* - denotes footnote
25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
26 Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins.27 There is only the terrible expectation of God's judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies.28 For anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.29 Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God's mercy to us.30 For we know the one who said,
"I will take revenge.
I will pay them back."*
He also said,
"The LORD will judge his own people."*
31 It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32 Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ.* Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering.33 Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things.34 You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever.
35 So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you!36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.
37 "For in just a little while,
the Coming One will come and not delay.
38 And my righteous ones will live by faith.*
But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away."*
39 But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved.