“He that despised Moses’ Law died without mercy under two or three witnesses; of how much sorer punishment, suppose you, shall he be thought worthy, who has trodden underfoot the Son of God and has counted the Blood of the Covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing and has done despite unto the Spirit of Grace?”Hebrews 10:28-29

For now, He is a merciful God; but the Day will come when His Mercy will cease and woe to those who stand before His Judgment Bar that Day.

On July 8, 1741 in Enfield, Connecticut, Jonathan Edwards stood and preached what became one of the most memorable sermons in American history.  Entitled “Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God,” the message combined vivid imageries of hell with observations of the secular world and numerous citations from Scripture.  It is still remembered as the message which began the First Great Awakening of 1830-55.

One sentence from the sermon that is particularly noteworthy was this one:  “There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God.”  He coupled that with other “considerations” that included the wicked’s “deserving to be cast into hell”. . .how the wicked will one day suffer the torments of hell. . .how it’s only God’s restraints that keep “hellish principles from kindling hellfire in this world,” etc.

Although his text was taken from Deut. 32:35, the essence of his message fits right in with the tenor of today’s Manna.  We must remember that the anonymous author of Hebrews was writing to persecuted Jewish-Christians who were being tempted to recant their faith for survival’s sake.  And, even though there has been much debate through the centuries on apostasy (falling from Grace) vs. “once saved, always saved,” the sobering message in our Manna is still worthy of our hearing and heeding.

We know the first part—“He that despised Moses’ Law died without mercy under two or three witnesses”—refers to the repeated Old Testament passages that called for such punishment in various situations.  That’s why the author reminds his readers (and us) that this same Holy and Just God. . .Who “reigns in righteousness” even now (Rev. 19:11). . .MUST punish sin and will do so. . .both now and in that Day of the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:15-20).

However, we must also remember our Manna’s words of warnings are to those who continually “trod underfoot the Son of God and treat His Blood as an unholy thing as they daily insult the Holy Spirit by the way they talk and walk.”  Again, the message if intended for those with a lifestyle of sin, not lapses into sin.

Dear Pilgrim, just as we would not take lightly our spouse, children or parents being mistreated, how much more does the Heavenly Father not take lightly how His Son is treated even now.  Truly, He didn’t “send His Son into this world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (Jn. 3:17).  But, the time will come when the door of the true Ark (Christ) will once again close (II Cor. 6:2)—and the Lamb of God will then become the Lion of Judah (Rev. 5:5).  And, woe to those who’ve willfully rejected Him and thought nothing about mocking His Holy Name, despising His Word, persecuting His People, etc.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated March 10, 2011

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