After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.
And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the LORD ’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you.
For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”
As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?
If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all.
Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?
For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness.
No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.
Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.
Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.
Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.
Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal.
You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears.
You have not come to a physical mountain, to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai.
For they heard an awesome trumpet blast and a voice so terrible that they begged God to stop speaking.
They staggered back under God’s command: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.”
Moses himself was so frightened at the sight that he said, “I am terrified and trembling.”
No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering.
You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect.
You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.
Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven!