Today I read Hebrews 10 where Paul continues to talk about the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for all of us. I find it interesting that Paul is spending so much time talking about this when his audience, to my knowledge anyway, are those who have already accepted Jesus Christ. Very strange indeed.
He has spent the last several chapters focusing on this concept and I really don't understand why at all. I understand that it is a stumbling block for the Jews and that they did not accept Jesus Christ as a whole, but did those who had converted to Christianity also have a hard time accepting Him or coming to terms with the idea that He was the promised Savior? Based on Paul's lengthy explanation and constant repeating of Himself, it would appear so.
Now, this is not so unheard of as our own modern day General Authorities of the Church including our own Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, frequently will talk about the same topics over and over again to make sure that we have it right. They focus on the basics of the Gospel because that is where our focus needs to be. If we allow ourselves to be distracted by what is going on around us, we can all too easily fall by the wayside. This can also happen if we are too focused on those things that are not the basics. We decide our level of commitment to the Gospel, no one else. We decide where our focus is. If we don't take the time to make sure that we are focusing on the basics and becoming perfected, well we are playing with fire to put it mildly.
To those who are tired of hearing about the basics I pose a few questions. Is your faith made perfect? Are you so faithful that you do not commit sin any longer? Is your faith so strong that you have a perfect knowledge of Christ and His Gospel? If the answer to any of those is no, then you are not ready to move on to larger things. Another question, have you no more need of repentance? The answer to this one for all of us is a resounding no. Everyone of us, even President Monson, requires repentance, for most of us on a daily basis. Those of us who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been baptized, and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost, but do we have a perfect understanding of that gift? Joseph Smith once stated that the one and only thing that sets us apart from other religions was the Gift of the Holy Ghost. If that is the case, shouldn't we devote time and energy to understanding that gift?
When we allow our focus to shift away from these fundamentals, we are allowing Satan to come in and make a home in us. Now, this is not to say that learning other aspects of the Gospel is wrong. If that were true the Gospel Principles book would only have contained lessons on these 4 things. But what I am saying is that none of us are perfect in these 4 areas and that if we choose to study other topics, we must not allow our study of the basics to fall by the wayside. It is that important. The eternities and where you fit into them rests on this point. Until tomorrow.