At the time of this letter, most Christians were Hebrew believers---Hebrews converted to Christ. This letter addresses those Hebrews who were apparently being tempted to and were considering defecting from the all-sufficiency of Christ alone, and mixing the new Christian faith with the Temple ordinances and sacrifices. So this letter to the Hebrews is a general letter addressed not to one particular congregation, for the temptation to apostatize was real upon the Hebrew believers in general. Though this general letter has been harsh at times, the kindly tone of this final chapter shows us that the majority of the Hebrew, or Jewish Christians had been and were being faithful.
Of course, the Gospel Church application is that mixing any of mans ideas of approach to the Father with the all-sufficiency of Christ alone through faith alone as revealed in His Word alone is apostasy from the faith, being the sin of idolatry. Throughout scripture, we are assured that God is a consuming fire to those who imagine they can add to or take from the Atoning work of Christ.
There are a number of different areas mentioned in this last
chapter that pertain to the believers conduct. Here is a
list of those things that are mentioned: brotherly love, #Heb
13:1; hospitality, #Heb 13:2; sympathy with those in bonds, #Heb
13:3; fidelity in the marriage relation, #Heb 13:4; contentment,
#Heb 13:5-6; submission to those in authority, #Heb 13:7-8; stability
in the doctrines of religion, #Heb 13:9-15; benevolence, #Heb
13:16; obedience to those entrusted with office, #Heb 13:17; and
special prayer for him who wrote this epistle, #Heb13:18-19. The
epistle then closes with a beautiful and impressive benediction
that should serve to challenge each of us to a personal commitment
to the Lord in regards to our personal conduct, #Heb 13:20-21.
V. 1.Verse one begins with "Let brotherly love continue" as though to say let this be an ongoing virtue that marked these early believers. (See Mat 22:39, &c.) The phrase brotherly love describes an attitude that should mark the church. There should be a family love that ever marks the church family.
Some who are in error and astray in their abuse of sacrifice and atonement, must now be forgiven if they recant, and are to be treated as brothers in the faith.
V. 2. Hospitality to the saints. Inns or Hotels in that era were also brothels, and when you took a room a prostitute came with it. As a result, Christians provided hospitality to all traveling Christians in order to avoid ungodly situations and problems, e.g., Paul went to synagogues to see if any would invite him home after he spoke. Abraham entertained strangers, we are told, not knowing at first that they were strangers. Now the likelihood of any believers entertaining strangers was of course unlikely, but the moral duty was the same.
The meaning of having a spirit of hospitality is not for the purpose of entertaining angels, as did Abraham and Lot, but doing so realizing that according to Gods providence, He may have someone to come your way that He has sent which you can be a benefit to in ways that will have eternal value, or they can be a benefit to us.
V. 3. Remember those who are in bonds and who are suffering adversity, as we would wish to be remembered if we were in their place. We need to pray for any who are going through adversity. Churches are openly vulnerable to Satans attack as well as are those who make up the church. We certainly need to pray for and encourage one another in this area.
This is especially important today, as it has been since the rise of Mohammedanism with its practice of enslaving particularly Christian women after killing their fathers and husbands. They are waging a very real, physical and bloody war against Christ. Observe what is going on not only in this nation, but also worldwide. Fallen man would rather live under Sharia law than under Biblical law. Sadly, I get the feeling that even many professed Bible Believing Christians would welcome any law as long as it is not the 10 Commandments, because the Commandments would reek of Christian Reconstruction.
Theonomy is a cursed word to many who profess Christ. Theonomy, from theos (god) and nomos (law), is the idea that God's Law-Word, including the judicial laws of the Old Testament, should be observed by modern societies. Of course, the states anti-Christ education system from the youth up trains the children up in paganism; sadly, many Christian education systems by avoiding theonomy, train up the Lords heritage up in paganism.
V. 4. We are encouraged to acknowledge, maintain and defend the sanctity of marriage. Godly Marriage is always under attack, for it is Gods basic building block for any social order. It has especially been under attack in the West in the last several decades by the one worlders, for the family must be destroyed for the New World Order to be implemented. Thus, every institution, church and state, is generally against the family. No Fault divorce was a very serious blow to the family.
Though I have mentioned this in the past, I will again. As an associate pastor in Louisiana, we used to sit in staff meetings and discuss ideas for programs we could do throughout the week to keep the family busy. We felt we were being generous by giving the family one night a week for themselves. Moreover, churches provide "children's churches" so the parents do not have to make the children behave during the services. There are churches that provide children's ministries as an option to parents, but do not insist the children go to those ministries. Personally, I favor family integrated services, but for that to work parents have to take a firm hand with their children. We have observed that home educated families from the youngest to the oldest generally are well behaved in the worship service.
In the 60s, I worked for a man who sold used school buses to churches for their bus ministries. Being single, I delivered many buses over the weekends so I could attend some of the biggest named Baptist churches of the 60s. Those churches had large teen ministries that met outside of the main church service. Sadly, it was not uncommon to hear of "youth pastors" getting involved with the teenage girls.
