Have you ever noticed that YHWH expects His people to turn their backs on ANYONE who chooses to live in sin? This means, if even your own close relatives insist on sinning, you will incur their guilt if you keep making excuses for them, and hanging with them – because, as you know, Scripture is clear that continued, deliberate sin will keep you out of Eternity.
Hebrews 10: 26 For if we deliberately continue to sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but only the terrifying prospect of Judgment, or raging fire that will consume the enemies. (CJB)
The above Scripture is not referring to those unclean bondages that dwell in our flesh ,but to the conscious choices believers make. It refers not to our unintentional sins but to those we pursue knowingly and willingly.
Hebrews 6: 4. But they who have once descended to immersion and have tasted the gift from heaven and have received the Ruach haKodesh 5. and have tasted the good Word of Elohim and the power of the world to come, 6. cannot again sin and a second time be renewed to repentance; or a second time execute him on a stake and insult the Son of Elohim. 7. For the earth that drinks the rain which comes often upon it and produces the herb that is of use to those for whom it is cultivated, receives a blessing from Elohim. 8. But if it should put forth thorns and briers, it would be discarded and be approaching closely to a curse, and its end would be a conflagration. (AENT)
The bottom line is: There will be no “lukewarm” in His Presence (Revelation 3:16). The reason YHWH doesn’t kill people on the spot for their ongoing, intentional sins today is because, once we have accepted Yeshua as our Final Sin Sacrifice/Offering, his blood covers our "past sins” (and, of course, because of YHWH’s Grace and Mercy, which, by the way, has always been around). He expects His people to not only repent of their sins, but to then TURN from them and change our ways to reflect holy living according to His Torah!
Let's do a quick mini-study outlining what happened to YHWH’s people after they built the “golden calf” while Moshe was up on the mountain, receiving the Ten Commandments. I’ve inserted some personal comments along the way:
Exodus 32: 1 When the people saw that Moshe was taking a long time to come down from the mountain, they gathered around Aharon and said to him, "Get busy; and make us gods to go ahead of us; because this Moshe, the man that brought us up from the land of Egypt - we don't know what has become of him."
COMMENT: Now, of course, we ask ourselves, how can a people who just witnessed the 10 plagues and crossed the Sea of Reeds on "dry land" POSSIBLY decide build a "golden calf" to worship and attempt to present this abomination as “the God of Israel?” Read on, and you'll see...
Exodus 32: 2 Aharon said to them, "Have your wives, sons and daughters strip off their gold earrings; and bring them to me." 3 The people stripped off their gold earrings and brought them to Aharon. 4 He received what they gave him, melted it down, and made it into the shape of a calf. They said, "Isra'el! Here is your god, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!" 5 On seeing this, Aharon built an altar in front of it and proclaimed, "Tomorrow is to be a feast for ADONAI." 6 Early the next morning they got up and offered burnt offerings and presented peace offerings. Afterwards, the people sat down to eat and drink; then they got up to indulge in revelry.
COMMENT: WOW! This is almost too much to bear! WHY did Aharon, the High Cohen/Priest decide to join them in this? (You'll later see in another passage (Exodus 32:21;24) that, when confronted by his brother Moshe about this situation, Aharon tried to downplay his part by telling a "half truth" in hopes of appearing blameless).
Still, as modern readers of the Bible, we tend to ask ourselves: Instead of putting a lid on the people's ridiculous demands, why didn't Aharon remind them of the miracles they had been witnessing both IN Egypt and after their escape FROM Egypt? Why didn't he simply tell them to sit down, shut up and wait on ELOHIM, who had proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt that YHWH was the ONLY GOD, the LIVING God! After all, as Moshe’s mouthpiece during Pharaoh’s plagues, Aharon KNEW YHWH, and what YHWH could and would do to those who dared disobey!
Truth be told, as unbelievable as these things might seem, we MUST try to put ourselves in the place of the Hebrews who were dealing with this "new life" YHWH had unexpectedly forced on them, and honestly ask ourselves if WE would have behaved any differently under those particular circumstances.
Let's read on to see how YHWH ultimately handles this situation:
Exodus 32:7 ADONAI said to Moshe, "Go down! Hurry! Your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have become corrupt! 8 So quickly they have turned aside from the way I ordered them to follow! They have cast a metal statue of a calf, worshipped it, sacrificed to it and said, 'Isra'el! Here is your god, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!'" 9 ADONAI continued speaking to Moshe: "I have been watching these people; and you can see how stiffnecked they are. 10 Now leave me alone, so that my anger can blaze against them, and I can put an end to them! I will make a great nation out of you instead."
11 Moshe pleaded with ADONAI his God. He said, "ADONAI, why must your anger blaze against your own people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and a strong hand? 12 Why let the Egyptians say, 'It was with evil intentions that he led them out, to slaughter them in the hills and wipe them off the face of the earth'? Turn from your fierce anger! Relent! Don't bring such disaster on your people! 13 Remember Avraham, Yitz'chak and Isra'el, your servants, to whom you swore by your very self. You promised them, 'I will make your descendants as many as the stars in the sky; and I will give all this land I have spoken about to your descendants; and they will possess it forever.'"
14 ADONAI then changed his mind about the disaster he had planned for his people. 15 Moshe turned and went down from the mountain with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, tablets inscribed on both sides, on the front and on the back. 16 The tablets were the work of God; and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.
