The congregation was facing particular pressures and Hebrews 10 reflects this. The pastor wrote, “But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one” (Heb 10:32–34). These Christians were suffering considerably. Imagine if you lost your house/apartment because of your commitment to Christ or imagine that you were facing prison because of your Christian profession and all you had to do to make the pain go away is to identify with a more socially acceptable religion? What you had only to say that Jesus was a prophet but perhaps not the Savior? What if there was a community of theists who were willing to accept you, to affirm your choice, and that community was familiar and even comfortable? That was the sort of pressure these Christians faced and the consequences of their decision were not light. Dennis Johnson walks us through the chapter in this episode of Office Hours.
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