Fix Your Eyes on Jesus Christ
(1) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders us, and the sin that so easily entangles us. And let us run with endurance the race set out before us (2) by fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and was enthroned in authority at the right hand of God’s throne. (3) Focus your thoughts on Jesus who endured such hostility from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and become weak in your heart.
God Disciplines Those He Loves
(4) In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of spilling your blood. (5) And have you totally forgotten the word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It is written in Proverbs 3:11-12, “My children, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline or lose heart when he rebukes you. (6) For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes those he accepts as his son.”
(7) Endure your hard times as discipline, because God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their parents? (8) If you are not disciplined—and everyone is disciplined—then you are illegitimate and not true sons and daughters at all. (9) Moreover, we have all had human parents who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! (10) Our parents disciplined us for a little while as they thought best at the time, but God disciplines us for our eternal good, so that we can share in his holiness. (11) No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but it is painful. Later on, however, discipline produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (12) Therefore, I want you to strengthen your frail arms and weak knees. (13) As it is written in Proverbs 4:26, “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame will not become disabled but healed.
Guidelines for Christian Living
(14) Make every effort to live in peace with all people and to be holy, because without holiness no one will see the Lord. (15) Watch that no one falls short of God’s grace and that no bitterness takes root in anyone’s heart and grows up to cause trouble and degrade many people. (16) Watch that no one lives a sexually perverse life, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. (17) For you know that later when he wanted to inherit his blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought after the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done.
The Heavenly Jerusalem
(18) You have not come to a mountain (Mount Sinai) that can be touched and that is burning with fire, full of darkness and covered with gloom and by storms, (19) to a trumpet blast or to a voice speaking such words that those who heard it begged that nothing more be said to them, (20) because they could not bear what was commanded in Exodus 19:12-13, “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be killed with rocks.” (21) Indeed, the sight was so terrifying that even Moses said in Deuteronomy 9:19, “I am trembling with fear.”
(22) But you, my brothers and sisters, have come to Mount Zion—to heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands of thousands of angels in an assembly of joy, (23) to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all people, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, (24) to Jesus the mediator of God’s new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a much better word than the blood of Abel.
The Unshakable Kingdom of God
(25) Be sure that you do not refuse God who is speaking to you. If those in the past (in the Old Testament) did not escape when they rejected God who warned them on earth, how much less will believers escape, if we turn away from God who warns us from heaven?
(26) In the past (in the Old Testament), God’s voice shook the earth, but now he has promised that he will shake the heavens. As it is written in Haggai 2:6, “Once more, I will shake not only the earth, but also the heavens.” (27) This phrase “once more” means the removing of all things that can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken will remain. (28) Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful and offer pleasing worship to God with an attitude of reverence and awe, (29) because as Deuteronomy 4:24 says, “God is a consuming fire!”