We who are Christians, or who think we are Christians have a problem. We figure that we know Christ as our Savior. We have the truth of Christianity and all that it provides. We consider ourselves to be anchored. But we don’t practice our Christianity the way we should. We don’t work at our relationship with Christ. We start to drift away, and we often don’t realize it, until adverse winds and tides move us right towards some personal disaster. We then become alert and find that we have drifted far away from the Lord! We don’t have the closeness to Him that we once had.
As we continue our study of the Book of Hebrews this morning, we find the first of five warnings that the author of Hebrews gives us. The author of Hebrews suddenly stops teaching for a moment in order to apply to our lives what he has just said. It is as if he is saying in Hebrews 2:1-4, “You say that you are anchored in your salvation. You had better make sure that you actually are.” In these verses I find:
Hebrews 2:1 - Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
You probably know by now that when you see the word “therefore” you need to see “What it’s there for!”
In chapter 1 we are told that God has spoken to us through His Son. (Review what Christ is according to chapter 1.) Because all these things are true of the Son we are challenged …Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard,
To give more earnest heed to the things which we’ve heard is to “Pay Attention” earnestly or closely.
How pleased do you think God is with His children when they don’t pay close attention to the one who is Almighty?
· He tells us not to fear but do we pay attention?
· He tells us to witness but do we pay attention?
· He tells us to be baptized but do we pay attention?
· He tells us to attend church regularly but do we pay attention?
· He tells us to read and memorize Scripture but do we pay attention?
· He tells us to anxiously wait for the coming of His Son, but do we pay attention?
· He tells us to live Godly lives, but do we pay attention?
· He tells us that we must make a personal, heart commitment to Christ if we want to be saved, but do we pay attention?
What happens if we don’t pay close attention?
Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
To let them slip carries the idea of drifting away. It is like thinking that you are anchored, when in reality, you are not. It is being adrift away from God.
So what’s the point?
We must not simply believe that the Bible is God’s Word. We must pay close attention to obey it.
We must not simply believe that the preacher is preaching God’s Word. We must pay close attention to obey it.
We must not simply believe in Jesus in our heads, we must have a heart to heart relationship with Him by abiding in Him!
The challenge is to “pay attention” lest we let the things which we have heard “slip”.
Hebrews 2:2 - For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;
In some way the angels were involved with the giving
of the Law on
Now, according to Hebrews 2:2 this word communicated through angels was steadfast.
The word was final! It stood as the law!
And as the Law every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward.
If a person stole, he was to be punished.
If a person murdered, he was to be punished.
If a person blasphemed against God, he was to be punished.
And often, as in the case of blasphemy and murder, it was punishable by death!
Now if the words communicated by angels from God were so important that stiff judgment was meted out to violators, the author of Hebrews goes on to say in verse 3, How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation;
I see the big word here as neglect.
We are surprised when we see someone neglect the care of their home.
We are saddened when a student neglects to apply himself to his schoolwork.
We are distraught when a husband neglects his wife, or a wife her husband.
We are appalled when parents neglect their children, or when children neglect their parents.
It is even worse however when a person has heard the Gospel of salvation time after time, and even believes it to be true, but has never personally committed himself or herself to Christ as Savior. That is neglect with a capital “N”.
The author of Hebrews asks, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation.”
Why is salvation great?
· Salvation is great because of God’s great love. John 3:16
· Salvation is great because of the price Jesus paid to secure forgiveness. 2 Corinthians 5:21
· Salvation is great because of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead which assures our resurrection from the dead. 1 Corinthians 15:20
· Salvation is great because of the change it brings to the lives of true believers.
2 Corinthians 5:17
There are many other ways salvation is great, but these are some of them. And we will not escape if we neglect them.
If you have heard the Gospel, but have never made a heart commitment to Christ by faith, you will not escape. John 3:18, Revelation 20:15
If you have been “born again” and have drifted away from Christ, not doing what you should, you will not escape. 2 Corinthians 5:10-11a
Every Christian must stand before His Lord and give account. As the Lord reviews our lives and points out the neglect that we never repented of, I don’t believe that we’ll weep. I believe that we’ll ball or wail. We will not be condemned to Hell, but we will suffer embarrassment and the loss of rewards.
