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Summary: Exposition of Heb 2:1 regarding paying careful attention to God speaking through Christ

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Text: Hebrews 2:1-4, Title: Asleep at the Wheel 1, Date/Place: NRBC, 8/8/10, PM

A. Opening illustration: In Oct 2009 a Northwest Airlines flight missed it’s intended destination by 150 miles at 37K feet over the earth. No radio contact could be made, flight controllers in several airports got nothing. F-15 fighter jet were being scrambled to intercept the flight as people began to assume that something afoul was happening to this flight carrying 144 passengers to Minneapolis. Many think the pilots fell asleep…

B. Background to passage: The Hebrew congregation had many among its ranks that were believers, some that were unbelievers that were convinced of the gospel, and some that were hearers only meeting with the church. The writer has a passion for them to all be not only convinced, but committed to Christ. And his fears are that they will hear and not obey; but not out of outright rebellion, but more out of carelessness. So this passage is one of five warning passages in Hebrews. After his intro about Christ being the greatest, highest, and the best of all beings, creator, sustainer, redeemer, preeminent One, he exhorts them (this is application of the previous truths) to not only hear with their ears, but with their hearts, and follow Christ, lest they drift past the glories of eternal life.

C. Main thought: so, in this text we will see what he is warning them about and why

A. The What (v. 1)

1. Hints for interpretation: when you see at “therefore” go back and figure out what the reference is to, context is key to good interpretation and understanding. “Christ came, therefore…” or “God spoke through Christ, therefore LISTEN,” he says. The writer here uses language that really demonstrates his passion. He give the main emphasis in this verse to the words, “more earnest heed.” And he also says, “must,” indicating the seriousness of these things. His main warning to those gathering with this group is that they be careful that they are not forgetful, casual, lazy, apathetic hearers of the gospel. He tells them that they must give more careful attention to, and thorough consideration to the things which they had heard. “Don’t blow this off, there is great danger in that!” “Don’t be careless, this is serious!” “You have been given a great, life-transforming, eternal life granting word from God, listen to it!”

2. James 1:21-25, Matt 7:26, 25:5-7, Luke 6:46, Heb 3:8, 15, 4:7

3. Illustration: “All you have to do to go to hell is nothing.” –JM, "My biggest fear, even now, is that I will hear Jesus' words & walk away, content 2 settle 4 less than radical obedience 2 him" -Platt

4. All of us have this tendency. As we hear things that we have heard before, we drift into sleepiness. The main application is to those that don’t know Christ, haven’t committed to Christ. Don’t miss it! Preach the gospel. But there is an application to those of us who know Him as well. We don’t really think about the words to the song “Amazing Grace.” Our tendency is to forget that God is speaking. And when He speaks, it is really important! Men, you are not listening to your wife, but to Almighty God! We must fight the familiarity! There are some practical things that you can do: get plenty of rest the night before, consistently put the Word of God into your mind, write notes, journal, write down how God is speaking to you. But much of this is simply bringing your mind into subjection. Make yourself go back over familiar passages, make yourself think and rethink about truths that you sing and read and hear, fight all the mind-wandering, and head nodding (it might look funny for you to slap yourself in the middle of a sermon, but that is what the writer is saying). And all is spiritual: we must ask the Holy Spirit to help us, give us a hunger and attentiveness to God’s voice, rely on, trust in Him.


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