Summary: How can we throw away our gift of salvation? By doing nothing at all.
• As we get closer to the Christmas holiday, what is one thing that seems to take center-stage with this holiday?
• It is gifts. I mean how many of us get up at 5:00 am to pray or read the word compared to going shopping? How many of us would max out the credit cards to help with some program at the church? (I do not want anyone to max out their credit cards for anything.)
• How many of you enjoy receiving gifts? We all enjoy gifts, and I believe God wants us to enjoy our gifts.
• I want you to picture with me the following scene. Your loved one really wants a particular gift. If can be a car, a piece of jewelry or whatever you can think of. You know your loved one wants this gift and you really want to give to it to them. There is one problem; the gift is very, very expensive. But still, you want to be able to give this gift to your loved one. It is going to take a great sacrifice on your part to get this gift.
• Well, now you make the sacrifices necessary to purchase the gift. It was a struggle; you put in a lot of extra hours of hard work to get it. Now comes the time to give the gift. You hand the gift over and you wait for the reaction.
• Your loved one is ecstatic! They are going crazy, they love the gift. After they settle down you tell them that this gift comes with instructions for the proper care of the gift. You ask that they take good care of the gift because it was so costly.
• A few weeks later, you see they are just neglecting the gift. Let’s say it was an expensive car. You look outside and see it is dented up and the paint is scratched. Then you happen to look at the odometer and see the oil has not been changed for 10,000 miles.
• Let us say it was a nice ring. You start to notice that your loved one is just leaving it around the house.
• How would you feel if you went to the trouble of giving this nice gift only to have it neglected or abused?
• Last week I spoke from Hebrews 1 about the importance of listening to Jesus. This week we are going to look at why it is not only important to listen to Jesus, but it is important for us to do something with what we have heard.
• Jesus has given those who have been immersed into Christ a great gift called salvation.
• Today we are going to see that we are called to take care of and enjoy this precious gift. We will also look at the consequences of neglecting so great a salvation.
I. TAKING CARE OF YOUR GIFT (V1)
• Let us look at verse 1 together.
• The Hebrew writer tells us, “for this reason.” The reason we are to pay closer attention to what Jesus has said is because He is superior to everything else!
• What are we to pay closer attention to? We are told to pay closer attention to what we have heard! This includes all the facts, commands, warnings, and promises of the Gospel! We have a tendency to just listen to the wonderful promises of heaven and we forget the rest.
• Those who belong to Jesus have been given the great gift of salvation. We are told that we are to pay attention to that gift, to keep the maintenance up on it.
• The context of this section tells us that the writer of Hebrews is addressing these things to those who are saved. Some try to say this section is meant for the lost, but that does not make sense given what is said.
• We are told to “pay much closer attention” to what we have heard. This means much more than just listening and hearing, it takes us to the next level of DOING. The words translated “pay much closer attention” means to not only focus the mind on something, but to direct the actions towards the something also. This same verb was used in Greek literature when speaking of a Captain of a ship bringing the ship to shore. The Captain not only had to look closely at what was being done, but he had to also direct the actions of the ship to accomplish the goal of safe harbor.
• Hearing is not enough; we must act upon what we know.
• James 2:18, 20 and 26 tells us that faith without works is dead, it is useless. Something dead does nothing for us. THINK ABOUT HAVING A DEAD CAT FOR A PET. A dead cat is good for nothing except maybe to look at. It cannot catch anything; it cannot chase string nor do anything else that makes a cat nice to have around.