Study Guide

Hebrews Chapter 12

Chapter 12

Don't Stop Believing

  • Christians have tons of examples of faith, which means they shouldn't worry about little stuff like being persecuted or killed.
  • They just need to look to Jesus and keep on running the race. After all, that's what he did. He died on a cross (which was no picnic) and his followers should be ready to follow in his footsteps if need be.
  • Or just turn lemons into lemonade. You know, look at this persecution as a learning opportunity. Maybe this is God teaching you how to be a better person?
  • See, says the author, God is like a dad, which means Christians are his children. Human parents have to lay down the law for their kids every now and then. Even though their rules and punishments seem harsh, parental units just do it because they love you.
  • It's the same with God. Maybe by going through all this suffering, Christians will come out more faithful in the end.
  • If God didn't care, he'd just let people do whatever they want to. But he does care, so he has to set limits.
  • So, keep your head up, the author continues. Don't be like Esau (from back in Genesis), who turned his back on God just to get a decent meal.
  • Basically, you need to play the long game—don't give up on God just because you get something good in the short term. If you play your cards right, the rewards will be awesome.
  • See, this isn't like way back in Exodus when Moses went up to Mount Sinai and everyone was freaked out. The people weren't even supposed to touch the mountain and even Moses was pretty terrified to go up there.
  • Christians get to waltz up to Mount Zion instead. This is the place where God lives with his son and a huge entourage of angels. It's like the city of Jerusalem, but totally perfect and heavenly.
  • The author has another question: if you think that God was tough on people who didn't listen to Moses back in the Torah, what do you think he'll do to the folks who don't listen to his son? We're guessing it's not good.
  • Back in those days, he says, God's voice would shake the ground when he spoke. But soon, the world and everything in it will be gone. There will just be Christians, and they'll be chilling out in a heavenly city that's totally earthquake proof.

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