Pastor Jonathan Falwell
Hebrews 12:14 NKJV
Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord
Hebrews 12:14 NLT
Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. 15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. 16 Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal. 17 You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears. 18 You have not come to a physical mountain, to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai. 19 For they heard an awesome trumpet blast and a voice so terrible that they begged God to stop speaking. 20 They staggered back under God’s command: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” 21 Moses himself was so frightened at the sight that he said, “I am terrified and trembling.” 22 No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. 23 You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. 24 You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.25 Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven! 26 When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” 27 This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain. 28 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. 29 For our God is a devouring fire.
There are two major forms of discouragement in our lives: 1) discouragement brought on by our own actions, 2) discouragement brought on by the actions of others. Last week, we talked about the first, today…we talk about the second. How do we respond to those who’ve hurt us. The only way to a life that is full to overflowing is to live a life that responds the right way.
v14a Work at living in peace with everyone…
– Key Word: WORK (dee-OH-ko – following in order to catch or attack, to seek to attain)
– Translation – it does not naturally happen, it’s a choice!
– When we don’t forgive:
1. We are allowing ourselves to be bound by a heavy weight
2. We are accepting that we will always live in the past, not the future
3. We are putting our potential for happiness and joy in the hands of others
4. We are choosing to look at the ugliness of this world, not its beauty
– But, when we do forgive:
1. We are setting ourselves free from the burden and able to see new things
2. Forgiveness is the greatest way to recognize our own forgiveness from God
And, it brings about,
v14b …and work at living a holy life…
– Again, WORK
– Does not come naturally
– Romans 3:10 – None is righteous, no not one
– Ezekiel 28:15 – You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created
– Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is desperately wicked
– 1 John 1:10 – If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar
– Romans 3:23 – All have sinned
– SO, WORK!
We work at forgiveness, we work at holiness, what happens?
v15a Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God…
If not… LOOK OUT!
4. Bitterness will always follow
v15b …Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.
– Some individuals can act like a poisonous weed and utterly devastate believers around them
5. A matter of the heart
v28 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.
– The world’s plan always leads to destruction, discouragement, death
– God’s plan leads to life, overflowing and everlasting