Sometimes when you go on a journey you have to follow someone because you have never been that way before, and you do not know the directions. Your leader told you to “stay close” so you would not lose your way. Sometimes they gave you written instructions just in case you did get lost in traffic, and they told you “just stick to the directions, it’s easy to find.” Sometimes they said, “now if you do get lost, and you don’t understand the instructions, so and so will be along in a little while to show you the way. If you don’t show up soon, I will come back myself to fetch you.”
We Christians are on a journey. We have not passed this way before. It is easy for us to get sidetracked if we do not follow the directions our Savior left for us to follow. The Holy Spirit will guide us when we lose our bearings if we will follow the directions in the Bible. There are others on the journey who can show us the way. By and by, Jesus will Himself will come for us and deliver us to our final destination. Here in our text we find three simple commands for all who are “Marching to Zion.” There are going to be those that Satan uses to try to get us off the pathway. If that happens there will be a price to pay for our disobedience and lack of faith.
Here are three simple steps that will help us not to fall behind, lose direction, or become alienated from others on the journey.
I. Vs. 22 – Stay Close
Heb 10:21 And [having] an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
A. Stay Close to Your High Priest (Jesus)
Joh 17:13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
1Ti 2:5 For [there is] one God, and one mediator (go between, reconciler) between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
Joh 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
1 Jo 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate (comforter, intercessor,) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation (atonement, covering, payment) for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world. 3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
B. Draw near to Him with:
1. A True heart –
Eph 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
2. Full assurance of faith
Heb 6:11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: 12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,14 Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
3. Hearts sprinkled from evil conscience
1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
4. Bodies washed with pure water
Eph 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so [let] the wives [be] to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Psalms 24:3-4 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
II. Vs. 23 – Stick to the Story (9:28, 10:10, 10:14)
Heb 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of [our] faith without wavering; (for he [is] faithful that promised;)
Ancient sailing vessels “flew their colors’ from the main mast of their ship. These colors would identify the country of origin and the owner of the vessel. Sometimes when they would detect another vessel in the distance they would haul down their colors until they discovered whether or not the other vessel was ‘friendly’ or an enemy. This was not the case for many a brave captain. No, what they would do is to take their colors to the mast and nail them in place so that their flag could not be easily hauled down to save them embarrassment or conflict. They were not ashamed of their flag nor the one who owned the vessel.
Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
III. Vs. 24 – Stay Faithful – trustful, true
Ps 31:23 O love the LORD, all ye his saints: [for] the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Heb 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; 2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses [was faithful] in all his house.
1Ti 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
How can we be. . . and stay faithful?
A. Provoking one another – vs. 24 Challenging
B. Not forsaking the assembling – vs. 25 –
C. Exhorting one another – vs. 25 – encouraging
We are on a journey; We have never been this way before; we do not know the directions; We have been told to STAY CLOSE to our guide and if we stumble along the way we have a book full of directions to lead us and if we don’t exactly understand it He will send the Holy Spirit to GUIDE us; and then He HIMSELF is going to come and fetch us and bring us to our final destination! It is important to stay close to our high priest; to stick to the story of our salvation, and to stay faithful to in our commitment to one another in living the Christian life if we would avoid the chastisement that surely comes to those who sin willfully after they have received the knowledge of the truth. Vs. 26