Hebrews 10:36-39
Heb 10:36 (KJB)
For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Sometimes hard times come into our lives for the purpose of building patience into us. Too many of us walk by sight and the Lord wants us to start focusing on Him so we may walk by faith as we trust Him to work out our situation. The writer was conveying this principle to the Hebrew Christians that while they were undergoing persecution, they needed to endure it patiently. (1 Pet 3:17 KJV) For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. Peter had it perfectly that it is the will of God for Christians to undergo persecution in this world, but after this life and all its tribulations, we receive the promise, that is, the promise of eternal life where persecution is no more and all the saints will be at eternal rest. (1 Pet 1:3-4 KJV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, {4} To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
Heb 10:37 (KJB)
For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
Tarry - To delay
(Isa 26:20 KJV) Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. A similar encouragement is found in Isaiah 26:20 when God was also telling His people that the persecution will be but for a little moment. Hebrews 10:37 is teaching us that the same thing applies to the Hebrew Christians in their present persecution. The Lord Jesus Christ stated that He would return to earth at an appointed time and He will not be one day early or one day late. (Acts 17:31 KJV) Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. So many Christians use the trite saying, “If the Lord tarries…” That saying is not according to Scripture as we saw in Acts 17:31. We are being given this information for the purpose of occupying the time till the Lord returns. Since we do not know what day He is coming back, it behooves us to remain busy in the Lord’s work, if He does return in our lifetime, we will have done all we could. Playing video games or watching TV was not the reason Christ saved us.
Heb 10:38 (KJB)
Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
Draw back - Withdraw or turn back
Pleasure - Delight
In this verse, we come across a principle for living the Christian life which we find back in the Old Testament. (Hab 2:4 KJV) Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. The term “just” is another synonym for the redeemed or the Christian. The Habakkuk passage teaches us that we live by the faith of Christ. It is His faith that we live by. This is how the Christian can have faith because it is drawn from Christ’s faith.
Next the writer speaks of “drawing back.” This term carries with it the meaning of “withdraw or turn back.” This situation is akin to Hebrews 6:4-6 where people are not being indwelled with the Holy Spirit by means of salvation. These people draw back because they are not saved and that is why the writer does not take delight in them. The Hebrew Christians received the truth about the superiority of the priesthood of Christ over the Levitical priesthood in this letter. If by now they refuse to accept the truths given and turn back to the Levitical system, then they are not living by faith and the writer does not delight in them because there is no true affinity between believer and unbeliever. (Prov 26:11 KJV) As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly. Just as a dog returns to his vomit, and a fool returns to his folly, the ritualistic person cannot live without their habits and ceremonies, even at the expense of their own eternal souls.
Heb 10:39 (KJB)
But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
Perdition - Destruction, ruin, or waste
Notice, again we have a similar situation as we did in Hebrews 6. The writer is making a clear distinction that he is speaking of two different groups of people. This verse makes it clear that “we,” which is speaking of the Christians, are not of the groups which turns back to perdition. We are those who believe unto salvation. The dichotomy is clear. There are two groups of people in view in these verses: The unbelievers and the believers. That is how these verses are to be understood. Anything beyond this is neglecting the truth. Those Hebrews who heard the truth by means of this letter, were turning their back on salvation and heading for perdition by returning to a system which had been abolished by Christ. The Levitical system could no more save a soul than water baptism or tongues. Those who abandoned the Levitical system and came to Christ were the ones who were truly saved. There is no salvation outside of Christ, period!