Category : General
Hebrews 10: 38 (KJV)
38 but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
It is said, “to make an individual an apostate, it is not necessary that they should solemnly renounce their baptism and declare Christianity to be false. There are several other ways whereby you may bring yourself under this guilt; as by a silent quitting of ones’ religion, and withdrawing yourself from the communion of all that profess it; by denying an essential doctrine of Christianity; by undermining the great design of it, by teaching doctrines which directly tend to encourage men in impenitence, and a wicked course of life.”
The writer has retained the general sense of the passage, and the idea which he expresses is, that the unbeliever, or he who renounces his religion, will incur the divine displeasure. He will be a man exposed to the divine wrath; a man on whom God cannot look but with disapprobation. By this solemn consideration, therefore, the apostle urges on them the importance of perseverance, and the guilt and danger of apostasy from the Christian faith.
This also is a quotation from Habakkuk 2:4. It is noted that the expression “to draw back,” must certainly be understood a total and final apostasy, as is evident from Heb.10:39. Some who once were accounted disciples of Christ have drawn back into open profanity and infidelity (2 Peter 2:20-21). Persons of this character, who have stifled conviction, and hold the truth in unrighteousness, become generally the most hardened and daring in wickedness. Common restraints are removed–the voice of conscience is silenced–the Spirit of God ceases to strive, and they are given over to a reprobate mind–to fill up the measure of their iniquities, and at last to perish in unbelief. While others who apostatize from Christ fall into gross and dangerous errors 2 Timothy 2:17-18).
I add there is still a more secret and disguised kind of apostasy, which is not on that account the less ruinous; I mean when persons who have once had a profession of religion become careless, lose all zeal about the things of God and eternity, and discover a proportionable eagerness in worldly pursuits. This is a way of apostatizing from Christ is more dangerous, because it is the least apt to be perceived. The decay is so gradual and insensible. They have changed their views, their manners, their company. Perhaps some alteration in their outward circumstances has produced these unhappy effects. Raised from a state of dependence to wealth, their minds have been intoxicated with worldly prosperity; and by a strange kind of infatuation. Or, perhaps, without any visible cause, their profession of religion has gradually declined, and their devotion to the service of their God and Savior proved as the morning cloud and early dew, which soon pass away. After maintaining for a while an appearance of serious godliness, they have gradually sunk into sloth, possibly into bad habits, which deaden every religious feeling.
Warnings such as this would not be contained in Scripture, were there no danger of our drawing back, and thereby losing that “life” in God’s presence which faith secures to us. Faith is the tenure upon which this Divine life is continued to us. It is by faith the Christian lives, but if he draws back he dies; his faith profits him nothing; or rather, his drawing back to sin is a reversing of his faith; after which God has no pleasure in him. And yet, clearly as this is stated in Scripture, men in all ages have fancied that they might sin grievously, yet maintain their Christian hope.
We need to allow gratitude to the Redeemer for the blessings we have received constrain us to cleave to Him with our whole heart. We also need to purpose in our hearts to give of our best to His service and to do our best to cleave steadfastly to Christ. We must have a solid sense and real piety, instead of being incompatible with the things of God and find ourselves united to the world. And let the dreadful doom of apostates deter us from the aggravated sin of drawing back from Christ.
Have a great and godly day!