25 Make sure that you do not reject the One who speaks. For if they did not escape when they rejected Him who warned them on earth, even less will we if we turn away from Him who warns us from heaven. 26 His voice shook the earth at that time, but now He has promised, Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also heaven. 27 This expression, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what is not shaken might remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us hold on to grace. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.
During a summer family vacation several years ago, my son was able to experience recreational gold panning at a local park in Arkansas. He could barely contain his excitement as the anticipation of finding the “world’s largest nugget of gold” filled his imagination. Hours were spent panning that day. Granted, he did not find the world’s largest nugget of gold – or any gold for that matter. Yet, the smile on his face did not change. He remained excited through the anticipation. Not only was it pure entertainment and simple fun, there was a sense of excitement through anticipation. After reading Hebrews chapter 12, I could not help but relate this to God’s character as well.
You see, in order to pan for gold, you place deposits in a large pan which naturally contain rocks, pebbles, sediment, and other debris. You then agitate these deposits with water. Gold will naturally sink to the bottom due to its weight (i.e., higher specific gravity). Deposits with low specific gravity will simply spill out of the pan; these deposits cannot handle the agitation and are tossed aside.
The day will come when God calls the trumpets to sound and heaven and earth will shake; this is a promise. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, proclaimed the good news while on this earth, and His voice shook the earth at that time. Lives were changed and people were saved. Yet, some still rejected Him. He has promised that there will come a day when He will not only shake the earth but also heaven. My prayer is that you do not reject His free gift of grace through salvation. Through His acceptance, we receive “high specific gravity” and therefore will not be shaken when God, the all consuming fire, comes down. We know, as believers, that the Holy Spirit lives within us. Therefore, we cannot be moved as we hold firmly to grace the day both heaven and earth shake.
Thought: In my heart, I truly believe God has the same smile of anticipation as my son had panning for gold that hot summer day. Instead, God is anticipating the return of His children into His arms. As the all consuming fire shakes the earth and heaven, will you still stand or be tossed aside?