"THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS"
Heeding The Voice From The Mountain (He 12:18-29)
1. In encouraging Christians to run the race that is set before them,
the Hebrews writer has instructed them to…
a. Lay aside things that would hinder them – He 12:1
b. Run with endurance – He 12:1
c. Keep their focus on Jesus – He 12:2-3
d. Remember the value of the Lord’s chastening – He 12:4-11
e. Run with "style" – He 12:12-13
f. Pursue peace and holiness – He 12:14
g. Look diligently lest one fall short of God’s grace, stumble
because of bitterness, or become a fornicator or profane person
– He 12:15-17
2. Further encouragement is now provided in the last half of chapter
a. With a reminder of the "mountain" to which they have come
b. With a warning to heed "Him who speaks"
3. As we "run the race of faith" today, we need this same reminder and
a. Do we appreciate the significance of the "mountain" to which we
b. Are we "Heeding The Voice From The Mountain"?
— How we answer such questions can reveal how well we are running
the race of faith!
[With our text before us, let’s take a look at…]
I. THE MOUNTAIN TO WHICH WE HAVE COME (He 12:18-24)
A. IT IS NOT MOUNT SINAI (Vs 18-21)
1. The mountain described first is Mount Sinai, to which Israel
came following their deliverance from Egyptian bondage – cf.
a. It seems to have been much like a volcano – Exo 20:18; Deu 4:11
b. It frightened the people – Deu 5:22-26; Deu 18:16
c. Even Moses was afraid – Deu 9:19
2. We have not come to such a mountain, that forces us to stand
B. IT IS MOUNT ZION (He 12:22-24)
1. The "mountain" to which we have come is one that encourages us
to "draw near"
2. We have come to "Mount Zion"
a. Zion was originally the stronghold of the Jebusites in
Jerusalem that became the "city of David" – 2 Sam 5:6-10;
1 Chr 11:4-9
b. The term "Zion" came to be used to refer to:
1) The city of Jerusalem – Psa 48:2; 84:7; Am 6:1
2) The heavenly Jerusalem where God dwells – Isa 28:16;
Ps 2:6 Re 14:1
3. In coming to "Mount Zion", we have also come to…
a. "the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem"
1) The heavenly city longed for by Abraham and the others
– cf. He 11:10, vs 13-16
2) The heavenly city longed for by Christians today –
cf. He 13:14
3) The heavenly city we will one day experience –
Re 3:12; Rev 21:1-7; Rev 22:14
— "This heavenly city is where our Lord dwells and is our
eternal home. In coming to Christ we have come into the
covenant which gives us the right to a place in that
city." (B. W. Johnson, People’s New Testament)
b. "an innumerable company of angels"
1) The heavenly servants of God, of which there is a great
number – cf. Re 5:11
2) Who also minister to those who will inherit salvation
– He 1:14
c. "the general assembly and church of the firstborn
registered in heaven"
1) The church in the universal sense, made up of all who
are saved – Ac 2:47
2) They are the "firstborn ones", who enjoy special
privileges of their birthright
3) Their names are in "the Book of Life" – Ph 4:3; Re 3:5
d. "God the Judge of all"
1) The Judge of all the earth – cf. Gen 18:25
2) He is the One to whom we must give heed, as we shall
e. "the spirits of just men made perfect"
1) Those who died in faith, such as the Old Testament
saints – He 11:39-40
2) Note: They had not been made perfect apart from us, but
now they are made perfect; they were redeemed by the
blood of Christ! – cf. He 9:15
f. "Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant"
1) As we’ve seen, He is the Mediator of "a better covenant"
– He 8:6
2) This "new covenant" is by means of His death – He 9:15
g. "the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than
that of Abel"
1) Abel still speaks through the example of his faith
– He 11:3
2) But in comparison, the blood of Jesus speaks volumes!
