Summary: How seriously do you take the word of God?
July 27, 2003
Text: Hebrews 2:1-4
Subject: Eternal Security
Title: Don’t Let Go
There is a characteristic of human nature of which, I believe, we are all guilty of. That is taking things for granted. Let me give some examples. You get into your car and turn the key and what happens? The car starts. You flip a switch and the lights come on. You come to church and the singers sing and the preacher preaches. That is what always happens and should continue to happen. We just expect that those things will never change and we just don’t think about the consequences if those things didn’t operate the way we think they should. We just take them for granted. All these things have a common point. For them to continue to function properly, there needs to be some maintenance. Cars have to have maintenance to run smoothly. Electricity must have adequate connections for the power to flow. The worship team practices and the pastor studies in order for a church service to happen. Because those things take place behind the scenes, we don’t notice them.
Today we want to talk to you about a very important topic that I feel is often neglected. That is paying close attention to the teaching of the Bible. Now I am confident that most of you will read your Bible. And all of you surely believe that the Bible is God’s infallible word, His revelation of Himself to His people. But when you read your Bible do you stop and meditate on the things you read and then put them into action, or do you just read words?
Let me give you some statistics about the Bible. These come from the Barna Research Group.
92% of the households in America have a Bible.
Among those having bibles the average household has three.
In 2002, 42% of those questioned read their bibles in the past seven days.
88% of Evangelicals have read their Bible in the past seven days.
61% of those having bibles believe that the Bible is totally accurate in all its teachings.
75% believe that the miracles mentioned in the Bible actually took place.
Those are the positive statistics. Other statistics show that there is a real lack of knowledge about the Bible.
One out of four adults believe the whole Bible was written several decades after the death and resurrection of Jesus.
12% believe that the name of Noah’s wife was Joan of Arc.
16% believe there is a book in the New Testament called the Gospel of Thomas, written by the apostle of the same name. Another one-third doesn’t know for sure.
49% believe that the Bible teaches that money is the root of all evil.
56% believe that the Bible teaches that the single most important task for a Christian is taking care of one’s family.
75% believe that the Bible teaches that God helps those who help themselves.
Statistically, it becomes obvious that much of America, though they confess faith in the scriptures, have taken the Bible quite lightly. Our passage today gives us a warning about the danger of not taking God’s word seriously. As we search the Word, today we will see:
There is danger in apathy.
There is a promise of judgment.
There is validity in the Word.
I pray that today we all would receive a renewed hunger for the word of God.
I. The danger of apathy. (Verse 1)
A. The first thing we want to see here is that the word "therefore" refers us back to what was said previously. The writer has already established a principle in chapter 1. Verse 14, "Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?" Angels are sent to minister to the saved. They are God’s messengers. Yet the whole of chapter 1 is spent showing the reader that though angels have a special place of ministry Jesus Christ is much better than the angels. 1:5, For to which of the angels did He ever say: "You are My Son. Today I have begotten You?" "I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son." Verse 6, "Let all the angels of God worship Him." Verse 13, "But to which of the angels has He ever said, "Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool." The "therefore" is referring us back to the supremacy of Christ.
B. We must give "more earnest heed". The NIV says, "We must pay more careful attention to the things we have heard." "We" refers to those who have trusted Christ. "The things we have heard" is the proclamation of the gospel message and the doctrine set forth by the teachings of Christ and the apostles. We pay closer attention because the word we have received from the gospel is greater than any other word you might receive - because Jesus is greater than the angels. Paul wrote in Galatians, "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed." It is our responsibility to pay close attention to the word of God. Colossians 2:8, "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." As you read the Bible, ask yourself questions. Is there something here for me to see? Does this pertain to me? Is this meant to be taken literally? Look, for instance, at God’s warning to Israel in Deuteronomy 28. If they failed to obey the law, they would suffer hard times and go into exile. Verse 58, "If you do not carefully observe all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, THE LORD YOUR GOD, then the Lord will bring upon you and your descendants extraordinary plagues." Does this apply to me? If you read all of Deuteronomy 28 about the curses for disobedience, it applies to Israel specifically. But there is a spiritual principle that is clearly stated. If you do not heed God’s law, you will suffer consequences. Deuteronomy 29:9, "Therefore keep the words of this covenant, and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do." We must take God’s word seriously. There is a word of caution added here. "lest we drift away."