Hebrews studies series

 

Hebrews 12:18-29

TALE OF TWO MOUNTAINS

HEBREWS STUDY #28                                                             

 

·        What are the differences between Pittsburgh and Valley Township?

·        What are the advantages of living in Pittsburgh?

·        What are the advantages of living in Valley Township?

·        If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?

 

As we progress to the “finish line” in life’s marathon, there are two “mountains” that could influence us.  The first “mountain” represents the Old Testament.  It is Mount Sinai where the law was given.  The second “mountain” is Mount Zion which represents the Heavenly City of New Jerusalem.  We will either live under the influence of law or of grace.  The choice is for each individual to make. We choose where we “live”.

1. THE MOUNT OF TERROR – Vss. 18-21

 

š    As we saw in the last lesson, we are to strive to “finish well” with determination (Vs. 12), direction (Vss. 13-14) and diligence (Vss. 15-17).

š    What parts of the Old Testament law need to be kept in order for us to gain Heaven?

Romans 8:3-4 - For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: [4] That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

š    How will legalism hinder us from finishing well?

Galatians 3:10 - For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

š    Vs. 18 - The author of Hebrews is telling his readers that they are not under the influence of Mount Sinai, which represents the law.  Because of the holiness and righteousness of God this mountain was a scary place.

š    The scene referred to in verses 18-19 is described by Moses in Deuteronomy 4:10-13:

Specially the day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children. [11] And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness. [12] And the Lord spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice. [13] And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.

š    Vs. 20 – Why was Mount Sinai “off limits”? Exodus 19:12-13

š    Vs. 21 – Everyone at Sinai feared, even Moses. Why?

š    How is law keeping always a religion based on fear?

š    Although Sinai was a fearful sight, it was important. Why?

š    What was the purpose of the law? Romans 3:20, Galatians 3:24

 

2. THE MOUNT OF TREASURE – Vss. 22-24

 

V     Vs. 22 – Mount Zion was considered the earthly dwelling place of God. The name Zion came to represent the whole city of Jerusalem.  It was the earthly city of God.  Zion was a place of God’s grace, not of God’s terror.

V     Greater than the earthly Zion is Heavenly Zion when those who are saved by grace will be in the future glory.

V     According to verses 22-24, whose presence in the Heavenly City makes it special?

V     Vs. 24 - Why was the sacrifice of Jesus better than the sacrifice of Abel?

V     What relationship do we have to the New Jerusalem now, and how should this affect our behavior? Philippians 3:20, 2 Corinthians 5:20

3. THE MANDATE TO TRUST – Vss. 25-29

 

ü     Vs. 25 – Men were accountable when God spoke from Mount Sinai.  Now God is speaking from Heaven and they are even more accountable.  God is speaking from a loftier and grander place.  All should take heed. The first message was “law”. The second message is “grace”. Woe unto them who don’t heed it.

ü     Vs. 26 – God has promised to again shake things up by speaking as He did at Mount Sinai.  This time the shaking will include the whole heavens and earth.

Haggai 2:6 - For thus saith the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land;

 

2 Peter 3:10 - But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

 

Revelation 21:1-2 - And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. [2] And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

ü     Vs. 27-28 – What will remain that cannot be shaken?

ü     Vs. 28 – The word grace refers to being thankful here.  Why is being thankful acceptable to God? 

ü     What does being thankful have to do with reverence and godly fear

ü     Vs. 29 – How is this verse a motivator to Godly living?