Warning Against Neglecting Salvation
2 Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. 2 For since athe message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and bevery transgression or disobedience received a just cretribution, 3 dhow shall we escape if we eneglect such a great salvation? It was fdeclared at first by the Lord, and it was gattested to us hby those who heard, 4 gwhile God also bore witness iby signs and wonders and various miracles and by jgifts of the Holy Spirit kdistributed according to his will.
A Rest for the People of God
7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,
b“Today, if you hear his voice,
8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
on the day of testing in the wilderness,
9 where your fathers put me to the test
and saw my works for cforty years.
10 Therefore I was provoked with that generation,
and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart;
they have not known my ways.’
11 dAs I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest.’”
12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from ethe living God. 13 But fexhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by gthe deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, hif indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is said,
b“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
16 For iwho were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not jall those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, kwhose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that lthey would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that mthey were unable to enter because of unbelief.
4 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem nto have failed to reach it. 2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because othey were not united by faith with those who listened.1 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said,
p“As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest,’”
although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: q“And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” 5 And again in this passage he said,
r“They shall not enter my rest.”
6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news sfailed to enter because of disobedience, 7 again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted,
t“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.”
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God2 would not have spoken of another day later on. 9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also urested from his works as God did from his.
11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so vthat no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12 For wthe word of God is living and xactive, ysharper than any ztwo-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and adiscerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And bno creature is hidden from his sight, but all are cnaked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Warning Against Apostasy
11 About this we have much to say, and it is chard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again dthe basic principles of the oracles of God. You need emilk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is fa child. 14 But solid food is for gthe mature, for those who have their powers hof discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
6 Therefore ilet us leave jthe elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance kfrom dead works and of faith toward God, 2 and of linstruction about washings,1 mthe laying on of hands, nthe resurrection of the dead, and oeternal judgment. 3 And this we will do pif God permits. 4 For it is impossible, in the case of those qwho have once been enlightened, who have tasted rthe heavenly gift, and shave shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and thave tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and uthen have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since vthey are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. 7 For wland that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. 8 But xif it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, yand its end is to be burned.
9 Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. 10 For zGod is not unjust so as to overlook ayour work and the love that you have shown for his name in bserving the saints, as you still do. 11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance cof hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but dimitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
The Full Assurance of Faith
19 pTherefore, brothers,1 since we have confidence to enter qthe holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by rthe new and living way that he opened for us through sthe curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have ta great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts usprinkled clean vfrom an evil conscience and our bodies wwashed with pure water. 23 xLet us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for yhe who promised is faithful. 24 And zlet us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 anot neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and ball the more as you see cthe Day drawing near.
26 For dif we go on sinning deliberately eafter receiving the knowledge of the truth, fthere no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 gbut a fearful expectation of judgment, and ha fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 iAnyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy jon the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one kwho has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned lthe blood of the covenant mby which he was sanctified, and has noutraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, o“Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, p“The Lord will judge his people.” 31 qIt is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32 But recall the former days when, after ryou were enlightened, you endured sa hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being tpublicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34 For uyou had compassion on those in prison, and vyou joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had wa better possession and an abiding one. 35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has xa great reward. 36 For yyou have need of endurance, so that zwhen you have done the will of God you may areceive what is promised. 37 For,
b“Yet a little while,
and cthe coming one will come and will not delay;
38 dbut my righteous one shall live by faith,
and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him.”
39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.
Jesus, Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and wsin which clings so closely, and xlet us run ywith endurance the race that is zset before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, awho for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising bthe shame, and cis seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Do Not Grow Weary
3 dConsider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or efainthearted. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
nor be weary when reproved by him.
6 For hthe Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”
7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. iGod is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, jin which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to kthe Father of spirits land live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, mthat we may share his holiness. 11 nFor the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields othe peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
12 Therefore plift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and qmake straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint rbut rather be healed. 14 sStrive for peace with everyone, and for the tholiness uwithout which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one vfails to obtain the grace of God; that no w“root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; 16 that no one is xsexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that yafterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.
A Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken
18 For you have not come to zwhat may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest 19 and athe sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words bmade the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. 20 For they could not endure the order that was given, c“If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” 21 Indeed, dso terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” 22 But you have come to eMount Zion and to the city of the living God, fthe heavenly Jerusalem, and to ginnumerable angels in festal gathering, 23 and to hthe assembly1 of the firstborn who are ienrolled in heaven, and to jGod, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, kthe mediator of a new covenant, and to lthe sprinkled blood mthat speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
25 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For nif they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. 26 At that time ohis voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, p“Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates qthe removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving ra kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus slet us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our tGod is a consuming fire.