What does Hebrews 10:26-39 really mean?

Hebrews 10:26-39 is about the importance of faith, perseverance, and endurance in the face of trials, urging believers to hold fast to their confidence in God’s promises and not shrink back, for they will be ultimately rewarded.

26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.
28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses.
29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?
30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.”
31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32 But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings,
33 sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated.
34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.
35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.
36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.
37 For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay;
38 but my righteous one shall live by faith,
and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him.
But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.


Setting the Scene for Hebrews 10:26-39

In Hebrews chapter 10, the scene is set in a gathering of early Christians who have come together for a Bible study and fellowship. The room is dimly lit by oil lamps, casting a warm glow on the faces of those present. The group is made up of both men and women, sitting on cushions and makeshift benches, eagerly listening to the words of the speaker.

Among the attendees are believers who have faced persecution and hardship for their faith, their faces reflecting both weariness and determination. They have come together to encourage one another and to strengthen their faith in the face of trials. The speaker, a respected elder in the community, is passionately exhorting them to persevere in their faith, reminding them of the importance of holding fast to their confession without wavering.

As the discussion continues, the room is filled with a sense of unity and solidarity among the believers. They are reminded of the hope they have in Christ and the promise of His return. The speaker urges them to not shrink back in times of difficulty but to continue to trust in God’s faithfulness. The scene is one of faith, perseverance, and community, as the early Christians gather together to support and uplift one another in their walk with Christ.

What is Hebrews 10:26-39 about?

Imagine working so hard to build something magnificent, only to see it destroyed in an instant because of one careless mistake. The same way, the writer of this verse is cautioning against deliberately choosing to sin once we have become aware of the truth. The knowledge of truth places a responsibility on us to live accordingly, rather than continuing in sinful ways. But why would we knowingly choose to harm something so precious as our faith and relationship with God?

On the flip side, the verse highlights the importance of perseverance in our faith. It’s a reminder that enduring through challenges, doubts, and temptations ultimately leads to a beautiful reward. Think about a tough workout – the harder you push through the burn, the stronger and more fulfilled you become. Similarly, staying steadfast in our faith, even when it’s difficult, brings about a sense of satisfaction and spiritual growth that is unmatched. So, will you choose to persist in your faith and reap the rewards, or succumb to willful sin and risk losing something profoundly valuable?

Understanding what Hebrews 10:26-39 really means

In Hebrews 10:26-39, the writer addresses the theme of perseverance and faithfulness amidst trials. The passage begins with a stern warning against deliberate sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth. It highlights the gravity of willful disobedience, drawing parallels to Hebrews 6:4-6, which speaks of the impossibility of repentance for those who turn away from the faith. The imagery of “fearful expectation of judgment” and “raging fire” serves as metaphors for the divine justice awaiting those who reject God’s truth.

Moving on to verses 28-31, the severity of rejecting Christ is emphasized. The consequences under the Law of Moses are contrasted with the greater punishment for those who spurn the grace of Christ. References to Deuteronomy 17:2-6 underscore the seriousness of idolatry, while phrases like “trampled the Son of God underfoot” and “insulted the Spirit of grace” highlight the grave nature of apostasy. The chilling reminder that “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” underscores the holiness and justice of God.

As the passage progresses to verses 32-34, readers are encouraged to remember their past endurance in the face of trials. The importance of solidarity and compassion is emphasized through the reminder to sympathize with those in need. This call to recall past struggles and remain steadfast in faith echoes the sentiment expressed in 1 Peter 4:12-13 about rejoicing in suffering for Christ.

Verses 35-36 urge believers to persevere with confidence to receive God’s promises. Drawing from James 1:12, the passage emphasizes the blessedness of enduring trials with unwavering faith. The exhortation to persevere serves as a reminder of the necessity of steadfastness in the Christian walk. Finally, in verses 37-39, the imminent return of Christ is highlighted, calling believers to live by faith. Quoting Habakkuk 2:3-4, the passage underscores the importance of righteous living through faith and the contrast between those who shrink back and those who are saved by faith.

The themes of perseverance, faith, and the consequences of apostasy in Hebrews 10:26-39 remain relevant today. Just as the early Christians were called to endure, so too are believers today encouraged to stand firm in their faith. Consider the story of a modern-day individual who faced trials yet remained faithful, illustrating the power of perseverance in the face of adversity. Let us reflect on our own faith journey and recommit ourselves to staying steadfast in our commitment to Christ.

In conclusion, Hebrews 10:26-39 serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of perseverance and faithfulness in the Christian walk. May we take to heart the warnings against falling away and the call to endure with unwavering faith. Let us pray for strength and perseverance in our faith journey, trusting in God’s grace to sustain us through every trial and tribulation.

How can we hold fast to our faith?

We can hold fast to our faith by being diligent in our pursuit of righteousness and obedience to God. The verse reminds us to “draw near” to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith. This means continually seeking God’s presence through prayer, worship, and studying His Word. We should also strive to live a life that reflects our faith through our actions and choices.

Furthermore, we are encouraged to hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for the One who promised is faithful. This calls for a steadfast commitment to our belief in God’s promises, even in the face of challenges and uncertainties. We can resist doubt and fear by keeping our focus on the hope found in Christ, knowing that God is faithful to fulfill His promises in His perfect timing. Perseverance, steadfastness, and a deep trust in God’s faithfulness are required to hold fast to our faith. We are urged to encourage one another in love and good deeds, maintaining fellowship with other believers who can support us on our faith journey. We can remain firm in our faith even in times of trials and temptations by staying rooted in the truth of God’s Word and relying on His strength.


Dear friend, in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, let us remember the strength that lies within us to overcome any obstacles that come our way. Just as we strive for success in our work and cherish our loved ones, let us also hold onto our faith with unwavering determination. Let’s support each other in our journey, inspiring acts of kindness and spreading love wherever we go. Will you join me in standing strong in your beliefs, even in the face of challenges, and look to the future with hope and trust in God’s divine plan?