Thankfully, the Lord will have something good to say about every Christian. 1 Corinthians 4:5
But there is such a high price to pay, Christian, for neglect.
We need to heed the caution found here.
Hebrews 2:2-3 - For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;  How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation;
Hebrews 2:3 - How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord,
Who communicated the Gospel to man?
· The very Son of God left the splendors of Heaven to communicate to us.
· The very Son of God walked this earth teaching the way of salvation.
· The very Son of God walked this earth and taught us how to live.
He is the one we call “Lord”.
He is the one we call “Master”.
He is the one who deserves to be called these things. John 13:13
And Jesus’ miracles actually proved that what He was saying was true. The miracles proved Him to be the Son of God!
Oh my friend, if the very Son of God has communicated to us, should we not listen, and strive to obey with all our hearts?
Hebrews 2:3 - How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
Not only did Jesus come and speak, but there were those who heard Him, who confirmed that He had spoken them.
We know these people to be the Apostles.
On the Day of Pentecost, Peter and the other Apostles boldly confirmed the message of Salvation. Then they eventually took the Gospel to the world.
They also wrote what they were confirming down so that we have the Gospels, Epistles, and Book of Revelation.
And God got involved in the confirmation process.
Hebrews 2:4 - God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
It was important that the world knew that what the Apostles were saying was true. Therefore He confirmed that their message confirming Jesus message was true. He confirmed their message by allowing them to do signs, wonders, divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His will.
These miracles are no longer needed because we now have a completed Scripture. But until the Scripture was complete, God often confirmed the authenticity of the Apostles word’s with miracles.
So, how anchored are you?
Have you been paying attention to the things you’ve heard, or are they slipping and you are drifting?
Are you pretending to be something you’re not?
Have you been neglectful?
Matthew 23:28 - Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
Is it time to come back and make things right with the Lord and to start paying attention?
A SERIOUS CHALLENGE
CHARGE - Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
CAUTION -  For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;  How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation;
COMMUNICATION - …which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord…
CONFIRMATION - …and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;  God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
POINTED CHALLENGE - Vs. 1
PROMISED RETRIBUTION - Vs. 2
PIERCING QUESTION - Vs. 3a
POWERFUL WITNESSES - Vss. 3b-4
WHO DO YOU SEE?
One of the greatest physical gifts that we have from God is our vision. The ability to see is so important and so wonderful. We see the beauties of nature and the beauty of our loved ones. We see the road so we can drive, the food so we can cook it, and the job so we can do it.
Seeing, however, often goes beyond physical sight. To truly “see” something means that we understand or grasp it. When we truly “see” something it means that we understand how something works or why someone does what they do. True sight includes insight!
God has always been concerned that our seeing go beyond the physical and enter into the spiritual. God wants us to see the things that concern Him and are about Him.
And it is possible to have poor physical vision, but great spiritual vision.
In order for someone to see physically they must have light.
In order for someone to see spiritually, they must have light.
God has provided us with light to see through his Son. John 8:12
In order for you to see spiritually, the Lord Jesus has sent us his Holy Spirit to indwell those who have trusted Jesus as their Savior. John 16:12-14
One of the tools that the Spirit of God uses to guide us into all truth, is the Word of God. The more we see in the Word of God the more Spiritual insight we will have.
This morning we return to the Book of Hebrews. This is the Book of the Bible which talks of things which are better. In the verses before us this morning, Hebrews 2:5-9, the author is showing us that Jesus is better than the Angels. He also shows us three things that we need to see, if we are going to have Spiritual sight, perspective, and/or understanding.
Vs. 5 – One of the recurring themes of the Book of Hebrews is Christ’s superiority. In chapter 1, Jesus is shown to be superior. One of the ways He is superior is to the angels, God’s spirit-being servants. After a brief interlude to warn us not to drift spiritually in verses 1-4, the author of Hebrews returns to the theme of Christ’s superiority to the angels.
In verse 5 we are told that reign in the world to come will not be under the rule of angels. Of course, the world to come will be under the rule of God the Son. But it is important for you to see that God the Son is a man. He is both God and man.
Why is this important? To understand the importance of Jesus being a man please,
SEE GOD’S INTENTION – Vss. 6-8a
Vs 6 – The author of Hebrews is quoting Scripture. The location of the quote was not important to the author of Hebrews as he wrote although it is obvious that he knew where to find it. It is actually a quote from Psalm 8.
