but if it keeps producing thorns and thistles, it fails the test and is close to being cursed;w in the end, it will be burned.
Now even though we speak this way, dear friends, we are confident that you have the better things that come with being delivered.
For God is not so unfair as to forget your work and the love you showed for him in your past service to his people - and in your present service too.
However, we want each one of you to keep showing the same diligence right up to the end, when your hope will be realized;
so that you will not become sluggish, but will be imitators of those who by their trust and patience are receiving what has been promised.
For when God made his promise to Avraham, he swore an oath to do what he had promised; and since there was no one greater than himself for him to swear by, he swore by himself
and said, "I will certainly bless you, and I will certainly give you many descendants";
and so, after waiting patiently, Avraham saw the promise fulfilled.
Now people swear oaths by someone greater than themselves, and confirmation by an oath puts an end to all dispute.
Therefore, when God wanted to demonstrate still more convincingly the unchangeable character of his intentions to those who were to receive what he had promised, he added an oath to the promise;
so that through two unchangeable things, in neither of which God could lie, we, who have fled to take a firm hold on the hope set before us, would be strongly encouraged.