“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him . . .?
“Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”
The promulgation of the law of Moses was a manifestation of light.
It was the Word of God spoken by angels and committed in God’s Name to Moses and through him to the people of Israel.
By itself it was wonderful too. Is it not wonderful to know what the Lord’s will is for our life? What beautiful strains of music! Love God above all and your neighbor as yourself. No wonder that every transgression and disobedience was punished with a just recompense of reward. That was just. He died without mercy under two or three witnesses. That was just. No one can possibly find fault with it. To sin against that which is lovely and sweet calls for ugly punishment. And they received it and will receive it in the Judgment Day, who have been guilty of such great sin.
If that be true, and it is true, how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation as is manifested unto us who live under the everlasting Gospel? Or how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? Heb. 10.
What will be your answer, reader?
The Bible points out that this sorer punishment shall consist in a fearful looking for of judgment, fiery indignation, that shall devour the adversaries. It shall be a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. For our God is a consuming fire. Many, oh so many stripes, compared to the heathen.
Yes, the lot of the heathen shall be terrible. They had the law of God which testified in their hearts. Their consciences would admit that the law was good. They would accuse and excuse each other and themselves, testifying thereby that they knew the law of God. God had revealed it unto them. And when presently the hidden things of the heart are revealed when God shall turn the hearts of men inside out, then it will become manifest that they are worthy of eternal death. Oh yes, even if we imagine the poor mortal who will receive the least punishment of all, his lot will be very grievous indeed. They shall receive few stripes, says Jesus. But these few stripes certainly are eternal damnation and everlasting despair.
Still there are degrees of suffering in hell.
And that is just.
Sin against the holy and lovable law of God will be punished with sore punishment.
But how much sorer punishment will he receive who has trodden under foot the Son of God?
It is difficult to form a conception of such heinous crime.
Trodden under foot, the Son of God. We tread under foot that which we detest. We are very dainty people. Sometimes we turn away in disgust from things that are exposed to our view. To touch such objects is then abomination to us. But trample on it, yes, that we dare do. The soles of our feet may come in contact with those objects from which we turn away in disgust. We will kick them aside.
And this we do by nature when we come in contact with the Son of God.
Now if the law of God was beautiful and sweet, how shall we appraise the Son of God; the Mediator of God and men, the vicariously suffering Servant of Jehovah.
He came to seek them which the Father had given to Him. But to seek, redeem and save them He willingly enters their eternal prison of death. He willingly and motivated by Divine love takes all their guilt upon His neck and groans under the burden of the wrath of God. Honestly, such love cannot be properly evaluated. No matter how long eternity is, we shall never grow weary to honor Him and love Him for that love that was bestowed on us by that Eternal Son of God. He emptied Himself and assumed the role of slave, crawling in the dust of death for our sakes. He let all the grandeur of Sonship go begging and became the Man of Sorrows so that you and I could be filled with heavenly joy. He became an outcast, weeping in the wilderness and sweating blood in the garden so that you might walk in liberty and taste that God’s communion is better than life.
Is not the Son of God, is not the bloody Man of sorrows far sweeter than the manifestation of the law of Moses?
And when a mortal man dares to trample the manifestation of God’s wondrous love under foot, how much sorer punishment, suppose ye . . . Ah, I do not know, Lord!
But it must be terrible beyond compare.
What shall even the reception be, that Judas will receive of Sodom? How shall he be greeted in hell by Gomorrah? And when hell even will upbraid such detestable creatures how is God to recompense them?
Whenever and wherever they saw and heard the manifestation of the blessed Gospel, they would trample under foot the Son of God; when you spoke to them of the Blood of the Testament, how that Jesus shed His precious blood in the agony of His soul, they would say that such blood theology was an unholy thing. Horrible!
Well, if we with our knowledge of heavenly things deem such creatures horrible indeed, how will God appraise them in the Day of days?
Yes, hell for the Japanese and Chinamen will be terrible: but hell for despisers of the Blood will be a hundred times worse. There are degrees of suffering in that place of sorrows. And despisers of the Son of God, His Blood and the Spirit of grace will lie in deepest hell.
So great salvation!
Because God delivered us from so great a death!
So great a death!
Things that are beautiful assume a) still brighter hue when compared with their very opposites. Salvation by the blood of the Son of God is so very great because it saves us from so great a death.
Is not our death very great?
Just imagine that you and I are fleeing from God as far as our thoughts and inclinations can carry us. And to be apart from God is death. He is the very Fountain of good things for the image bearer. He is the Sum Total of all things that are sweet and lovely, light and life, goodness and kindness, health and happiness, forgiveness and grace, longsuffering and mercy and a thousand other blessings. Yet, we flee from Him. We do not like Him, but hate Him. We say with all that in us lies: Depart from me, O God, for I have no pleasure in Thy ways! Is not our death great?
But God is furious with sin and the sinner. And He sentenced man unto death all his life on earth, all his existence in the rotting grave and all the dreary wakes of an eternity in hell. He ascribed the false prophet to be our teacher and devils to be our companions. He meted out to the human race because of their guilt the habitation that really was prepared for devils. So great a death!
But we are saved from all that.
“Thy great salvation, Lord! So will I answer them that scoff . . . .”
Great salvation by the Son of God because He went into that prison of death. He suffered the terrible conflict and poured out His soul into death. He suffered the torture to be forsaken of the Fount of Life and happiness in order to save you, dear reader. He shed His blood and sent His Spirit so that you might be divorced from the Devil and false prophecy. So that you no longer would run away from God, but be halted in your tracks and made to consider and say: In the Home of my Father in heaven there is bread enough and to spare! But here I suffer hunger and thirst, where all the streams are dry.
Great salvation for it fulfills all your needs.
You need God. You need His communion and love. You need the angels of life. You need the companionship of perfect saints. You need a beautiful world around you. You need the continuous Word of God to nourish you everlastingly. You need His comforting speech telling you ever and anon: I love you, my dear son! You need all that if you are to be happy. You need your God.
So great salvation.
Therefore the saints in the new paradise will sing in ever more beautiful strains the heavenly song: Thou, O Son of God, hast purchased us to God by Thy blood. Forever the sign of the slaughtered Lamb shall be in the midst of the throne to remind us, to remind us ever and again, that we are saved with so great salvation!
That blood is preached, manifested in your midst by the Word that began to be spoken by Jesus.
That blood sings the old, old story of Jesus and His love.
Shall we then neglect so great salvation?
Oh, if we do, then the damned in hell from the city of Sodom shall rebuke us in that awful Day. Then the very criminals of foreign lands shall stand up in judgment against us and they shall call our horror righteously begotten.
When you are found in the pews on Sunday in this land and neglect sq great salvation, deeming the blood of Jesus an unholy thing ; then the very recesses of the place of torment shall reverberate with the oft-repeated question that will sear our souls and bodies: Friend, art thou here?
But if not: if we do not neglect so great salvation, if we do not despite unto the Spirit of grace (through His sweet grace over us) but on the contrary, when we by His Spirit are found at the foot of the Cross of sweetest grace then we shall be saved, then we are saved, then we shall make heaven musical forever by songs of salvation.
Ah, God be praised for His unspeakable Gift!