Summary: In the same way your house & yard require attention, so does your faith - your salvation...
Don’t Neglect Your Salvation
* Picture with me ‘that house.’ You know the one. It’s on the corner of some neighborhood. The grass hasn’t been cut, undergrowth has taken over the fence, and it looks like no one has lived there in years. Candidly, it’s a house that might get attention from the city to mandate a ‘cleanup’. You know that house. By all external accounts, there appears to be no one living there. YET, what you know is startling. Someone does live there. They are in and out of the place every day. Candidly, they become something like me – just a little complacent about the upkeep of the place. Can you picture that place in your mind?
* Now, take that picture from the physical realm & apply it to the spiritual realm. Your spiritual life, your salvation demands as much OR more time, energy & effort as does your physical life. Let’s read our text.
* These four verses are loaded with important words, thoughts, & concepts. It begins ‘We must therefore’ which refers us to the fact that ‘because Jesus is Lord, our Mediator, Higher than the Angels, the Son of God,’ and more that we do not have a choice in the matter, we must! What must we do, pay even more attention, careful attention, give heed to, pay earnest attention to, our Salvation. Why? Because, “How shall we escape if we neglect this great salvation?” Interestingly, almost every translation interprets this with ‘neglect’. (One uses the word ‘rejects’ but that is out of character for the Greek word) Neglect literally means to ignore or pay no attention (as opposed to paying careful attention. We don’t get saved & forget get, we are saved and, as the scripture teaches, we work at it.
* Let’s discern the parts of what the writer is saying to us.
1) The Truth - Our salvation requires our undivided attention. To not pay attention to it, will be like not paying attention to your car, boat, airplane, or motorcycle in motion. There is no autopilot for the life of a believer. We either pay attention to it OR we get off course*. This is a truth which we can comprehend, adhere to, and abide by and become healthy in our faith OR we can ignore it which will result in a 'crash & burn' disaster. Just because you don't do something which is publicly 'egregious" doesn't mean you have crashed, all you have to do is lose your fire, your passion, and your heart for the gospel & for people and in God's eyes - you have crashed. And most of the time, 'crashing' is not something that an individual sets out to do. I don't think Peter set out to crash and burn - he simply followed Jesus from a distance. Quite likely, Judas didn't accept the Lord's invitation to become a disciple in order to betray Jesus - he simply kept challenging the teachings & actions of Jesus (2nd guessing).
Furthermore, do you think that the nine disciples who are not mentioned between the garden & the tomb intended on deserting Jesus in His darkest hour? I think not. Rather, they simply neglected the important in life and found themselves drifting away from 'the way, truth & life.' To drift away (in the Greek) pictures a ship which misses it port because of the carelessness of the captain. In those days, to miss your port meant incredible danger to the point of ‘loss of life.’ The old saying says, “All it takes for bad things to happen is for good men to do nothing.” This can be slightly altered to say, “All it takes for a believer to drift away is to do nothing.” The truth is that our salvation demands our attention in many ways. We are called to be; that is, be like Him, act like Him, walk like Him, & talk like Him. We are called to love like Him, care like Him, touch people like He did, & be focused on the Kingdom like He was & is. We will never accomplish this if we neglect our faith because if we neglect our faith, we will drift away. Other things will take over our thoughts, other priorities will control our lives, & another master will slip in.
2) The Test - The test comes in the Lord's message of Salvation. The message of Salvation begins in the Old Testament with our Need for Salvation. The Angels in the Old Testament were God's mouthpieces describing our need to be saved.