For land which has drunk the rain that often falls upon it, and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God.
But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed; its end is to be burned.
Though we speak thus, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things that belong to salvation.
For God is not so unjust as to overlook your work and the love which you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do.
And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness in realizing the full assurance of hope until the end,
so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself,
saying, "Surely I will bless you and multiply you."
And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise.
Men indeed swear by a greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation.
So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he interposed with an oath,
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)