Sunday, September 8, 2013
Hebrews Chapter Two Part 5
2:14-15 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
When Satan and his angels rebelled against God, God created a place separated from Him where He could consign the rebel angels forever. That place is the Lake of Fire, Matthew 25:41. Hell is merely a holding cell where the worst offending angels and the souls of unsaved men go to await the final sentencing at the Great White Throne, 2nd Peter 2:4; Revelation 20:14.
When Adam and Eve sinned they were separated from God, and the only place they could go as sinners was the Lake of Fire, the awful place of eternal torment Satan and his angels had been sentenced to. Adam’s descendants inherited this fear and sorrow of being removed from God’s presence. Death held the sting of a final judgment, Hebrews 9:27; 1st Corinthians 15:56. Man would have to leave God’s presence forever and dwell in a place of eternal separation from their Creator, sentenced with the same judgment the Devil received for rebellion.
This is the natural bondage of man. It is a lingering fear of death, because death visits us with the unknown threshold, and we worry that we have not done enough, been enough, or tried enough to merit a better go of things in the next life, if there is one. Religion offers no certainty of where we shall abide after death. Catholicism states that if we obey the church, perform penance, pray to Mary, etc, we may enter Heaven when we die. Not even the Pope knows if he will be in Heaven when he dies. All religion offers the same shaky, human reasoning on which to stand. None will tell you that you may know you have eternal life presently, and your reconciliation with God is assured. Some don’t even attempt to tell you there is a definite afterlife, or what one’s role in said afterlife entails. The fear of death is a stench that Satan perpetrated against our first parents when they failed to heed God’s plain warning that sin would bring death. Breakdown would occur. The body would fail and the soul would separate from it; then the soul, removed from the body would eternally be separated from its Creator. Fear of the judgment we all deserve as rebels and sinners is what compelled us to create religion as an antidote to soothe our wounds in this life and salvage our ruined pride.
Jesus Christ became a man to destroy the works of the Devil. He, in effect, destroyed the Devil himself. Now it can’t be more clearly stated that this is not the translation of destroyed Jehovah’s Witnesses offer. It does not mean annihilation. It means wrecking the functionality of something so it no longer performs the job it was made for. One may say man was destroyed in the Fall, for we lost the very thing we were created for; namely to reflect God’s glory and nature and to dwell in sinless fellowship with Him. When Satan was destroyed his plans were brought to naught; Jesus arrived with the surety of life after death through Him that would give Adam’s sons the assurance we needed to lay down our fear of death and begin living in God’s light rather than death’s shadow. Too many today I think go about in a round of duties and pleasures to escape the reality that one day, no matter what they do all of this life will come crashing down. The atheist hides behind his belief system that judgment will miss him because material existence is all there is. The hedonist hides in his pleasures, living for the moment and not daring to look at the consequences his choices are reaping. The religionist looks not to his respective deity but to himself and how he is doing in all his works. God will either congratulate him for a job well done on saving himself at the end of the day or he will find himself removed from Heaven with none but his own failure to deliver to blame. Jesus came to release us from this fear and offer as a free gift of His grace what our effort, excuses and running away could not attain: assurance of salvation and the return of a right relationship with an offended God.