Jump Start # 3117
Hebrews 12:14 “Pursue after peace with all men, and after the sanctification without which no one will see God.”
Our verse today is packed with three important principles. First, God wants us to be a people of peace. Peace, not just among us or within our fellowship, but with all. These words sound familiar to the Romans passage, “if possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” Peace is to be pursued. Chase it. Find it. Embrace it. Second, we must strive for sanctification or holiness. God wants us to be a holy people. Peter tells us that we are to be holy like He is. Third, we can see the face of God. Revelation 22 makes that promise. But to do that, we must embrace peace and holiness. We must stop pushing each other’s buttons. We must not kick the hornet’s nest on social media. Stop looking for a dog fight and begin building bridges to unite people.
There are so many thoughts that we could explore from this one passage. But there is even a much larger picture for us to see. Our verse is one of a series of absolutes found in Hebrews.
· It is impossible to come to repentance if we crucify Christ to ourselves (Heb 6:4)
· It is impossible for God to lie (Heb 6:18)
· It is impossible for the blood of animals to take away sins (Heb 10:4)
· It is impossible to please God if we do not have faith (Heb 11:6)
· It is impossible to see God if we do not have peace and holiness (Heb 12:4)
There have been times in history where people have said things were impossible, only to find out that they were wrong. At one time it was thought that is was impossible for humans to fly. Some even boasted, “If God wanted man to fly he would have put wings on his arms.” The Wright brothers and others proved the impossible was possible. It was believed for a long time that it was impossible to go to the moon. Neil Armstrong proved that was wrong. It was tragically thought that the Titanic was impossible to sink. Hundreds went to their death that cold April night, long ago.
But there is something special about these Hebrew absolutes.
First, it is God who says that it is impossible. God is always right. And, if God said it can’t be done, it can’t be done. These principles are Heaven based and from the perspective of God.
Second, these things involve the character of God and the nature of eternity. A person can live without faith and try to prove that it is possible to please God without faith, but that person will find out too late that he was wrong. Climbing mountains, sailing seas and rocketing towards the moon are one thing, but they are not eternal. Once we cross the doorway to death, there is no coming back. There is no changing our minds. There is no do overs.
Third, these divine absolutes establish a priority with God. These are important. If we mess these things up, we destroy our eternity. We ought to put an emphasis upon these things. These absolutes ought to be near the top of the list for us.
Fourth, the opposites of these absolutes bring great hope and promise to us. It is possible to repent and be forgiven if we come to Christ. Since God cannot lie, what He says remains true. Always. The blood of animals cannot take away our sins, but the blood of Jesus did. If we believe, we can please God. We can put a smile on the face of God. If we pursue peace and holiness, we can see God. We CAN. It’s possible.
There are things that we understand are physically impossible for many of us. I cannot swim the English Chanel. I know I can’t. I’d not make it. I know I can’t climb Mt. Everest. I wouldn’t try. I know I can’t. I can’t drive a golf ball 400 yards. Even with the wind at my back, I just can’t do that. Physical abilities limits us. Age limits us. Knowledge limits us. The amount of money we have can limit us. But these eternal principles are not bound by age, physical ability or finances. You can please God. You can see God’s face. You can do right once again. It is possible.
Divine Absolutes—they are there for a reason.