Summary: It is important how we come to church and hear! We often forget that listening to preaching is an act of worship but few really prepare their mind to hear the Word in a focused way.
TAKE HEED HOW YOU HEAR
TEXT: Hebrews 2:1-4
Hebrews 2:1-4 KJV 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.  For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;  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;  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?
I. INTRODUCTION—THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS
A. It’s Author
-The Epistle to the Hebrews is one that has an angle to it that most of the other New Testament epistles do not have. It was written by someone who had a great understanding of the Mosaic Law and the practices that surrounded it.
-There are many scholars who have attributed the Hebrew letter to Paul. However there are some matters in this letter that would lead us to believe the he did not write it.
• Nowhere does he name himself in the letter as he did with his other epistles.
• The writing style of the letter is much different from what his other epistles are.
-What we do know is that the readers of the letter did know who was writing it:
• Hebrews 13:18—Pray for us!
• Hebrews 13:22—I have written a letter to you.
• Hebrews 13:24—Salute all them that have rule over you.
-There is another clue that we look to in Hebrews 2:3 that helps us to see another facet of the picture:
Hebrews 2:3 KJV 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;
-We can know that the author was not with the Lord during His earthly ministry because the author notes that what had been spoken by the Lord “was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.” Paul counted himself to have been one of those who had both witnessed and heard the words of the Lord (Gal. 1:11-12; 1 Cor. 15:1-3). The man who wrote the Hebrews gained his revelation of Jesus Christ by those who had preached to him.
-That same avenue of work takes place in our times. We ought to be thankful for those preachers and teachers who have been gifted by God to preach with accuracy and precision that helps us to have insight into who Jesus Christ is and what He is calling us to be and do.
-Obviously after we have received the Holy Ghost there are measures of faith and revelation that comes to us directly through the actions of the Word and Spirit as we allow it to work in our lives.
-Some have attributed the writer to be either Apollos, the Alexandrian Jew who was an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures (Acts 18:24), or Barnabas, the man who was instrumental in Paul’s acceptance by the early Church.
-It really does not matter who wrote the epistle but it does matter if you want to be a serious student of the Bible. That is one of the things that you begin to understand that the more deeply you look at the Word, the more you come away from it realizing that you will never master the Scriptures . . . which really is not the goal but rather for the Scriptures to master us.
B. It’s Theme
-The theme of the Hebrew epistle is that Jesus Christ is better than. . . He is better than:
• The prophets—1:1-3
• The angels—1:4-14; 2:5
• The Aaronic Priesthood—5:1-10; 7:26-8:2
• The Levitical Priesthood—6:20-7:29
• The Tabernacle and its ministry—8:3-6; 9:1-28
• The Old Covenant—8:7-13
• The Old Testament sacrifices—10:1-14
• The Law that was received on Sinai—12:18-24
-Therefore always keep in mind when you read Hebrews, look for the word “better” and you will see that Jesus is better than anything this world has ever known.
C. Five Warnings In Hebrews
-The Hebrew letter itself is a good example of a New Testament sermon that would have been preached in the early churches. It can be read in about 45-55 minutes and it covers a host of theological doctrines but it also has some elements of Christian living in it.
-The way that takes place is by the five warnings that are placed throughout the letter.
• 2:1-4—The Warning to Pay Attention
• 3:7-4:13—The Warning Against Unbelief
• 6:4-8—The Warning Against Falling Away
• 10:26—31—The Warning Against Deserting Christian Assembly