This lesson from Heb 10:26-39 deals with Jews who can lose their salvation in the Tribulation. Paul starts this passage with, “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins”.
How Can Tribulation Saints Sin Willfully?
Essentially, they sin willfully when they lose faith and decide to not endure to the end, Matt 10:22; 24:13. Rather:
They deny Jesus and his blood, v.29. The persecution during the Tribulation will be so sever, and death such a constant threat, that many will end up denying Christ, Matt 10:23-32; Rev 2:10.
Thus, they will follow the antichrist instead of Jesus Christ. And this is likened to treading the Son of God under foot. The reason is that the antichrist, in his fight against Jesus, will tread under foot the sanctuary and the host of heaven, Dan 8:9-13.
Instead of worshipping Christ, they will worship the antichrist and his abomination of desolation which will be standing in the holy place, 2 Thes 2:4, Matt 24:15. To worship this man as God and his image as holy, is to count Jesus’s blood of the covenant an unholy thing. His shed blood is the blood of the everlasting covenant, Heb 13:20. Apart from the shed blood of Christ, they have no possibility of salvation.
They will do “despite unto the Spirit of grace”. Many preachers and teachers teach that the Holy Spirit will be taken out of the earth when the church is raptured. They get this from 2 Thes 2:7. However, the Spirit of God will definitely be here. Jews who get saved during the Tribulation will be “partakers of the Holy Ghost”, Heb 6:4. And he will help them testify when they are on trial, Matt 10:17-20.
They lose patience and cast away their confidence, v.35-36.
Their salvation depends upon them holding fast their confidence steadfast unto the end, Heb 3:6, 14. They will need patience to continue following Jesus all the way to the end, Jas 5:7-11. If they don’t, they won’t be saved.
They quit living by faith, v.38. It’s going to take a lot of faith to live in the Tribulation. When the Jews flee out of Judea, and run to the wilderness, they must trust God to feed and protect them for 42 months, Matt 24:15-22, Rev 12:6, 14. Those who don’t will draw back unto perdition, v.39. Notice that the antichrist is the son of perdition. They will take the mark of the beast.
What happens if they sin willfully?
First, “there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins”, v.26. Jesus Christ is the one sacrifice for sins for ever, Heb 10:12. If they reject him, they have no other sacrifice to offer for their sins. If they fall away it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, Heb 6:4-6.
Second, they suffer fiery indignation and judgment, v.27. This happens when Christ returns, 2 Thes 1:7-9. Vengeance belongs to the Lord and he will judge his people, v.30. Just knowing this should cause them to fear God, v.27, 31.
How do they combat the temptation to sin willfully?
They must remember the former days, v.32-34. They will have already endured a great fight of afflictions, Lk 6:22. This should help them keep enduring when the afflictions increase, Mk 13:19.
They must remember their reward in heaven, v.34-35. In heaven they have a better and an enduring substance. There is a great reward. They must endure to keep from losing it. In fact, the greater their suffering, the greater their reward.
They must have patience, v.36. As we discussed above.
They must watch for the Lord’s return, v.37. They must never forget that the Lord is indeed going to return. And they must watch for him, Mk 13:32-37. He will come.
They must continue to believe to be saved, v.39. It is possible for their names to be blotted out of the book of life, Rev 3:3-5. They must continue to believe the Lord and live by faith till he comes, Lk 18:8.
Conclusion: Tribulation saints differ from Church Age saints in that they can lose their salvation. The willful sin that will cause them to lose their salvation is essentially unbelief, Heb 3:18-4:11. In this passage that we’ve studied today, Paul encourages them to remain faithful to the end.
To study the prior lesson, see The Perfect Sacrifice. To study the next lesson, see Evidence of Faith.