– He 10:11-14
[In coming to Christ, being redeemed by the blood of the New Covenant,
we have drawn near to this wonderful "mountain"! It is a place that
offers many wonderful blessings, both now and with promise for the
But the author’s purpose is not just to review the blessings we have in
coming to this "mountain"; he is warning us:
"See that you do not refuse Him who speaks." (He 12:25a)
To appreciate the need for his warning, let’s now consider…]
II. WHY WE SHOULD HEED THE VOICE FROM THE MOUNTAIN (Vs 25-29)
A. THOSE AT MOUNT SINAI DID NOT ESCAPE (v 25)
1. We have seen from our study that…
a. "every transgression and disobedience received a just
reward" – He 2:2
b. Those who sinned, their "corpses fell in the wilderness"
– He 3:17
c. Those who rejected Moses’ law died "without mercy" – He 10:28
2. Thus the argument is again one of comparison, from the lesser
to the greater…
a. "How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation…"
– He 2:1-4
b. "Of how much worse punishment , do you suppose, will he be
thought worthy…" – He 10:26-31
3. As Jesus said in Lk 12:48 …
a. "For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be
b. "…and to whom much has been committed, of him they will
ask the more."
— In Christ we enjoy so much more; dare we refuse to heed Him
who speaks, not from Mount Sinai, but from Mount Zion
(i.e., heaven itself)!
B. THE ONE WHO SPEAKS WILL SHAKE HEAVEN AND EARTH (Vs 26-27)
1. When God spoke at Mount Sinai, the earth trembled – Exo 19:18
2. The day is coming when both heaven and earth will be shaken,
a. As promised in Hag 2:6
b. Which refers to "the removal of those things that are
being shaken, as of things that are made" – cf. 2 Pe 3:10-12
— Dare we refuse to heed Him who speaks with such impact?
C. WE ARE RECEIVING A KINGDOM WHICH CANNOT BE SHAKEN (v 28)
1. While everything made will one day perish, we "are receiving"
a kingdom which cannot be shaken
a. Note the present tense ("are receiving")
b. Thus we are in the process of receiving this "kingdom"
2. It is a kingdom both present and future…
a. In one sense, we are now "in" the kingdom – cf. Co 1:13;
b. In another sense, we have yet to enter the kingdom –
cf. 2 Pe 1:10-11
3. It is a kingdom…
a. Inaugurated when Jesus ascended to sit at God’s right hand
on David’s throne – Ac 2:30-36
b. To be culminated when Jesus returns to deliver the kingdom
to God – 1 Co 15:23-26
4. Thus it is a kingdom…
a. "which shall never be destroyed…it shall stand forever"
– Dan 2:44
b. Of which "there will be no end" – Lk 1:33
— Receiving such a kingdom, dare we refuse to heed Him who
D. THE ONE WHO SPEAKS IS "A CONSUMING FIRE" (v 29)
1. We’ve read of a "fiery indignation which will devour the
adversaries" – He 10:27
2. We’ve seen "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of
the living God" – He 10:31
3. Even Jesus taught us to "fear Him who is able to destroy both
soul and body in hell" – Mt 10:28
— Dare we refuse to heed such an awesome God?
1. God has indeed spoken…
a. He has spoken through His Son – cf. He 1:1-2
b. He has spoken from Mount Zion, that heavenly city, the New
1) To which we have come through an obedient faith in Jesus –
cf. He 5:9
2) Where we can enjoy the fellowship of angels, the redeemed in
heaven and on earth, and of Jesus and God Himself!
3) Where we can enjoy a New and better covenant, based upon the
better sacrifice of Jesus’ blood!
2. But with such wonderful blessings come the responsibility of giving
a. Not to neglect our great salvation
b. Not to refuse Him who speaks from the heavenly "mountain"
Therefore our goal should be that as expressed by the author himself:
"…let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with
reverence and godly fear." (He 12:28b)
With God’s grace to help us (cf. He 4:14-16), we can serve Him in a
manner well-pleasing to Him. Are you "Heeding The Voice From The