The Lord’s Discipline
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 1 we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us, 2 keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set out for him he endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. 2 3 Think of him who endured such opposition against himself by sinners, so that you may not grow weary in your souls and give up. 4 You have not yet resisted to the point of bloodshed 3 in your struggle against sin. 5 And have you forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as sons?
“My son, do not scorn 4 the Lord’s discipline
or give up when he corrects 5 you.
6 “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son he accepts.” 6
7 Endure your suffering 7 as discipline; 8 God is treating you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? 8 But if you do not experience discipline, 9 something all sons 10 have shared in, then you are illegitimate and are not sons. 9 Besides, we have experienced discipline from 11 our earthly fathers 12 and we respected them; shall we not submit ourselves all the more to the Father of spirits and receive life? 13 10 For they disciplined us for a little while as seemed good to them, but he does so for our benefit, that we may share his holiness. 11 Now all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful. 14 But later it produces the fruit of peace and righteousness 15 for those trained by it. 12 Therefore, strengthen 16 your listless hands and your weak knees, 17 13 and make straight paths for your feet, 18 so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but be healed.
Do Not Reject God’s Warning
14 Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness, 19 for without it no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God, that no one be like a bitter root springing up 20 and causing trouble, and through him many become defiled. 16 And see to it that no one becomes 21 an immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. 22 17 For you know that 23 later when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no opportunity for repentance, although he sought the blessing 24 with tears. 18 For you have not come to something that can be touched, 25 to a burning fire and darkness and gloom and a whirlwind 19 and the blast of a trumpet and a voice uttering words 26 such that those who heard begged to hear no more. 27 20 For they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.” 28 21 In fact, the scene 29 was so terrifying that Moses said, “I shudder with fear.” 30 22 But you have come to Mount Zion, the city 31 of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the assembly 23 and congregation of the firstborn, who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous, who have been made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator 32 of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks of something better than Abel’s does. 33
25 Take care not to refuse the one who is speaking! For if they did not escape when they refused the one who warned them on earth, how much less shall we, if we reject the one who warns from heaven? 26 Then his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “I will once more shake not only the earth but heaven too.” 34 27 Now this phrase “once more” indicates the removal of what is shaken, that is, of created things, so that what is unshaken may remain. 28 So since we are receiving an unshakable kingdom, let us give thanks, and through this let us offer worship pleasing to God in devotion and awe. 29 For our God is indeed a devouring fire. 35
13 Brotherly love must continue. 2 Do not neglect hospitality, because through it some have entertained angels without knowing it. 1 3 Remember those in prison as though you were in prison with them, 2 and those ill-treated as though you too felt their torment. 3 4 Marriage must be honored among all and the marriage bed kept undefiled, for God will judge sexually immoral people and adulterers. 5 Your conduct must be free from the love of money and you must be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you and I will never abandon you.” 4 6 So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, and 5 I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” 6 7 Remember your leaders, who spoke God’s message to you; reflect on the outcome of their lives and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever! 9 Do not be carried away by all sorts of strange teachings. 7 For it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not ritual meals, 8 which have never benefited those who participated in them. 10 We have an altar that those who serve in the tabernacle have no right to eat from. 11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood the high priest brings 9 into the sanctuary as an offering for sin are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore, to sanctify the people by his own blood, Jesus also suffered outside the camp. 13 We must go out to him, then, outside the camp, bearing the abuse he experienced. 10 14 For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. 15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, acknowledging his name. 16 And do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, 11 for God is pleased with such sacrifices.
17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls and will give an account for their work. 12 Let them do this 13 with joy and not with complaints, for this would be no advantage for you. 18 Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to conduct ourselves rightly in every respect. 19 I especially ask you to pray 14 that I may be restored to you very soon.
Benediction and Conclusion
20 Now may the God of peace who by the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep, our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 equip you with every good thing to do his will, working in us 15 what is pleasing before him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever. 16 Amen.
22 Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, 17 bear with my message of exhortation, for in fact I have written to you briefly. 23 You should know that 18 our brother Timothy has been released. If he comes soon, he will be with me when I see you. 19 24 Greetings to all your leaders and all the saints. Those from Italy send you greetings. 25 Grace be with you all. 20
1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, 1 which God gave him to show his servants 2 what must happen very soon. 3 He made it clear 4 by sending his angel to his servant 5 John, 2 who then 6 testified to everything that he saw concerning the word of God and the testimony about 7 Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed is the one who reads the words of this 8 prophecy aloud, 9 and blessed are 10 those who hear and obey 11 the things written in it, because the time is near! 12
4 From John, 13 to the seven churches that are in the province of Asia: 14 Grace and peace to you 15 from “he who is,” 16 and who was, and who is still to come, 17 and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ – the faithful 18 witness, 19 the firstborn from among the dead, the ruler over the kings of the earth. To the one who loves us and has set us free 20 from our sins at the cost of 21 his own blood 6 and has appointed 22 us as a kingdom, 23 as priests 24 serving his God and Father – to him be the glory and the power for ever and ever! 25 Amen.
7 (Look! He is returning with the clouds, 26
and every eye will see him,
even 27 those who pierced him, 28
and all the tribes 29 on the earth will mourn because 30 of him.
This will certainly come to pass! 31 Amen.) 32
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” 33 says the Lord God – the one who is, and who was, and who is still to come – the All-Powerful! 34
9 I, John, your brother and the one who shares 35 with you in the persecution, kingdom, and endurance that 36 are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony about Jesus. 37 10 I was in the Spirit 38 on the Lord’s Day 39 when 40 I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11 saying: “Write in a book what you see and send it to the seven churches – to Ephesus, 41 Smyrna, 42 Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”
12 I 43 turned to see whose voice was speaking to me, 44 and when I did so, 45 I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands was one like a son of man. 46 He was dressed in a robe extending down to his feet and he wore a wide golden belt 47 around his chest. 14 His 48 head and hair were as white as wool, even as white as snow, 49 and his eyes were like a fiery 50 flame. 15 His feet were like polished bronze 51 refined 52 in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar 53 of many waters. 16 He held 54 seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp double-edged sword extended out of his mouth. His 55 face shone like the sun shining at full strength. 17 When 56 I saw him I fell down at his feet as though I were dead, but 57 he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid! I am the first and the last, 18 and the one who lives! I 58 was dead, but look, now I am alive – forever and ever – and I hold the keys of death and of Hades! 59 19 Therefore write what you saw, what is, and what will be after these things. 60 20 The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and the seven golden lampstands is this: 61 The seven stars are the angels 62 of the seven churches and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.