Because it emphasizes the Priesthood of Christ, the book of Hebrews is called “The Priesthood Book”. It also contains a number of Christian living principles. An important principle is found in Hebrews 1. Paul discusses the preeminence of Christ and the importance of holding fast to the Truth that we have received.
Consider what he wrote in Hebrews 2:1–3. Here we read:
Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.
This Christian-living principle emphasis is the need to greatly value the Truth that we have received and to hang onto it for dear life. One who does not have enough insight to value the revelation God has given us, can never be a candidate for the Kingdom of God. Jesus called the Kingdom of God the pearl of great price and treasure in the field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it” (Matt. 13:45–46). “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field” (Matt 13:44). Yet, there are those who do not really grasp the value of God’s Kingdom and let the things they have learned slip away.
God is a God of Truth (Deut. 32:4). The revelation He gives His people is truth, not error. “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth . . . “ (John14:16–17). When people begin to believe spiritual truth can be found in the church of their choice, they are mistaken. This does not mean that many religions do not possess some truth. But we must remember this: ” . . . a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump (1 Cor. 5:6). Many who “preach the word” do not obey the word. They choose to follow many of the customs of this world. They may be well-meaning. No one would deny that the Pharisees and Sadducees were well-meaning, but Jesus warned: ” . . . Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?” (Luke 6:39). Sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4), and much of the practices and customs of this world are sinful (1 John 5:19). God does not hear sinners (John 9:31). God will not accept one who knows the Truth and then rejects the Law of God, or any portion thereof. The book of Proverbs tells us: “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination” (Prov. 28:9).
The Kingdom of God is the pearl of great price. It is treasure in the field. We come to understand this by the Truth God has given us. This is why it is absolutely necessary to hold onto that Truth until the day God’s purpose is fulfilled in our lives. This principle is emphasized again in Hebrews 3:12–14. “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.” We shall see throughout the book of Hebrews that this principle is repeated. In the above text Paul recounted what had happened to ancient Israel. They were not allowed to enter the Promised Land (a type of the Kingdom of God) because of “unbelief” (v. 19).
After witnessing all the mighty miracles God had performed in bringing them out of Egypt, they still could not exercise confidence in His promises. They forfeited the Kingdom of God because of this unbelief. Christians who allow themselves to focus on the circumstances of this world will also soon lose sight of God, and will no longer believe in the promise of His kingdom. In Matthew 13:22 Jesus referred to this when He said: “He also that received seed [the Word of God] among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.” The Apostle Paul warned: “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, [a reference to the Kingdom of God] any of you should seem to come short of it” (Heb. 4:1).
There is no need to lose faith. God assures us we can receive the help that we need to be faithful to Him and to overcome the obstacles that confront us in this life.
Here is the help God promises:
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb. 4:14–16)
Such encouragement should give all Christians hope that God doescare for His creation, and desires to see those He has called at this time to be completely successful in that calling. With this reassurance we can go on to spiritual perfection.
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection [completion]; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. (Heb. 6:1–3)
This last verse denotes the importance of depending upon God to accomplish that goal. Remember what Jesus said in John 15:1, 4–5: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman . . . . Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:1, 4–5).
Then notice the serious warning Paul gives in Hebrews 6:4-6:
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame . . . . But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. (Heb. 6:4–6, 8)
Old Testament Scriptures, blunt and to the point on this matter, do not mince words:
And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed. (Isa. 1:28)
Is not destruction to the wicked? . . . ” (Job 31:3)
For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. (Ps. 1:6)
For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee. (Ps. 73:27)
Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the LORD, O my soul. Praise ye the LORD. (Ps. 104:35)
Why would the Psalmist write in Psalm 104:35, “Praise ye the Lord”? The answer: While sinners may not realize it, they make those around them miserable. God is to be praised because His Kingdom will be a kingdom of peace, happiness, and joy. God is not going to allow those who disobey Him now to be in the presence of those who love His Law, obey Him, and make Him their first priority in life. When we consider Christian living as it is expressed in the book of Hebrews, we find that it includes realizing the great office of Christ, recognizing the call Christians have been given, and remaining faithful to that call as long as they live. What is found in the book of Hebrews is not to be taken lightly!