Summary: Exposition of Heb 2:1-4
Text: Hebrews 2:1-4, Title: Asleep at the Wheel 2, Date/Place: NRBC, 8/8/10, PM
A. The Why (v. 1-4)
1. The writer gives the first of three reasons why the consequences of not listening are so important in verse one—drifting away. This word was used of something flowing in a river past something, or of a ring slipping off a finger, or food that went down the wrong pipe, or a ship that missed the harbor. Again, warning the uncommitted that careless listening would cause you to drift past, slip by the harbor down the wrong path that would lead to destruction. The main clause in this sentence (2-4) is “how shall we escape if we neglect.” This word means to “ignore” this salvation presented in Christ. But in the rest of that sentence, he includes the other two reasons. First class condition, “since.” Secondly, he says that the OT .was a sure Word. Explain the understanding of the transmission of the Decalogue by angels. And he says that this word was true, steadfast, enduring, and permanent. Therefore, the NT (the Word of the gospel) is sure and steadfast too. You can count on it, trust it. “Be convinced, we have been given a Word as sure as the OT.” Remember these were Jews, who had a good respect for the law. Thirdly he says, every transgression was punished with a just punishment; therefore the New Covenant will carry the same penalty. And the culpability will be higher for those of you that have heard the gospel. Just as the penalty was death in the OT for sin, eternal death will be the just reward of those that hear the gospel and fail to commit their lives to it.
3. Illustration: “there is no standing still. The life of this world is not a lake. It is a river. And it is flowing downward to destruction. If you do not listen earnestly to Jesus and consider him daily and fix your eyes on him hourly, then you will not stand still, you will go backward. You will float by.” –Piper,
4. Again dual application here. Careless hearing will cause people to go to hell, because they will squander the opportunity they had to follow Christ. They will bow the knee later, but not now, and there comes a time when the Spirit doesn’t strive with man. So if you are here tonight, and don’t know Christ, or are not sure that you know Christ, and you are hearing what I am saying, and God is speaking to you, be saved! Now! Trust Him, follow Him, love Him, sell out for Him! But also for the rest, you should be afraid of drifting. For it can be a slow fade where you inch away from Christ, rather than plunge. And before you know it, you are not reading the Word anymore, church attendance revolves around convenience, no desire and passion for witnessing, worship is routine, and God’s voice is absent from your spiritual life. But this can take days, weeks, months, or years; so slow that you don’t notice it, others don’t much, and you hide it well, then boom, you can’t hide it anymore. And everyone wonders what happened to you. Set up spiritual markers in life, things that will give you an idea where you are spiritually, boundaries which you will know that you are drifting when you cross. You can avoid the rip current if you stay in the boundaries. Also have godly friends, close ones, that will be loving enough to tell you when you are drifting. And when they do, LISTEN TO THEM! Don’t blow them off, give excuses, etc, listen, they love you, and may be your best indicator of drifting. Be intellectually convinced and continually advancing in your confirmation of the faith. Also cultivate your fear of judgment, of discipline, of your heavenly Father, who will not allow His children to stray to far without discipline. And if there is no discipline, be really afraid. If there is no conviction, be really afraid.
A. Closing illustration: MacArthur’s prostitute unwilling to burn the little black book of contacts, and admitting, “Maybe I don’t really want Jesus, right now.”