I know churches did not do it intentionally, but the separate youth ministry has destroyed more than a few families, just as sure as the public schools have destroyed Christian families. The secular schoolteacher, the Sunday School teacher or youth pastor becomes the symbol of authority to that young person rather than his parents.
I know we are not partial : ) But we went to church with the family with 10 grandchildren from 18 months old and up to 19 years old. They all sat as quietly in church service as any adult. It can be done!
There is a serious war in every area of life against Gods plan for the family. The sanctity and value of marriage must be maintained in not only our own mind, but in society. Advertisers know sex sells, so we are assaulted with sex at every turn.
Job 31:1 I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?
The pagan ideas of sex must be not only avoided but also confronted with Gods truth, for He will judge all whoremongers and adulterers. What has happened to the sorrow and distress over shacking up and sodomite marriages, and very immodest and naked women? The pagan world falsely associates sex with sin, but sex within marriage is given by God. We need to ask God to renew a right spirit in us concerning marriage, before we can expect him to renew a right spirit in society.
Personal opinion: The modern idea of modest dress is black skin tight tights on shapely, and not so shapely women. One would think that modesty would be loser clothing or a decent length skirt over the tights. Though socially accepted even in church, if men, husbands particularly, would be honest, they will admit that there is no way those tights can be considered modest. Are skintight jeans any better? Should not Christian husbands and fathers guard, as much as is reasonably possible, their wives and daughters from the lustful desires of others?
From World Net Daily:
Movement calls porn public-health hazard
There already have been several formal statements designatingÐ pornography as a public health hazard: by lawmakers inÐ Utah, Republicans in CongressÐ andÐ South CarolinaÐ lawmakers, who have proposed aÐ plan to require computer sellers to install blocking software.
Now, the state of Virginia may fall in line behind Utah in declaring pornography a public health crisis.
State Delegate Robert Marshall, R-Prince William, has proposed a resolution for the general assembly to recognize the need for education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level in order to address the pornography epidemic that is harming the people of the commonwealth and the nation.
The resolution does not advocate any kind of a ban or restriction.
But criticism of it has been swift anyway.
The far-left feminist site Jezebel smirked about Marshall wanting to restrict what may be the only thing some of us are still enjoying at the tale [sic] end of 2016.
An editorial at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, republished in the libertarian Reason magazine, called the resolution problematic, insistingÐ it is not the governments business.
And the Washington Post published a letterÐ from the Northern Virginia chapter of the anti-gun-rights group The Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence urgingÐ Marshall to target guns instead of porn.
Yet Marshalls measure is part of a growing trend.
Utah already labeled pornography a public health hazard. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation told WND that activists are working on similar measures in Arizona, Texas, Florida, West Virginia and Alabama. Proposed legislation in South Carolina would require computers and devices sold in the state to have pornography-blocking filters thatÐ could only be removed after a fee is paid.
And last month, the Canadian Parliament passed a motion calling for a study to examine the public health effects of the ease of access and viewing of online and degrading sexually explicit material on women, children and men.
There is increasing consensus among health experts, social scientists and legal experts on the harmful effects of pornography.
The official 2016 Republican Party platform declared: Pornography, with its harmful effects, especially on children, has become a public health crisis that is destroying the lives of millions. We encourage states to continue to fight this public menace and pledge our commitment to childrens safety and well-being.
And far from being limited to conservative Christians, the opposition is also rising in popular culture. The TEDx talk The Great Porn Experiment, which details the unprecedented effects of easily available pornography on brain chemistry, has now accumulated more than 7,430,000 views on YouTube. Celebrities such as Terry Crews have also spoken out against pornography addiction.
David Kupelian, managing editor of WND and the author of The Snapping of the American Mind, said it is entirely appropriate pornography is treated as a public health crisis. In fact, its simply common sense.
Who could disagree at the statement pornography constitutes a public health crisis in America today? he asked. Pornography addiction destroys marriage. It facilitates vile crimes such as child pornography. And the hard reality is that a high percentage of teenagers and children are exposed to graphic hardcore sexual images at an early age. The breakdown of the American family and the creeping hysteria and misery behind so much American life is not a joke. Its a serious issue and pornography is one of the biggest drivers behind the collapse of our once Christian culture.
Kupelian contended pornography activates the same addictive pathways in the brain as do drugs such as heroin.
Delegate Marshall has made similar arguments, comparing his resolution to the 1964 federal government report thatÐ linked smoking cigarettes to serious diseases. That report eventually paved the way for restrictions on tobacco use.
One researcher who is familiar with pornographys horrific effects is Judith Reisman, former principal investigator for the U.S. Department of Justice and the author of Sexual Sabotage, the definitive rebuttal of the infamous Alfred Kinseys fraudulent research. She argues Kinseys supposed findings paved the way for mass acceptance of pornography.
Historically, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner started his anti-human, anti-family, anti-child, misogynist magazine based on the fraudulent, massive child sex crimes of Dr. Alfred Kinsey, she told WND.
She said Kinsey, the acknowledged father of the global sexual revolution, libeled theÐ Greatest Generation through his fraudulent research, sabotagingÐ men, women and children of every race, religion, nation, economic, social and political strata.
