Remember Jesus is supreme, above, and over everything.
Now remember our Hebrew Audience. Those that have committed their lives to Christ and turned from Judaism to Christianity, but have began to lose confidence in what they have heard and are mixing the two, or slipping back out of Christianity.
Those that are intellectually convinced but not Spiritually committed.
Those neither intellectually convinced nor Spiritually committed.
NOW THE HEBREW AUTHOR CALLS FOR A RESPONSE TO THIS GREAT OPPORTUNITY AND KNOWLEDGE AND ISSUES A DIRE WARNING.
After everything said in Hebrews 1, it is almost as if, the author is saying, now that you have heard all of this, this is your opportunity to act on it and begin a relationship with Christ in the new better covenant. Don’t miss it.
THE WARNING OF DRIFTING AWAY.
Why do people drift away from Christianity?
Dan Reiland said, Top 5 Reasons people drift from Church.
- The church doesn’t meet my needs.
- I attend online.
- My Pastor made a decision I didn’t like.
- I don’t need church to be a Christian.
- The Church is all about Money.
Chris Russell shares reasons we drift Spiritually –
- An Out-of-Control Schedule
- Misplaced affections
- Abundance – We have so much stuff.
- Guilt from Sins in their life
- The Reason –
Hebrews 2:1, “For this Reason” (therefore, or because)
The reason is in Hebrews 1
Jesus is –
The Son of God
The Heir of all things.
He is the creator of the world.
He is the radiance of the Glory of God.
Exact representation of God’s divine nature.
Sustainer of the Universe
Purifier of Sins.
Worshipped by the angels.
John MacArthur, “Jesus was God’s voice. Jesus was God in the world, and to reject Him is to reject God. To reject God is to reject the reason for our existence. Because of the magnificence of the Person of Christ, a man is a fool to reject the salvation He offers.”
2. THE DO – “We must pay much closer attention to what we have heard.”
Hebrews 2:1, “We must pay much closer attention to what we have heard.”
“To give attention to” – GRK – Prosecho = The modifier on the word, (to pay much closer) – it is emphatic.
The idea is, because of what you have heard and now know about who Jesus is, you have to pay close attention. It’s urgent. You can’t just hear and let it slide through your ears and minds and not do something with it.
3. THE DON’T – “so that we do not drift away from it.”
Hebrews 2:1, “so that we do not drift away from it.”
Drift away – GRK – Pararcheo = to let slip. – something that is flowing or slipping past, a ring slipping off a finger, something slipping down and getting caught in a difficult place, something which carelessly has been allowed to slip away.
But both of these greek words have a nautical connotation.
Prosecho = means to moor a ship, to tie up.
Pararcheo = a ship that has been allowed to slip by the harbor because a sailor forgot to attend to the steerage or to properly chart the wind, tides, and current.
So the picture is of an ignorant sailor, or a rebellious sailor, but of a careless sailor. Most people do not got headlong into hell or into eternity without Jesus, they simply neglect the eternal things and drift into it. Most people just slowly, almost imperceptibly slip past the harbor of salvation out to eternal destruction. “Therefore, we must the more eagerly secure our lives to the things which we have been taught, lest the ship of life drift past the harbor of salvation and be lost forever.” – John Macarthur
4. The outcome of drifting away.
Hebrews 2:2, “for if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty,”
Transgression – Parabasis = to step across the line, as a willful act. Sin of commission, intentionally doing something we know to be wrong. Commission
Disobedience – Parakoe = imperfect hearing, but in this case, deliberately shuts its ears to the commands, warning and invitations of God. Sin of neglect. Omission
JUST PENALTY –
God is just in the penalties given out. It is always related to knowledge and light. You knew better, etc.
Matthew 11:20-24, “Then he began to reproach the cities in which most of HIs miracles were done, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. Nevertheless I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment, than for you. And you Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You shall descend to Hades, for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. Nevertheless I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.”
There is a spiritual principle that we see in scripture.
– THE MORE YOU KNOW, THE GREATER THE PUNISHMENT FOR NOT ABIDING BY WHAT YOU KNOW. –
Mark 12:38-40, “In his teaching he was saying, “Beware of scribes who like to walk around in long robes, and like respectful greetings in the market places, and chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets, who devour widow’s houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers, these will receive a greater condemnation.”
While we are here –
Hell is real and has been described in scripture as –
Matthew 25:41 – A place of eternal fire
Mark 9:43-44 – it is a place where the worm does not die and the fire is unquenched
Rev. 19:20 – it is called a lake of fire that burns with brimstone.
Rev. 9:11 and 11:7 – call it a bottomless pit or abyss.
Matthew 22:13 – It is called outer darkness with continual weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Jude 13 – it is black darkness.
Jesus even implies there is a degree to the punishments –
Luke 12:47, “And that slave who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, shall receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. And from everyone who has been given much will be required, and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.”
John MacArthur – “The greater the light, the greater the accountability.”
Hebrews 10:28-29, “Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of Grace.”
5. The Great Question of Drifting away.
Hebrews 2:3a, “How will we escape if we neglect so great salvation?”
The question is, “How will we escape?”
Escape the penalty for, NEGLECTING the great understanding of Salvation.
Obviously the neglecting would be transgression and disobedience, the drifting away from salvation.
Neglect = GRK – Amelesantes = to neglect, make light of, ignore, and even be negligent of.
Sins of commission and omission.
It appears 4 times in scripture.
1 Timothy 4:14 – neglecting the gift that was given.
Hebrews 8:9 – God’s treatment towards those who didn’t keep the covenant.
Matthew 22:5 – Wedding guest who refused to come to the Kings wedding banquet.
Barnes Commentary says it best about neglecting salvation – “It is not merely if we commit great sins. Not, if we are murderers, adulterers, thieves, infidels, atheists, scoffers. It is, if we merely “neglect” this salvation – if we do not embrace it – if we suffer it to pass unimproved. “Neglect” is enough to ruin a man. A man who is in business need not commit forgery or robbery to ruin himself, he has only to “neglect” his business, and his ruin is certain. A man who is lying on a bed of sickness, need not cut his throat to destroy himself, he has only to “neglect” the means of restoration, and he will be ruined. A man floating in a boat above Niagara, need not move an oar or make effort to destroy himself, he has only to “neglect” using the oar at the proper time, and he will certainly be carried over the edge. Most of the calamities of life are caused by simple “neglect. There is nothing in earthly affairs that is valuable that will not be ruined if it is not attended to – and why may it not be so with the concerns of the Soul?”