A City Which Cannot Be Shaken

A City Which Cannot Be Shaken

A City Which Cannot Be Shaken
The letter to the Hebrews was written to believers who were only able to gather for worship with great difficulty in a time of great earthly distress. They were being called to follow Jesus by going outside the camp, leaving the familiar patterns and comforting routines of temple worship in order to bear the reproach of Christ, who suffered outside the gate of Jerusalem as a sin offering for His people (Heb. 13:12-13). We are called to remember who we are–the pilgrim people of God, who have no continuing city in this world, but seek the one to come (v. 14). We do that by the Spirit of Christ, offering up worship and praise to God through Him (v. 15), while at the same time never forgetting that we are united not only to Christ, but to one another in Him. We must never forget that “we believe in the communion of saints,” and are called to “not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (v. 16).

The encouragement to do all this comes in the previous chapter. We are no longer living under the bondage of the types and shadows of the Old Covenant, but in the full noonday brilliance of the glory of Christ (Heb. 12:18-21). We have come to Mount Zion, the heavenly city, the dwelling place of God with His people, pictured so beautifully in Rev. 21-22. And how have we come? Because the Mediator of the New Covenant, Jesus Christ, has brought us into the place of communion with the Father by His sanctifying blood (vv. 22-24).

The voice of God shakes the whole earth, as we sometimes sing in Psalm 29. One day, the voice of God will shake not only earth, but heaven as well. When God opens His mouth, the whole earth is bound to hear what the God of glory is saying. A final day is coming when all who have refused the voice of God will not escape the consuming fire of His wrath. The events of history teach all mankind that this day is coming and in that day there will be no excuse for having refused the voice of God speaking through His living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ (vv. 25-27). But we who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ can be comforted by this promise: “we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken” (v. 28a).

We are not called to have a spirit of fear, but to look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, for grace to “serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (v. 29). Let us do so today as we prepare to go to Him outside the camp in our worship this coming Lord’s Day. May the Lord give us grace today to prepare us to come again to Mount Zion, and to worship Him with the whole company of the saints in heaven and on earth.

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