There are many people today who dislike any mention of the judgement of God. Perhaps they do not really believe that hell exists. Or perhaps they worry that they might frighten someone.
The author of Hebrews clearly did not agree with any opinions like those ones. He believed that he had a duty to warn people. Everyone will have to stand in front of God when he is their judge. There will be a punishment for sin (evil deeds). See Revelation 20:11-15.
Sometimes people suffer a punishment for sin during their lives on this earth. In Hebrews 3:16-19, the author wrote about the people that Moses led. Their sin was that they refused to believe God. Because of it, they could not enter the country called Canaan. Instead, the people wandered in the desert until their deaths.
The author taught that punishment after death is much worse than punishments during this life. Sometimes, the punishment was death for people who did not obey Mosesí law. But there will be a much worse punishment for the person who opposes Christ on purpose (Hebrews 10:28-29). See also Hebrews 12:25.
The authorís words to warn people are often severe. But he did not think that he should merely warn. He did not want people to suffer Godís punishment. Instead, he wanted them to know Godís love. So the author constantly reminds us that God can forgive us. This is only so because Jesus died in order to take the punishment for our sin.
But we must not refuse Godís love. Unless a person confesses his sin to God, God will not forgive it. Only the person who invites God into his life, will have a relationship with God. If a person accepts Christ, Godís judgement is against Christ on the cross, instead of that person. But for other people, Godís judgement will be against them after their deaths. And nobody will escape it (Hebrews 2:3).
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© 2014, Keith Simons.