Life-Study of Hebrewsby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
The book of Hebrews is a book on maturity. In order to be brought on to maturity we need to cross the river. Whenever we have a handicap or are unable to go on, that is the time for us to cross the river. Just as the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea and the Jordan River, we must cross river after river.
What does it mean to be mature? Throughout the years, we have learned that if we are in ourselves or are individualistic, we are immature. If we are trying to be holy, spiritual, or victorious, that also is immaturity. Real maturity is not only in our spirit, but also in the church life. The church life is the sign of our having become mature. As a result of my watching and observing for almost fifty years, I can testify that there is no real maturity in life outside the church. Real maturity can only be found in the church life.
The Hebrew believers to whom this book was written were staggering in their Christian life. They were wondering in their mind whether to go on or to go back. At that very point, this book was written to encourage them to go on.
The best way to go on is to forget everything. Once we forget everything, we shall go on. We may spend much time to consider our environment, our past, our future, and all the things related to it, yet we would not spend one hour in going on. Many times dear saints have come to me asking about the past, present, future, and many other things. I became famous for never answering their questions. I only gave them one word of advice: “Go on. Don’t talk and don’t remember your past. You should even forget the present and not care for the future. If you really want to go on, then just go on.” Those who are going on the best are those who do not remember anything. Consider the runners in a race. While they are running, they have no time to think of anything else. They only know one thing—running the race.
Here we see a basic principle: if anyone of us has fallen from the right track, or has stopped running in the race and then is stirred up to go on, he should not hesitate or ask questions. He should just go on. When many of the young people are stirred up to go on with the Lord, some of them are concerned with what they should do before they can go on, wondering whether the Lord will forgive them or be happy with them. If you are like this, it will be difficult for you to go on with the Lord. If you mean business with the Lord, simply go on with Him. Forget about whether He will forgive you or be happy with you. Do not take time to consider such things until you have reached the goal and gained the prize. Do not wonder whether you are right or wrong—just go on.
According to Hebrews 6, to go on does not need the laying of another foundation. Suppose the brothers who are building a new meeting hall have laid the foundation, but have become frustrated and have stopped working. After they are stirred up to continue working on the meeting hall, should they start over from the beginning and lay another foundation? No, that would be foolish. If they did that a few times, the whole building site would be filled with foundations. There would be no walls, roof, or building, only many foundations. Although doing such a thing would be foolish, many Christians, including myself, have done this very thing in their Christian life. In the early years of my Christian life, I laid many foundations. After I had been revived, I would gradually go down again. Then, after being stirred up again, I would purposely and thoroughly go back to the beginning to repent and make confession all over again. This is what it means “to renew again to repentance,” which is to lay again “a foundation of repentance.” After a while, I would be distracted again and then go back to confess and make confession still another time. Finally, I became tired of this, but I did not know what to do. One day, as I was reading Hebrews chapter six, I realized how foolish I had been. I did not need to repent again of what I had repented already or go back to the beginning to make another thorough confession. I simply needed to go on.
Most of the so-called revivals in today’s Christianity only stir up people to go back and lay another foundation again and again. A famous preacher comes and stirs the people up. After a few months they begin to go down, and another preacher comes to revive them once again. Each time the people are revived they lay another foundation. Most Christians lay the same foundation again and again. This is why we need Hebrews 6.
We should forget about laying another foundation and just go on. Do not consider whether the Lord will forgive you or not—just go on until you reach the goal. Once you have been stirred up to go on with the Lord, you do not need that much repentance. Repentance has been overemphasized in today’s revivalistic Christianity. Nearly every revivalist has learned one skill—to stir up people to repentance. But now I must tell you that you do not need to repent that much. The Lord is bored with your repentance. In a sense, the Lord is disgusted with so many repenting prayers. He wants to see you going on, not repenting of the same thing over and over again. To go on simply means to cross the river, to go from one side to another, from one stage to another, from one standing to another. Do not talk or consider. Go on. Leave your old concepts, understandings, doctrines, and teachings, and go on. The faster you go on, the better.
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