2 Kings 24, Hebrews 6, Joel 3, Psalm 143 

Hebrews 6:9-12 
"In your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation." Hebrews 6:9 

At the end of chapter five, the writer of Hebrews admonishes the recipients of the letter for becoming dull of hearing with the inference they were regressing instead of progressing in their understanding of God's Word and way.  They apparently professed faith in Jesus Christ but remained immature.  By this time, the writer felt they should be teaching others, but instead they needed someone to feed them, not the meat of the Word but milk.  

The author, in chapter six, expressed the desire for them to move beyond the basic understanding of Christ and mature in the faith.  By including himself in verse one by saying "let us," the writer is stating a willingness to assist in the process of maturation.  By adding "And this we will do if God permits," the author is committing not only to assist but to do everything possible to bring the readers to maturity.  Notice that the caveat of "if God permits," is similar to James 4:13, "You ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.'  As it is, you boast in your arrogance."  James made that statement because people were saying "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit."  It is the author's desire for the readers to grow to maturity, but he acknowledges the sovereignty of God in all things. 

Then in Hebrews 6:4-7, a warning is given based upon the author's admonition at the end of chapter five.  The writer knew and loved the recipients of the letter well enough to correct their thinking about accepting and acknowledging the blessing of God but never progressing in their faith.  He already inferred they have lost some of their ability to hear and apply God's instruction to their lives.  The warning is "don't lose what you have" instead deliberately make an effort to mature.  2 Peter 2:10 says the same thing, "Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities, you will never fall.  For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."  In other words, there is no standing still in our Christian walk of faith,  If you aren't growing in your faith, you are a milk drinker.  Who wants to be a child who doesn't mature!

Using an analogy to compare the results of rain on the soil to God's blessing on individual lives, the author makes the point that a life that does not produce a "useful crop" from God's gifts is like the land which receives rain but produces only weeds.  Then the author addresses the readers as beloved whom he believes are destined for better things.  

Notice the keywords concerning salvation in verses 10-12 which describe the components of salvation.  He begins as Jesus did in Mark 12:29-31 with the most important commandment, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength...You shall love your neighbor as yourself."  In Matthew 25:40, Jesus says, "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me."  The author of Hebrews commends the people for their love and service to the saints because they love His name.  He encourages them to maintain the same earnestness in loving God and their neighbors so they may have full assurance of hope.  By persisting, they will not become sluggish.  It is interesting to note, the Greek word for sluggish is the same word translated as "dull" to describe their hearing in verse 5:11.  The meaning of the word is slow or lazy.  Instead of being dull, sluggish, slow or lazy in pursuing the things that belong to salvation, be imitators of those who through faith and perseverance inherit the promises of God.

"So now faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love" 1 Corinthians 13:13.

Jesus, we flee to You as our refuge.  Forgive us for our sloth and laziness concerning the things of Your salvation.  We desire to make our call and election sure by growing in our love for You and Your bride.  Holy Spirit, please strengthen our assurance of hope, knowing we have a sure and steadfast anchor in our forerunner, our High Priest forever. 

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