David is amazed at God’s kindness to man. And it you think about it, it is only because of God’s kindness that anyone exists at all. But God did not stop at just creating man. It is the position that he gave man that is amazing!
Vss. 7-8a – Man was made a little lower than the angels.
How is man a little lower than the angels?
Angels are spiritual beings and have far more freedom to get around. Although there is a spiritual side of man, he has a spirit, man is primarily a physical being.
But God crowned man with glory and honor. Man has the glory and honor of being superior to every other being. Genesis 2:7,
Genesis 1:26 - And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
God’s intention from the very beginning was that man would rule the earth.
SEE GOD’S INTENTION
SEE MAN’S INDISCRETION – Vs. 8b
Hebrews 2:8 - Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.
God’s intention was that man rule over the earth.
It is obvious that man does not rule now.
If the deer we hunt were subject to man it would be “no contest”. It would be very easy for us to get a prize buck.
If wild animals were subject to man, Roy, of “Seigfried and Roy”, would not have been mauled by a Tiger.
And when it comes to agriculture, just because we plant and weed and fertilize, there is no guarantee of a perfect crop! If we were truly in charge of the earth things would grow wonderfully all the time.
And man as being in charge of the earth has not done a great job ecologically. Often man has not ruled well, causing pollution and even destruction of certain animals so they are non existent or almost non existent.
Man is obviously not ruling over the earth today.
It was God’s intention that he did rule.
God had given man one basic rule. Genesis 2:15-17
Man violated God’s one basic rule. – Genesis 3:1-6
So man blew it.
When man disobeyed God he lost in many ways his dominion over the earth. Genesis 3:17-19, 23-24
Man, through Adam lost his kingdom.
And worse man, through Adam lost his soul.
Death entered the world through Adam’s sin.
Physical death entered through Adam and Spiritual death entered through Adam.
Like Adam, we have sinned.
Because of our sin we have no right to reign on the earth.
Because of our sin we have no right to eternal life.
Oh, we haven’t eaten forbidden fruit, but we have failed to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls and minds.
We haven’t eaten forbidden fruit but we have listened to the devils’ subtle temptations to lie, steal, cheat, deceive and explode in unrighteous anger. Ezekiel 18:4
Humanly speaking we have no hope.
Because of our indiscretions we have not only lost our rule of the earth but life itself!
SEE CHRIST’S INTERVENTION – Vs. 9
Hebrews 2:9 - But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
The first word in this verse is what I call a “blessed but”.
Man blew it big time. His indiscretion is inexcusable.
There needs to be punishment because man blew it! He failed God.
You deserve punishment because you blew it! You failed God.
The blessed “but” turns us away from man’s indiscretion and turns us to see Christ’s intervention.
But we see Jesus!
It is one thing to say man was made a little lower than the angels, but quite another to say that Jesus was made a little lower than the angels.
For Jesus to be made lower than the angels, it was a definite demotion. Jesus is God! John 1:1-2
And why was Jesus made a little lower than the angels?
He was made a little lower than the angels so that he could die for your sins. Philippians 2:6-8
Jesus tasted death for you, so that you can live.
He has paid for your sins.
He wants your trust. If you but trust that He died for you, He will give you forgiveness and eternal life.
1 John 5:11-12
But what about the earth?
It was God’s intention that man rule.
Christ is a man, the God-man.
Through His death for sin, he has regained for man the rule of the earth. He is crowned with glory and honor.
Jesus will return to earth and set up His Kingdom.
His kingdom will again have man in control of the earth. Isaiah 11:6-9
Through Jesus man will reign on the earth.
But what about you and I?
What will we be doing while Jesus reigns?
We will be reigning with him! Revelation 5:9-10,
Do you see Jesus as the one who died for you?
Have you trusted Jesus as your Savior?
If you have, you are in an awesome position.
You will one day reign with Him!
Are you acting like a future ruler?
Are you acting like a child of God?
Are you appreciating your position enough to live like the king you are?
In a one sense your kingdom is future. You will reign with Christ.
In another sense your kingdom is now. As a child of God, God gives us victory in this life.