Saturday, August 27, 2011


"See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven." Now this, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire." 
(Hebrews 12:25-29).

   Earthly, material things (i.e., things that can be "shaken") will not last forever. By contrast, God's kingdom is unshakable, and the author uses the contrast as an exhortation to right conduct. He has made it plain that God will not trifle with wrongdoing. The persistent sinner can count on severe judgment. God will bring all things present to an end. Accordingly, the readers should serve him faithfully.

27 The writer picks out the expression 'once more" to point out the decisive significance of the things of which he is writing. There is an air of finality about it all. "The removing" of which can be shaken will occur in the final day. This physical creation can be shaken, and it is set in contrast to what cannot be shaken-the things that really matter. The author does not go into detail about the precise nature of the ultimate rest. "So that" introduces a clause of purpose. It is God's will for this final differentiation to be made so that only what cannot be shaken will remain.

28 The "kingdom" is not a frequent subject in this letter. This is in contrast to the Synoptic Gospels where 'Kingdom" frequently occurs in the teaching of Jesus. But this passage shows that the author understood ultimate reality in terms of God's sovereignty, in contrast with earthly systems. They can be shaken and in due course will be shaken. Not so God's kingdom! The author does not simply say that it will not be shaken but that it cannot be shaken. The kingdom is something we "receive." It is not earned or created by believers; it is God's gift (Luke 12:32).
[NIV BIBLE COMMENTARY Volume 2: New Testament].


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