazing promises for all who remain true to our King.
If you’ve not read Hebrews in a while, let me suggest that you add it to your daily reading. It will also be very beneficial if you are able to read it in at least two different translations. I might recommend the ESV, and then also the NASB. And for a wonderful contemporary rendering of this epistle, check out the Phillips Translation.