Warning About Rejecting God’s Grace

Title: Warning About Rejecting God's Grace

Bible Book: Hebrews 12 : 14-17

Author: Jerry N. Watts

Subject: Grace



(To the screen) You remember this alert sign that we have watched over the past weeks. The flashing color represents the level of threat which we face. We are in an elevated status, a “Code Yellow” situation & are offering warnings from Hebrews.

For years we have sung about the “Amazing Grace” of God. When I think back through the years, I am reminded about dozens of old songs which spoke to the grace of God. Songs like; “Wonderful Grace, Grace Greater than our Sins, and even “At Calvary” (Mercy there was great and grace was FREE!) And the younger generation has truly taken celebrating the grace of God to an entirely NEW level with songs like “Grace Like Rain” which includes an updated rendition of the old Amazing Grace as does My Chains are gone. Then with a shout the song says “Your Grace is enough.” Literally, the songs about God’s grace is cross generation because, anyone who has come to God through Jesus understands clearly the lavish, unconditional, and limitless grace of God.

The old acrostic for “Grace” (God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense) is certainly one way to describe God’s grace, yet for me it will always be “God giving me what I don’t deserve.” It’s overwhelming to think of how much God extends and expresses His love to me.

As much as God offers and wants to give His grace there are those who reject it. Maybe for us this is beyond imagination, but it still happens. For those who reject God’s grace, eternity is in the balance. We need to hear this warning.

I. The Directions to Us

A. The Responsibility for It

The Responsibility for it – To the authentic believers HCSB writes, “See to it that NO ONE” while the KJV says “Looking diligently.” Other translations heap it on, “make sure” says one, “look after each other” says another, and even another says, “Be careful.” We can never get away from the divine responsibility for other people. God has placed on us His trust and responsibility for sharing His gospel and grace with everyone we know. Have you ever considered the question as to how people get to heaven?

The way people get to heaven from Hueytown is through the grace of God, the blood of Jesus, and the witness of God’s people. That witness includes prayers for the lost, living in front of the lost, and sharing the story with the lost. How will they know if we don’t tell? You might say we should “show and tell,” it’s out task.

B. The Reach of It

The Reach of it – Not only are we to “see to it,” but we are to see to it that NO ONE falls short of God’s grace. For me personally, one of the saddest stories in American history is that Sunday Mornings are the most “segregated times” of the week. I’m not just talking about the “black and white” issue, but about the “haves and have not’s”, the rich and poor, the contemporary and traditional, and the list goes on. It is not sad that these segments exist, but it is distressing to think that the gospel of God & church ministries has lost the passion, fervor, and divine perspective which allow the ditch-digger and the doctor to come before God together. We are told to see to it that NO ONE, not any miss (or fall short) of the grace of God.

C. The Risk from It

The Risk from it - To reject the grace of God is very risky business indeed. It is only through the grace of God that we can find forgiveness, peace, joy, love, life, and much more. In eternal terms, Heaven will not be reached absent the grace of God. In earthly terms, “life to the max” will never be attained absent the grace of God. We are told even in this text about some of the undesirable attributes, qualities, or difficulties which develop in the life of a person who rejects God grace.

II. The Recognition from Us

Did you realize that, as believers, we need to be able to recognize and/or discern difficulty, trouble, and sin, in our own life as well as the lives of others. When we are talking with a friend, our spiritual sensitivity should be so in tune with the Holy Spirit that we can sense as well as see issues which may be causing problem. The writer list 3 which may appear.

A. Bitterness Springs Up

Bitterness springs up – Bitterness is not just a vine, it is a root! The reason this is important is because anything with a strong root system is hard to overcome. It could be very easy to become bitter after rejecting God’s grace because of the feelings which follow.

To reject God’s offer of grace is to deny you the forgiveness which He wants to give. What can result is anger, denial, malice, and more which, when developed, leads to bitterness.

Interestingly enough, the word bitterness comes from the word “bite” and the Greek language hints that it means to be bitten by poison. Several years ago, we attended a summer camp where we heard this story. A couple of weeks before we arrived, a counselor was having problems with her foot hurting. The hurt began to radiate up her leg. Several days past and it was not getting any better. Finally, she asked another counselor, who was a trained EMT, to look at it. Immediately, he sent her in town to the doctor because she had been bitten by a snake. The discovered it was a Copper Head moccasin. Listen, the poison had now infected her system so it took some doing to get her well.

Bitterness bites us the same way. When God’s grace is rejected, something else takes its place, & soon the poison of bitterness permeates the entire being. Have you ever seen a bitter person?

B. Trouble Comes Up

Trouble comes up – When a person becomes bitter, nothing goes right for them. Everything annoys them. Did you know that in verse 15, when it says, “that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble” that the word trouble carries the feeling of being “annoyed?” In Luke 6, the same word is used and it translated as “was vexed”, “tortured”, “hindered”, and the like. Think about this just for a moment, a bitter person can find trouble anywhere; it is almost their life’s mantra. Candidly, the person who carries a stiff lips and a sour attitude is, generally, someone you and I are not going to help UNTIL, they get in a right relationship with God.

C. Immorality Shows Up

Immorality shows up – There are three words here which warn us. They are; defiling, immoral, and irreverent. The word defile means to contaminate, while immoral means to turn the gospel of grace into something lasciviousness, and the irreverent would point to becoming a profane person. Get the progress; you reject God’s forgiveness so life is contaminated by your own personal sin. Then the enemy pushes you to the next level of immorality where you have no defenses. Finally, everything good looks bad to you.

III. The Instructions for Us

This is the easiest part of this message. If we are not going to reject God’s grace and if we are to help others NOT to reject God’s grace, the instructions for us are to take action. We do this in one way, “Pursue.” This word means to “run after or pursue in order to catch.” The implication here is beyond just the normal run and catch mentality. This time it is so serious that, to use a modern day word, you must be a “stalker.” It is not the idea of being hostile but it definitely gives the idea of determination! If we pursue the right things, then we don’t give time to the enemy.

A. Peace

Peace – This is exactly what God wants to give to each of us. That is why Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you. Not the peace which the world gives.” The Jewish greeting was “Shalom” or “Peace.” It is the wish for mankind. The angels announced it to the shepherds, Jesus proclaimed to the disciples after His resurrection, and Paul teaches it to believers of all time; PEACE. Chase after it because if you do, you will be chasing after the very heart of God. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, and PEACE.

B. Purity

Purity – The text uses the word, “Holiness.” Isn’t it interesting that the church of today which sits amid a corrupt society uses words like holiness, consecration, purity, and even sanctification, very little. God doesn’t wink at sin. He hasn’t lowered His standard of behavior. What was sin a century ago is still sin today. Now, let’s not think of those sins which “others” are embracing, what about the sins we are embracing? Those things which we knew to be sin years ago and today, since society says, “Okay,” we think “okay.” God calls His people to be pure.

C. People

People – We have already mentioned this one time in this message but look in verse 14 at the word “everyone.” I submit that this is not those we know, we like, or we care for. This is for everyone. Spiritually, the only way to have peace with everyone is to see to it that no one falls short of God’s grace. God’s grace is always available and accessible.

"Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God's grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God's grace." -- Jerry Bridges

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