Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: https://sothrichfield.podbean.com
Hebrews 5:11-6:12 (ESV)
Warning Against Apostasy
11 About this, we have much to say, and it is hard to explain since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. 6 Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits. 4 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. 7 For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned. 9 Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. 10 For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. 11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
What’s wrong with this prolonged immaturity? (see verses 4-6)
Holy Father, I love to watch babies wide-eyed as they soak up the world around them like a sponge. As they are introduced to new things, they are eager to learn, they practice new skills until accomplished and move on to higher-level learning. They are fed milk until they can eat soft food and then continue to mature into the heartier meat and potatoes. The expectation is that a baby will not remain a baby forever, but will move past the need for milk and soft foods. If they don’t it is a reason for concern. A baby Christian is the same way. When I accepted You as Lord of my life, I was hungry for Your milk. I went to where I was hand fed and was wide-eyed as I soaked up Your Word like a sponge. I was eager to learn and practice what was preached and moved on to higher-level learning. Lord, I fear that this virus is taking a toll on my eagerness to worship, to learn, and to grow in You. While I wait for the restrictions to lift I am treading water in my faith. This prolonged state of neutral is making lazy, stagnant Christians. That pleases Satan. There is no neutral in the Christian life. Either we are growing or we’re shrinking. if we’re not making time daily to spend in God’s Word and in prayer, we’re not growing, we’re shrinking! We’re going from eating meat back to the formula and pureed peas. That stuff is great for babies, but it won’t sustain a growing teenager or adult. Lord, thank You for helping me to recognize that I need to do more than my daily routine. I need to intentionally spend more daily time in Your Word and prayer, but also to soak up Christian music and speakers to fill me up again. Help me to be eager to learn again and let my heart and mind be receptive to Your teaching so that I can grow in my faith again. Christianity does not grow in isolation. We need Your intervention to help resolve this virus and the fear of it so that we can gather, support, and grow from each other again. Renew Your Spirit in me and my church to ignite enthusiasm for Your wonderful power and glory. Help us to feed on Your meat and help grow other baby Christians to experience Your wonderful grace and mercy of forgiveness. Amen