“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.” (Hebrews 3:12)

Like the Prophet Amos, the writer of Hebrews presented a warning to his audience, composed primarily of Christians who had converted from Judaism. They held Moses and their ancestors whom he had led out of Egypt in high esteem. The writer reminded them that, despite the fact that the Lord had blessed His Chosen People with spectacular miracles, and mighty acts of deliverance from their enemies they chose to rebel against Him. Therefore they almost all perished in the wilderness, never having entered the Promised Land.

The reason the writer brought this up is that many in the audience were being tempted to go back to following the Law. The problem was that following the Law meant they were rejecting the sacrifice of Christ. They were trusting in the Law and good works for salvation. Those who did so were guilty of hardening their hearts against God as did the ancient Israelites. They would suffer the same loss of the promise.

We Christians face a spiritual danger today, not so much in following the law or thinking works save us. Rather we often presume to circumvent God’s Law by adopting without discernment the sinful and ungodly worldview that bombards us every day through the media. Many believers have fallen away from the truth by accepting worldly standards of good and evil rather than God’s.

What our writer shows us is that only those who persevere in the faith show themselves to be true believers. Their faith is demonstrated by their perseverance and  righteousness living,  for these are possible only by the power of the Lord. He works through the Holy Spirit and through the church. This is why we need the body of Christ, our fellow believers. The Holy Spirit will use us to encourage one another in our struggles and to hold each other accountable for our actions. Together we choose daily to walk in obedience to the Lord and to believe that He is able to do all He has promised. We also choose to ask forgiveness for our sins and accept it. We are not perfect, but we press on by the power of Christ in the midst of challenging times.