1 Therefore, as we have so vast a crowd of spectators in the grandstands, let us throw off every impediment and the sin that easily entangles our feet, and run with endurance the race for which we are entered, 2 keeping our eyes on Jesus, the perfect leader and example of faith, who, instead of the joy which lay before Him, endured the cross with no regard for its shame, and since has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 Yes, to keep from growing weary and fainthearted, just think of the examples set by Him who has endured so great opposition aimed at Him by sinful men! 4 You have not yet, as you have struggled on against sin, resisted to the point of pouring out your blood, 5 and you have forgotten the encouragement which is addressed to you as sons: "My son, refrain from thinking lightly of the discipline the Lord inflicts, and giving up when you are corrected by Him. 6 For He disciplines everyone He loves, and chastises every son whom He heartily receives."
7 You must submit to discipline. God is dealing with you as His sons. For who is the son that his father never disciplines? 8 Now if you are without any discipline, in which all true sons share, you are only illegitimate children and not true sons. 9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers who disciplined us, and we used to treat them with respect; how much more cheerfully should we submit to the Father of our spirits, and live! 10 For they disciplined us only a short time, as it seemed proper to them, but He does it for our good, in order that we may share His holy character. 11 Now for the time being no discipline seems to be pleasant; it is painful; later on, however, to those who are trained by it, it yields the fruit of peace which grows from upright character.
12 So tighten the grip of your slipping hands; stiffen the stand of your knocking knees; 13 and keep your feet in straight paths, so that limbs may not be dislocated, but instead be cured.
14 Continue to live in peace with everybody and strive for that consecration without which no one can see the Lord. 15 Continue to look after one another, that no one fails to gain God's spiritual blessing; or some evil like a bitter root may spring up and trouble you, and many of you be contaminated by it -- 16 some immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that, when later he wanted to get possession of the blessing, he was rejected, for he could find no opportunity to repent, although with tears he tried to get the blessing.
18 For you have not come to a blazing fire that can be touched, to gloom and darkness, storm 19 and trumpet-blast, and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that not a word more should be added; 20 for they did not try to bear the order, "Even if a wild animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death," 21 and so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, "I am terrified and terror-stricken!" 22 But you have come to Mount Zion, even to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless hosts of angels, 23 to the festal gathering and assembly of God's firstborn sons enrolled as citizens in heaven, to a Judge who is the God of all, to the spirits of upright men who have attained perfection, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood which speaks a better message than even Abel's did.
25 See to it that you do not refuse to listen to Him who is speaking to you. For if they did not escape, because they refused to listen to him who warned them here on earth, how much less can we, if we reject Him who is from heaven? 26 Then His voice shook the earth, 27 but now His promise is, "Once more I will make not only the earth but heaven itself tremble." Now that expression, "Once more," signifies the final removal of the things that can be shaken, to let remain the things that cannot be shaken. 28 Let us, therefore, be thankful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and in this way continue to serve God acceptably in reverence and fear; 29 for our God, indeed, is a consuming fire.