v. 25. See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused Him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape if we turn away from Him that speaketh from heaven,
v. 26. whose voice then shook the earth; but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
v. 27. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
v. 28. Wherefore we, receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear;
v. 29. for our God is a consuming fire.
On the basis of the truths brought out in the last paragraph, of the fact that the Gospel with the fullness of God's mercy in Christ is now preached to the world and has been given to the believers, the author launches into a final appeal: See to it that you do not try to turn from Him that speaks; for if those people did not escape who turned from Him that was uttering His oracles on earth, much less shall we, if we repudiate Him who speaks from heaven. This is a most solemn admonition, bidding the Christians by all means to heed the voice of the Lord, who is now speaking to us through His Son through the Gospel. For if in the Old Testament they that refused to hear the Word of the Lord which He spoke here on earth, the Word of the Law, did not escape punishment, then there will be no chance whatever for the person who now, when the riches of God's mercy are offered without stint and without condition, should refuse to hear His kind invitation. It cannot be emphasized too often or too strongly that the one sin which really condemns to everlasting damnation at the present time is the sin of unbelief, which turns from the Lord's outstretched hand of mercy and refuses the gift of His love.
Every believer should remember: Then His voice shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. When the Lord gave His Law from Mount Sinai, the ground was shaken by mighty earthquakes, Exo_19:18. But that was as nothing beside another manifestation of His power which He has promised for the time of the New Testament, saying that He would shake heaven and, earth once more, Hag_2:7. See Isa_64:1-3; Mic_7:15; Hag_2:22-23. For, as the author says: That word "once more" indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken as of things that have been made, in order that those things which are not shaken may remain. Only once more does God intend to reveal Himself before the world in the splendor of His almighty majesty, on the last day of the world. On that day, when God will shake the foundations of earth and heaven, all created things will be removed, will pass away in the form which they had for this present world. Then will only that which is not shaken, namely, the kingdom of Christ, the inheritance of the Christians, abide in all eternity, 1Pe_1:4; Luk_1:33; Isa_65:17-19; 2Pe_3:13; Rev_21:1-5.
This being true, that the perishable things of this world must pass away: Wherefore we, receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by means of which we may acceptably serve God, with reverence and fear; for indeed our God is a consuming fire. Ours is an immovable kingdom, the kingdom of His grace and glory; in it we shall reign with Him as kings, Rev_1:6. By virtue of our membership in this glorious communion, the festival assembly of all angels and saints, we are assured of the grace, of the merciful love of God in Christ Jesus. In possession of this grace we can serve God in the proper manner, as it is well-pleasing to Him, with devout reverence and fear, Col_1:12. And let no man forget that we must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, for our God is a God whose wrath is a consuming fire, Deu_4:24, upon all those that reject His mercy and repudiate the remission of sins in Christ Jesus. Thus the author lays upon all believers the greatest obligation to live a godly life and not to let the saving faith in Jesus leave their hearts.
The sacred writer appeals to all Christians to heed the example of the Old Testament believers and of Christ and to be strengthened in holiness by the chastisement of God; he warns against apostasy, referring to the example of Esau and showing the greater excellency of the covenant of grace as compared with the covenant of fear.