In Order To Make Your Hope Certain

Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make your hope certain. Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance. 
Hebrews 6:11-12

Read: Ezekiel 10:1-11:25, Hebrews 6:1-20, Psalm 105:16-36, Proverbs 27:1-2

Relate: Two times I have started to write and then deleted the paragraphs I have put down. Both times there was a check on my heart that was one question, “Is that loving?” You see, I have lately been noticing times when those who have presented themselves as Christians have demonstrated a lack of love to a degree that goes beyond a simple mistake or bad day and into the realm of questioning their Christianity. What is worse, I have seen this from people who call themselves leaders. I am trying so hard to share the idea without bringing out specifics but I think in this one case specifics are probably not needed. I am sure each of you reading this can picture examples you have experienced in your own life. I am sure you, like me, can also look in the mirror and think back on times we have failed to be loving as well. When I have noticed these unloving lifestyles in people I wish I could respect, one old song keeps playing in my head…

React: I have memorized the book of Hebrews. Back in my senior year of high school, I memorized it while competing on a Bible Quiz team. Every couple of years since then I have taken the time to refresh it so that I could literally right now quote the book to you (in the ’84 version of the NIV). I say that to share that I am about as familiar with Hebrews 6 as with anything in the Bible. I know these verses backward and forwards, inside and out. Even still, I don’t think I ever noticed that the writer does not just give a warning against apostasy but also the remedy. It is right here in verse 11. After warning against the danger and consequence of falling away, we see in verse 11 exactly what we need to do to make sure that never happens: Keep on loving others as long as life lasts in order to make your hope secure.

You want eternal security? Fine. Love others with every breath you’ve got and you will have it. It doesn’t come from doctrinal purity. It doesn’t come by saying, or knowing, or even thinking all the right things. You certainly are not made eternally secure by repeating some prayer like a magic talisman that grants you entry past the heavenly gates. Thinking, saying, and knowing the right things are good and important. Saying a sinner’s prayer to mark the moment you chose to embark on the Christian life is certainly a good thing. But God is marked by love. He came from heaven to earth because He loves. He walked the Via Dolorosa because of love. And His followers are marked by that same love. It only makes sense, then, that the way we can make our hope sure is by loving with everything we’ve got. 

Respond:

Dear God,
Help me to known by Your love. When people look at my life, let the first thing they see be the love You have for them flowing through me. I know that I am going to fail. I know that there will be times when stupid, unloving words or actions will come spilling out. Help me to be quick to spot those times and sensitive to know what damage my words might be doing. Help me to be even quicker with the apologies and actions I can do to make what amends I can. Let me have the love for the world that You have so that the world, when it sees me, would be drawn closer to You. 
Amen

7 thoughts on “In Order To Make Your Hope Certain

  1. This is good! Thank you so much!! Yes, we must love God, and to love him is to obey him, and we must love others in the way he loves us, which prefers what is godly, holy, righteous, pure, honest and moral. So, we aren’t going to lie to, cheat on, commit adultery against, steal from, gossip about, and get even with others if we truly love them. But, we are going to pray for them and do good to them, and “good” is what God calls good, i.e. what will be beneficial for them in light of eternity. So, we also are not going to lie to them just to make them feel good, too. But, we will speak the truth in love to them.

  2. I agree we need to love! But you can’t get to heaven just on love. You have to say a sinners prayer and believe that God died for you, and yes you do have to have love too. But you get to heaven by God’s gift of dying on the cross.

    • Two times Jesus was asked the question, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” The first time he responded, “Go sell everything you have and give it to the poor, then come and follow me.” The second time the question was asked he responded with the greatest commandments, “Love God, love your neighbor. ” When asked for clarification on who that neighbor might be Jesus responded with the parable of the good Samaritan and the concluding command to “go and do likewise”

      In both these responses, I see the need to love. In neither of them do I see a “sinner’s prayer.” Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that prayer is a good starting point when embarking on a life of following Jesus, but as I wrote above, “You certainly are not made eternally secure by repeating some prayer like a magic talisman that grants you entry past the heavenly gates.”

  3. I have often wanted to write on the topic of “love your neighbor,” but had the same concern. How do I express myself in love when I see others who do not? Thank you for writing what’s always on my mind and heart – God’s two greatest commandments – loving Him and others unconditionally. It’s difficult for all of us to completely abide by this because we have our human failings and sin, but I it’s important that we are always aware of what He truly wants from us.

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