Thesis: You can know when you are drifting from the Lord.
1. American Cancer Society has saved thousands of lives by educating the public about "7 warning signals of cancer."
a. Unusual bleeding or discharge.
b. Lump or thickness in breast or elsewhere.
c. Sore that does not heal.
d. Change in bowel or bladder habits.
e. Persistent hoarseness or cough.
f. Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing.
g. Change in a wart or mole.
2. Untold thousands are alive today because they were sensitive to (heeded) these warning signals.
a. Most cancers are treatable if detected early.
b. The same thing is true for spiritual diseases!
3. This AM we're going to explore some spiritual danger signals.
a. It is important to pay close attention to these!
b. They will all come from the book of Hebrews.
c. Read 2:1-3a .... Tendency is to drift, not run away!
I. UNWILLINGNESS TO COME CLEAN WITH SIN (3:12-14).
A. There's a gradual process of drifting that takes place here.
2. Heart that becomes hard.
4. Turning away from the living God.
B. The way to prevent this from happening is to adopt a radical posture against sin.
1. There's going to be some places I will not go.
2. There's going to be some things I will not do.
3. There's going to be some things I will not say.
C. Illust. If we fail to be radical against sin we will drift because sin is deceitful. Paul Harvey tells how an Eskimo kills a wolf. Coats his knife blade with animal blood and allows it to freeze. Adds another layer, then another, and another ... until blade is completely concealed by frozen blood. Fixes knife in ground, blade up. Wolf's keen sense attracts him and he sniffs and takes a lick...then another. Licks faster & faster. Feverishly. Doesn't notice when blade is exposed. Doesn't realize he's being satisfied by his own warm blood. Bleeds to death!
II. LOSS OF APPETITE FOR THE WORD OF GOD (5:11-6:3).
A. "By this time you ought to be teachers" (v. 12).
1. Readers had drifted off course!
2. Why? (5:11 cf. with 6:12 ..... nothroi).
B. Metaphor here is of an infant growing to adulthood.
1. WOG leads to maturity (Rom. 10:17; 1 Pt. 2:2).
a. There's a time for milk.
b. There's a time for solid food.
2. Illust. Picture here is of maturing infants who refuse to give up the bottle! Natural for a 1-yr. old to drink from a bottle. At some point he gives it up! Some keep bottle longer than they should because too lazy to give it up!
III. FAILURE TO ATTEND THE ASSEMBLIES (10:19-31).
A. By faithfully attending church we:
1. Draw near to God (22).
2. Hold unswervingly to the hope we profess (23).
3. Consider how to provoke ... love & good works (24).
B. Failure to attend church services is one of the most noticeable danger signals .... happens gradually!
IV. WILLINGNESS TO LET RELATIONSHIPS DETERIORATE (12:14-15; 13:1).
A. "Make every effort" (12:14) ..... "Keep on loving" (13:1).
1. Relationships take some work.
2. When we're not willing to work--a root begins to grow.
B. Maybe it's a little thing that's come between you and another person.
1. It must be weeded out or it will grow!
2. Illust. A tiny seed in the crack of a sidewalk can grow into a tree that will break it in two. Tiny drops of water can dissolve a rock if it drips long enough!
1. Way to keep from drifting is to "fix your eyes on Jesus" (12:1-3).