COMMENT: Yes, ADONAI “changed his mind” – BUT! – hang onto your hats, because Israel can’t and won’t get away with it! DELIBERATE sin requires punishment; that has never changed. Take a look:
Exodus 32: 17 When Y'hoshua heard the noise of the people shouting he said to Moshe, "It sounds like war in the camp!" 18 He answered, "That is neither the clamor of victory nor the wailings of defeat; what I hear is the sound of people singing." 19 But the moment Moshe got near the camp, when he saw the calf and the dancing, his own anger blazed up. He threw down the tablets he had been holding and shattered them at the base of the mountain. 20 Seizing the calf they had made, he melted it in the fire and ground it to powder, which he scattered on the water. Then he made the people of Isra'el drink it.
21 Moshe said to Aharon, "What did these people do to you to make you lead them into such a terrible sin?" 22 Aharon replied, "My lord shouldn't be so angry. You know what these people are like, that they are determined to do evil. 23 So they said to me, 'Make us gods to go ahead of us; because this Moshe, the man that brought us up from the land of Egypt - we don't know what has become of him.' 24 I answered them, 'Anyone with gold, strip it off!' So they gave it to me. I threw it in the fire, and out came this calf!"
COMMENT: What a ridiculous thing to say! …The people MADE Aharon do this; and then - voila! - “out came this calf”? WOW! This is so reminiscent of the “blame game” Adam and Eve tried to play with YHWH in Genesis 3:8-13; and also how Cain feigned ignorance after he killed Abel in Genesis 4. How very "human!"
But now, watch what happens to all those who perpetrated this sin … all except for Aharon whom God allowed to live (for reasons known only to God Himself!), even though he had committed that blatant violation:
Exodus 32: 25 When Moshe saw that the people had gotten out of control - because Aharon had allowed them to get out of control, to the derision of their enemies - 26 Moshe stood at the entrance to the camp and shouted, "Whoever is for ADONAI, come to me!"All the descendants of Levi rallied around him. 27 He told them, "Here is what ADONAI, the God of Isra'el, says: 'Each of you, put his sword on his side; and go up and down the camp, from gate to gate; and every man is to kill his own kinsman, his own friend and his own neighbor!"
28 The sons of Levi did what Moshe said, and that day three thousand of the people died. 29 Moshe said, "You have consecrated yourselves today to ADONAI, because every one of you has been against his own son and against his own kinsman, in order to bring a blessing on yourselves today." 30 The next day Moshe said to the people, "You have committed a terrible sin. Now I will go up to ADONAI ; maybe I will be able to atone for your sin."
COMMENT: Notice that the sons of Levi – as horrified as they must have been – obeyed YHWH’s command to kill EVERYONE including their own relatives who had participated in this heinous sin of building the “golden calf” idol. They knew that if they refused, they too, would have to be put to death. This is proof that deliberate sin against YHWH – no matter how great or small – is NOT taken lightly, and those who participate willingly or even “from afar” WILL be held accountable!
Exodus 32: 31 Moshe went back to ADONAI and said, "Please! These people have committed a terrible sin: they have made themselves a god out of gold. 32 Now, if you will just forgive their sin! But if you won't, then, I beg you, blot me out of your book which you have written!" 33 ADONAI answered Moshe, "Those who have sinned against me are the ones I will blot out of my book. 34 Now go and lead the people to the place I told you about; my angel will go ahead of you. Nevertheless, the time for punishment will come; and then I will punish them for their sin." 35 ADONAI struck the people with a plague because they had made the calf, the one Aharon made. (CJB)
SO HERE ARE MY FINAL THOUGHTS – and please feel free to challenge me on this:
Sin of ANY kind is bad! But, through Yeshua, YHWH made it easy for us to receive eternal life. None of us today is forced to kill an innocent animal to atone for our sins. Yeshua was the Ultimate Sacrifice (even though he was NOT “sacrificed” per se; rather, he martyred himself).
However, we must remember that the blood of Messiah only covers our PAST sins. Once we accept YHWH as our Elohim and Y’shua as His Messiah, we MUST obey His Divine Instructions to mankind (Torah). If we don’t, WHOM are we worshiping, and why bother?
The act of “obedience” alone is not what “saves” us; belief in YHWH/Yeshua does. But that “belief” and acceptance means we start to do things HIS way so we can become holy/set apart; thus, leaving “the world” behind. THAT is what it means to be Torah observant.
YHWH had His people in the wilderness for 40 years to learn the simple concept of being “holy/set apart” by obeying His commands and behaving according to His Holy Rules. That has never changed because, if we dare veer from His Path, we end up being erased from His Presence. GOD HIMSELF said so, and it is our personal choice to either BE COMPLETELY HIS, or not…
30 "'But an individual who does something wrong intentionally, whether a
citizen or a foreigner, is blaspheming ADONAI. That person will be cut
off from his people. (CJB)
So, I reiterate:
Hebrews 10: 26 For if we
deliberately continue to sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth,
there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but only the
terrifying prospect of Judgment, or raging fire that will consume the
2 Peter 2: 19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for a person is slave to whatever has defeated him. 20 Indeed, if they have once escaped the pollutions of the world through knowing our Lord and Deliverer, Yeshua the Messiah, and then have again become entangled and defeated by them, their latter condition has become worse than their former. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the Way of righteousness than, fully knowing, to turn from the holy command delivered to them. (CJB)
How many of today's believers behave in a way they know is sinful and yet they go ahead and do what they feel like doing, anyway? That's because they mistakenly think Divine grace covers intentional sin, which is a huge misconception!
Divine grace has made wonderful provision for unintentional sin, but there is no provision for ongoing, willful and intentional sin. The Bible tells us so. (As mentioned earlier in Hebrews 6, Yeshua would have to be executed on the stake again, for that to happen. He died to remove our PAST sins and give us a clean slate to "start all over again." He did NOT die to give anyone carte blanche to continue their sinful lifestyles and pretend to be forgiven.)
Deliberate, premeditated sin is willful disobedience and rebellion against ELOHIM; and it results in severe punishment or even loss of our salvation.