There are many people who, despite being faithful churchgoers, are still unstable in their faith. They are up and down. They do not convert and are not yet born of God. Why? Because they have “not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin” (Hebrews 12.4).
• They avoid the pain of loss: they are unwilling to lose a friendship that leads them to do bad things, and they avoid the pain of stopping having premarital sex and of losing their reputation if they confess their sins, etc.
• They don’t want to choose God above all: they want to please both God and the world/themselves and so remain divided between pleasing God and family, friends, co-workers, etc. They don’t pluck up the courage to do and say as Jesus did: “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39).
• They don’t want to turn from their heart’s desire: this is what it means ‘to bleed’ – to stop caring about what your heart says, to quit EVERYTHING that is wrong once and for all, and to do what God commands.
In other words, to “resist to bloodshed” means that they have not yet put all their strength into resisting sin.
Jesus had to bleed to save us. He gave His last drop of blood for us. He spared nothing; He lost everything to save everyone who gave himself to Him. Unless you hate your old life and are willing to lose it – meaning turn away from sin and follow the will of God instead – you will eventually end up going back to it.
Those who want to “save themselves” from feeling this necessary pain, by hiding their sins, lying, sleeping around, or worrying more about the opinions of others than about the salvation of their soul, create a worse pain for themselves: that of hell.
“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:35-36)
We cannot flirt with sin or our old life; we have to police ourselves to “resist sin to bloodshed”. This is the only sure way to follow the discipline of the Most High. It is tough and requires much effort from us but it is also the difference between eternal life and eternal death.
As the bible states in Hebrews:
“My son, do not despise the discipline from the Lord, nor grow weary when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and scourges every son whom He receives” (Hebrews 12:5-6).