VERSE OF THE DAY
Hebrews 10:30-31 (New Living Translation)
For we know the one who said, “I will take revenge. I will pay them back.” He also said, “The Lord will judge his own people.” It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Hebrews 10:30–31 — The New King James Version (NKJV)
30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
For God speaks vengeance is his he will present repay speaks the lord he will always show judgment on his people the God fearing shall be fearing and fall into the hands of the living God
What does Hebrews 10:30 mean?
This verse is part of a passage which generates controversy. Read out of context, it can be misinterpreted to suggest that those who are saved, but sin, are at risk of being damned. The writer of Hebrews continues to use language in this passage which indicates he is speaking of a truly saved believer (Hebrews 10:29). However, the context of the New Testament does not support the idea that a saved Christian can lose that salvation (John 10:28–29), so the judgment being spoken of here must not be a reference to eternal judgment.
That being said, even in context, the exact meaning of these words can be difficult to untangle. One popular view is that this is an alert given to those who are “almost” saved—persons who have a clear understanding of the gospel, but reject it anyway. The more likely subject, given the whole context of the passage, is a warning to Christians in the same vein as the one given in chapter 3. Namely, that there will be consequences for disobedience, even for God’s chosen people, even for God’s saved believers. The prior verse pointed out that those who have the most knowledge of the truth—in this case, Christians—deserve all the more punishment for violating that truth.
To support this idea, the writer quotes from Deuteronomy 32:35–36, which is part of the song of Moses. That verse refers to God taking “vengeance” on the enemies of Israel for their aggression against His people. However, the context of that aggression, according to Deuteronomy, is the sin of Israel herself! So, while the quote specifically targets the enemies of Israel, it comes from a passage describing God’s punishment of His own disobedient children.
Hebrews 10:26–39 contains the letter’s most dire warning against apostasy. This passage should be understood in the same context as earlier references to Israel’s punishment in the wilderness (Hebrews 3:12–19) and the dangers of a shallow faith (Hebrews 6:1–8). The concern here is not a loss of salvation, but of God’s punishment on those who willingly rebel against His will. Since the new covenant is superior to the old covenant, we can expect those who ”profane” the new covenant to suffer greater consequences for disobedience. This is followed by a word of encouragement and reassurance to those who have already survived hardship and persecution.
God’s own words, found in the Old Testament Scriptures, declare His intention to replace the old covenant with a new covenant. Jesus fulfills all of these prophecies, and all of the symbolism found in the system of priests, the tabernacle, and animal sacrifices. Knowing that Jesus Christ is, undoubtedly, God’s remedy for our sin, we should be encouraged in holding on to our faith in the face of persecution. However, that same confidence means dire spiritual consequences for those who know Christ’s salvation, but choose to act in defiance of His will.
For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. – Hebrews 10:30-31
I remember how I trembled when I knew I had tested my own father beyond his limits. When his disciplinary side came out, “Watch out.” It wasn’t going to be pretty. But by demonstrating that there is a limit to patience, and that sooner or later justice will be served, I learned to fear him and you in a healthy way. It made me deal with my own rebellious heart. If it would try to lead me down the wrong path I would think, “There’s a limit to patience.” I know you are slow to anger and patient with everyone. But if we do not learn to follow you in faith and obedience, if we test your will again and again, I know you will bring justice on us. You sent your Son to save me. It was dreadful that he fell into your hands, the hands of the living God. But even though he saved me, that doesn’t mean I can live like a hellion. I am a heavenion! So, give me the wisdom to fear your just anger if I were to abuse your grace and use it as a licence for selfishness or evil. Give me grace and forgiveness for when I have run from you and do not let me take your patient to it’s limit.
Pastor Don Patterson
God sent his Son so no one has to go to hell. But if we reject his Son, hell is what we rightfully deserve nonetheless.
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Hebrews 10:30-31 – Today’s devotional
Phil Ware’s devotional (www.crosswalk.com) emphasizes on the responsibility to defend and protect innocent and helpless victims. However, just in the US, more than 10 billion land animals raised for food are abused in factory farms and slaughter houses, where they suffer unimaginable fear and pain, with the protection of the law. It is the industries that contribute to the exploitation of animals for food that we must not support. It is our duty, as followers of Christ, to take a stand and protect God’s creatures, since without us they wouldn’t have a voice.
Hebrews 10:30-31 We know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Thoughts on today’s verse: God hates injustice, unfairness, brutality and abuse. In a world where the greedy, the murderous, the thieves, the rapists, the muggers… get away with their shameless and despicable behavior, God is the ultimate assurance that justice will be done and the wicked will not triumph. While those who love and expect Jesus’ return do so with anticipation and joy, those who are evil and vile will find out what a dreadful thing it is to fall into God’s hands.
Prayer: Holy and Righteous God, my Heavenly Father, I am both uncomfortable and comforted to know that you will bring justice on those who have violently abused the innocent, weak, helpless, underprivileged, and infirm. Give me the courage to stand between the evil of my world and those on whom it preys. By the grace and victory of Jesus I pray. Amen.