Please turn to Hebrews 12:18-29. The New Testament is filled with motivations for living the Christian life. God knows that the fight that we are called to is hard, and He knows that discouragement is everywhere. Therefore, the author of Hebrews has something that he wants to say to us about why we live the Christian life. He reminds us why we seek to pursue holiness; why we seek to endure in the distance run; why we seek to fight the good fight; and why we seek to push through the obstacles and challenges in the situations of our life. Specifically, the author of Hebrews gives us three motivations to help us along the way as we live the Christian life. First, in verses 18-24, he tells us to remember what God has given us. Then, in verses 25-27, he encourages us to remember what is at stake. And lastly, in verses 28-29, he says that we need to remember who God is.    

I. Remember What God Has Given Us.

In Hebrews 12:18-24, the author is saying to this congregation, “Remember where God has brought you. He has not brought you to the mountain of the law, Mount Sinai, where there was thunder and lightning and earthquake and darkness and smoke and fire and the voice of God that literally scared the children of Israel to death and the command that if you even touched the mountain you will die.” The author of Hebrews says, “God has brought you to Mount Zion.” Then, in verses 22-24, he lists seven things to which God has brought them. First, he says that God has brought them to Mount Zion, “the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.” He tells them that they have been brought to the capital city of the new heavens and the new earth which is not a place but a people. He reminds them that they are the God-indwelt capital city of the new heavens and the new earth. Second, he tells them that they have been brought to “innumerable angels in festal gathering.” In other words, he says that they are the honored guests where the angels are celebrating the victory of Christ in triumph over sin. Third, he says you have been brought to “the assembly of the firstborn.” Jesus is the only begotten Son of God but in Him, as you trust in Him for salvation, each one of you is firstborn. Fourth, he reminds them that they have been brought to “a judge who is God of all,” not to a mere and human imperfect judge but to the God who judges rightly and who vindicates His people. Fifth, he says they will be brought to the “spirits of just men made perfect.” Thus, they will come into the presence of saints who have already experienced the reality of God’s perfecting Spirit in glory. Sixth, they will be brought “to Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant.” And there, the human name, Jesus, is mentioned and emphasized because it draws attention to His saving character. And seventh, they will be brought to “the sprinkled blood,” not merely the blood of animal sacrifices, not even the deeds and worship of Abel but to the blood of God’s own Son. The author is telling the Hebrews and us that we ought to live the Christian life with hope and with endurance because God has brought us into and is bringing us into and will bring us into the culminating experience of His purposes of grace. His blessings are more than we can number and beyond anything that we can ask or think. They are worth living for and they are worth dying for and they are worth suffering anything we have to suffer in this life.      

II. Remember What Is At Stake. 



In Hebrews 12:25-27, the author of Hebrews is drawing our attention to what is at stake as a motivation for living the Christian life. We ought to live the Christian life with passion and hope and endurance because the stakes are literally eternal. Life is short. The consequences are huge. Eternity lasts forever. That is why R. C. Sproul said, “Right now counts forever.” What does he mean by that?  Who you trust, what you believe, how you live, right now, counts forever. There are many people who live in the here and now and do not see that. And so the author of Hebrews is just putting that reality right up before our eyes and he is saying the stakes are high. On the last day, when Jesus has come with clouds descending, many will say, “What could have been so important that I ignored Him? What could have been so important that it was more important than God, more important that Jesus, more important than the Gospel, more important that God’s offer of grace?” The author of Hebrews is reminding us what is at stake in this passage. 

III. Remember Who God Is.

In Hebrews 12:28-29, the author of Hebrews tells us that we also live the Christian life because of who our God is. Having already contrasted the blessings that we are brought to at Mount Zion over against the consuming fire of Mount Sinai, he says, “Let us offer to God acceptable worship with reverence and awe for our God is a consuming fire.” He is saying that one motivation for living the Christian life is realizing who your God is. Now is the result of that realization there to terrify you?  No, because the reverence and awe, the fear of the Lord that he speaks about in verse 28 is not a slavish dread of God. It is a childlike respect and affection for Him. The fact that our God is a consuming fire should move us to two things - gratitude and what the Old Testament calls “the fear of God.” The author of Hebrews is saying the person who realizes that God is a consuming fire and that God has shown us grace in Jesus Christ will look at God with childlike love and respect the way a child looks at a father whom she adores and respects.  

The author of Hebrews tells us all of these truths because the Christian life is hard.  He has already told us it is like an endurance run and like a fight. And every day, maybe even today, we will have every opportunity to be discouraged and even to want to quit. Therefore, the author of Hebrews has put this truth before us because he wants us to keep on going. He is saying to us, “Do not give up. Keep believing. Keep trusting. Live with passion and hope and endurance because your God is not only a consuming fire, He is good beyond our wildest imaginations and He is working.” May God, by His Holy Spirit, help us to believe His Word in the middle of the race and in the middle of the battle.