This sermon is part of the sermon series "Four People You Meet in Heaven". See series.
I want to explore another person you meet in heaven. I use the term "person" loosely because of who we're talking about today: Angels. When most people think of heaven, angels come to mind. Our passage today, Hebrews 12:14-29 is not primarily about angels—it's an exhortation to persevere in New Covenant living. Both the opening and close of the passage are calls to holiness, purity, community, and worship, and in the middle is the motivation. In verses 18-24, the writer contrasts the Old Covenant with the New Covenant. First, he talks about the Old Covenant given through Moses on Mt. Sinai—there was fire, darkness, lightening, and fear. God's people weren't even allowed to come near the mountain, or they would die. The writer of Hebrews describes the difference of the New Covenant:
But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. (Hebrews 12:22-24).
Notice the contrasts between the Old and New Covenants: The Old Covenant was gloomy; the New Covenant is joyful. The Old Covenant kept a distance from God; in the New Covenant, people come to God. The Old Covenant was characterized by the blood of Abel, which called out for wrath and revenge; the New Covenant is characterized by the blood of Christ, which welcomes with grace. The Old Covenant was at Sinai; the New Covenant is at Mt. Zion, which is used to refer to the New Jerusalem, ...
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