18 You have not come to a physical mountain,[a] to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai.19 For they heard an awesome trumpet blast and a voice so terrible that they begged God to stop speaking.20 They staggered back under God’s command: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.”[b]21 Moses himself was so frightened at the sight that he said, “I am terrified and trembling.”[c]
22 No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering.23 You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect.24 You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.
25 Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven!26 When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.”[d]27 This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain.
28 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.29 For our God is a devouring fire.
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