Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
Reading this chapter I’m always tempted to dwell on verse 31, because that, in the mouth of Jonathan Edwards, was used to spark the Great Awakening revival that prepared the American colonies for the Revolutionary War. (Perhaps a fitting subject for the 4th of July.) However, this verse is also powerful and is applicable to every believer, and not just those who have drawn away from God. The English and the Japanese are obviously translations of the same Greek, but the nuance is different. The Japanese says, “Since the One who promised is faithful, let us not waver, but firmly profess hope.” The English stresses the holding onto hope, and the Japanese stresses professing hope. I take that as being evangelism, expressing the hope that is available in Christ alone to others, just as Peter talked about in 1 Peter 3:15. American society has always stressed the individual, to a degree that is perhaps unique in the world, but that can easily bleed over into self-centeredness, which benefits no one. We are individually accountable to God, but we are not to be satisfied with just our own salvation; we are to be sharing that with those around us. When we discover the incredible salvation that is available in Christ by grace through faith, it is the worst of ironies if we keep that good news to ourselves. God’s truth is to be shared! Just as Jonathan Edwards helped transform the colonies into a nation, our words too can lead people from darkness to light, from death to life. If we are indeed convinced that our God is faithful, just as this verse says, then nothing should hold us back from sharing the Good News of salvation.
As I have written multiple times, the thing that showed me that God had indeed baptized me with His Spirit was the awareness that for the first time in my life, I was talking about Jesus with a total stranger. Jesus’ statement in Acts 1:8 about being witnesses wasn’t coincidental, much less unimportant, it was the definition of walking in the Spirit. If we want the Holy Spirit to flow through us, and we certainly should, then we need to be active in sharing Christ. This isn’t limited to speaking, but it certainly includes it. Francis of Assisi’s famous admonition, “Preach constantly. When necessary, use words,” is valid enough, but as Peter pointed out, words are going to be called for to give people the details. Personality plays a part here, but we aren’t to let personality be an excuse not to share Christ. Despite being a teacher, unafraid to speak to groups, I am an introvert, happy to be by myself and uncomfortable at parties. That’s no excuse not to share Christ! I am to be active in seeking God’s appointments with those whose hearts He has prepared, because, as Paul pointed out, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” (Romans 10:14) (Don’t overthink “preaching” here. This is simply sharing the Gospel.) As a pastor, a major part of my ministry is to be in helping all the believers understand this is their privilege and task.
Father, thank You for this reminder. It’s something I’ve known for a long time, but I’ve got a lot of room to grow in communicating it to the believers. I pray that they would all profess boldly the hope that we have in Christ, for the salvation of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!