Ground that drinks up the rain falling on it repeatedly, and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God.
But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and on the verge of being cursed; its end is to be burned over.
Even though we speak in this way, beloved, we are confident of better things in your case, things that belong to salvation.
For God is not unjust; he will not overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake a in serving the saints, as you still do.
And we want each one of you to show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope to the very end,
so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
When God made a promise to Abraham, because he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself,
saying, "I will surely bless you and multiply you."
And thus Abraham, b having patiently endured, obtained the promise.
Human beings, of course, swear by someone greater than themselves, and an oath given as confirmation puts an end to all dispute.
In the same way, when God desired to show even more clearly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it by an oath,
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (New Revised Standard Bible Version Online)