Summary: Answers the question: How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation
Title: How shall we escape
Text: Hebrews 2:1-4
Hebrews 2:1 ¶ Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. 2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; 3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; 4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
2 Warnings in Hebrews
1. Warning Against Drifters
2. Warning Against Deserters
This week the news has been riddled with the story of Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun, who twice has deserted the American Military. First he says he was kidnapped in Iraq and this time no one knows his whereabouts.
This morning I want to talk to you about “Drifters and Deserters” in the kingdom of God. Paul, in this passage, gives us a strict warning about this. Let us look
Throughout the book of Hebrews the author builds a case for Christ. He compares him to the prophets, the angels, to Moses, and Joshua. (the leader of the Law). He calls him the high priest. He makes a case for the sacrificial death of the cross of Christ. It means salvation.
We are told that there is no forgiveness of sins without the shedding of blood. We know that without the perfect sacrifice (unblemished and sinless) then there also would be no forgiveness. He makes his point by pointing to Christ’s perfection. Christ the perfect sacrifice.
The whole book of Hebrews can be summed up in one word. That word is better. Christ became better than what is seen in the Old Testament. He became the better covenant. Christianity is a better covenant. It has a better rest, a better priesthood, a better altar and sacrifice.
So throughout the book it is a comparison to what was and what now is. The book of Hebrews was not written to tear down what God did in the Old Testament. Christ did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. Hebrews is not written to talk about replacing the law but actually making salvation better.
Most of all as the author makes his case we must go back to Hebrews 2 and not miss what his true intention is.
I. We must give earnest heed to what we have read
Hebrews 2:1 ¶ Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
Heed-pay attention, listen carefully
We need to really pay attention to what is being said. Listen and take it to heart.
Another term used for slipping is “backsliding”
We must be careful that we heed to what we have read and not slip past what we are reading or hearing. I don’t think it is referring to an accidental slip as much as it is referring to a “gliding past”. The picture is of a drowsy boatmen drifting out to sea away from safety.
“things which we heard by”
1. the Old Testament Prophets
2. the Apostles
3. the preachers
4. Our family and friends
We are given strict warning of drifting in the scriptures
Mat 19:21-22 Jesus said unto him, If you will be right with God, go and sell all you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. (22) But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
Luk 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
Rev 2:4 Nevertheless I have something against you, because you hast left thy first love. Church of Ephesus
II. God has proven himself in the past
2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;
CEV 2 The message spoken by angels proved to be true, and all who disobeyed or rejected it were punished as they deserved.
In other words the message that God spoke in the past. Speaking of the Old Testament was true. If one disobeyed this message there was punishment and judgment.
Romans 6:23 For the Wages of Sin is Death
III. How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?