Educated elites embraced bogus, criminally derived sex data and hijacked societal morality by systematically dismantling the family, she said.Ð They also engaged in a downward revision of child-protective and women-protective laws. They began with emasculating men, then objectifying women and finally, inevitably, by sexualizing children.
Reisman claimed the mainstreaming of pornography has produced an explosion of rape, venereal disease, impotence, child and infant sexual abuse, AIDS, abortion, child sex trafficking and more.
Joel Hesch, founder of the anti-pornography ministry Proven Men, agrees pornography is a public health crisis and claims the facts surrounding the abuse of smut are shocking.
A nationwide survey commissioned by ProvenMen.org and conducted by the Barna Group revealed that one-third of all men ages 18-30 look at porn at least daily and consider themselves addicted, Hesch said.
One has to be blind not to see this as a public crisis. In fact, the addiction rate is climbing at a rapid rate with generation is becoming increasingly more addicted than the prior, he said.
My heart breaks for teens that have unrestricted access to Internet porn because that is the passport to sex addiction that will ensnare most children, whether it lead to promiscuity as singles or later in life as affairs in adulthood. It also teaches teens to view people as objects for their own personal sexual pleasure.
Hesch called pornography a gateway drug thatÐ harms real relationships.
The same percentage of married men or women that regularly look at porn end up having an extra marital affair, Hesch told WND. According to our survey, 40 percent of married men watch porn at least several times a month and 35 percent of married men have sexual affairs. Similarly, 22 percent of married women view porn at least several times a month and 17 percent of married women have sexual affairs.
It should be little surprise that the more frequently a married person looks at porn, which is often a form of sexually fantasizing about someone other than their spouse, the more likely they are at acting upon their fantasy through a sexual affair, Hesch concluded.
Hesch also said pornography is affecting the American labor force.
According to our survey, over one-half (52 percent) of men age 18-30 admit to risking their careers and livelihood by viewing porn at work within the past threeÐ months, he claimed. The numbers are even higher for men ages 31-49, with nearly three-fourths (74 percent) watching porn at work.
When a porn compulsion damages relationships and causes people to ignore such high risks of cheating on your employer or spouse, its not just an addiction but a crisis that affects us all.
Part of the plan
But that may be part of the plan. According to Kupelian, the social harm caused by pornography isnt a bug, itsÐ a feature of the lefts plan to deconstruct social norms and eliminate Judeo-Christian morality.
Sexual anarchy has long been a key component of the political and cultural left, he said. The ever-expanding sexual liberation movement as it was called in the 1960s, today codenamed LGBT, has become the tip of the lefts spear for attacking its greatest enemy Christianity the most objectionable part of which is its biblical moral code regarding sexual behavior.
So, of course, the left ridicules anything that upholds Judeo-Christian morality. Of course they deny pornography has negative effects. Of course they want to prevent research into it and possible regulations. For the left, the casualties caused by moral breakdown are just collateral damage. They know what they are doing and they know pornography is harmful which is why they support it.
Reisman argues pornography should not only be treated as a threat to public health but as a tragic consequence of the gigantic fraud and crime thatÐ was Kinseys research.
I was honored to serve as the fraud in science expert for the American Legislative Exchange Councils 2010 report on Kinseys fraud, and that report had very specific policy recommendations, Reisman said.
ALEC concludes we must abolish any laws or post-1950s sex education based upon the criminal sexual abuse of children portrayed as science by Kinsey or his followers. Nearly three generations have been seduced and lied to, We must drain the swamp of all organizations that have capitalized on Kinseys work. The Kinsey Institute, Planned Parenthood, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, and most sex education programs must, at minimum, be stripped of federal and state funds.
Reisman says it is long past time for the government to take action to stop the plague of pornography and fraudulent sexual education.
We should restore the women and child-protective laws upon which the country was built and reform the educational establishment to refocus on parent-driven education. Laws on pornography must be strengthened and enforced.
Society has gone mad and its not by accident.
V. 5. We are told to have the right attitude toward material possessions. We must avoid the spirit of covetousness, for what do we have that has not been given to us by the Lord? We are to be content with such things as we have. Our great gain is our godliness with contentment, not our gain in material goods.
V. 6. Contentment realizes that everything comes from the Lord. Contentment comes from knowing that the Lord is my helper, and he promises to never leave us nor forsake us. So why should I fear what man shall do unto me.
The converted Hebrews faced the wrath of their fellow countrymen who saw the converts as abandoning the established, lawful faith of the fathers. Abandoning the faith required death under Moses. Thus, it was extremely difficult to transfer that commitment from the temple to Christ. Only the Spirit could make that break.
Thus, the author of Hebrews assured them that His implanted faith will be with them (and us), and of His care for his own no matter what the future holds.
Those facing persecution and death at the hands of the Muslims have found that he is with them even in the most violent attacks from anti-Christians. In fact, do a little research, and one will find that Christianity is growing at an astounding pace in the anti-Christ Muslim community. (Luke 13:20-29)
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Joshua 1:5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.6 Be strong and of a good courage: 7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.