25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” 27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.
For all of us who love the mercy of God and the love of God this chapter of Hebrews ends abruptly and harshly. So let’s take a look at it. Earlier in the chapter the writer reminds the readers of the day when God brought the Law at Mount Sinai. It was a great day for Israel but the most fearful day of their history. The mountain shook, the skies darkened, smoke ascended from the mountain; they were in the fearful presence of Almighty God. Today, he says, we are called to Mount Zion, the heavenly city of God which stands in stark contrast to Mount Sinai. Zion is a place of victory, peace, and grace.
However, we who enjoy God’s grace and peace must never forget who God is and what He had to do to those who refused to hear His word at Sinai. If you remember, those who built the golden calf and worshipped it were killed. Others who rejected the word of God had the earth open up and swallow them. As we read earlier, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
You see, God wants to show us mercy. James wrote that mercy triumphs over judgment and boy are we ever glad for that! But those who take advantage of mercy and use mercy as a cloak for their disobedience to God need to wake up and realize just Who they are disobeying. God does not take disobedience lightly for yes, when it comes to judgment, He is a consuming fire. Therefore, we must serve God acceptably with reverence and with godly fear. The works of faith are the works that God calls us to. Here God calls us, the people of faith in Him, to serve Him in full understanding of who He is. This is acceptable to Him.
Sunday is our annual meeting for the church. We will be voting on the budget for 2017 and will be voting on the slate of officers presented last Sunday. If you have questions about the budget you can call a deacon or an elder. If you have a question about the slate of officers call an elder. During lunch, which the church is providing, we will hear reports from the different ministries of our church. Please plan to stay and enjoy the lunch and the reports.
Have a great day in the Lord,