Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,
looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
And have you forgotten the exhortation which addresses you as sons? --"My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage when you are punished by him.
For the Lord disciplines him whom he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives."
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
Besides this, we have had earthly fathers to discipline us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?
For they disciplined us for a short time at their pleasure, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees,
and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.
Strive for peace with all men, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
See to it that no one fail to obtain the grace of God; that no "root of bitterness" spring up and cause trouble, and by it the many become defiled;
that no one be immoral or irreligious like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal.
For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.
For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest,
and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers entreat that no further messages be spoken to them.
For they could not endure the order that was given, "If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned."
Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, "I tremble with fear."
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,
and to the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks more graciously than the blood of Abel.
See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less shall we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven.
His voice then shook the earth; but now he has promised, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven."
This phrase, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of what is shaken, as of what has been made, in order that what cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe;
for our God is a consuming fire.
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the 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. (Revised Standard Version - Holy Bible)