For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God;
but if it bears thorns and briars, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.
But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner.
For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of a love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end,
that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself,
saying, "Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you." b15
And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute.
Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath,