Summary: There is a danger in the Christian’s life of drifting by and away from God’s best for us by simply neglecting His provisions in our salvation.
We come today in our study of the book of Hebrews to the first of five warning passages, exhortations or what I like to call WAKE-UP CALLS to believers. I can’t help but remember the Apostle Peter’s reason for writing 1st and 2nd Peter. He says,
"Beloved (believers), I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you (as a believer)may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the Apostles of the Lord and Savior." 2Peter 3:1,2
To "stir up your minds by way of reminder" to wake you up and shake you loose of wrong ways of thinking. A good pastor will teach you God’s Word, and then remind you of it, teach you, remind you and teach you and remind you and that will "stir you up". There are five reminders of danger, five warning passages or wake-up calls that should "stir" us in Hebrews. The first danger is found in Hebrews 2:1-4, the danger here is one of drifting away from God’s best, God’s provisions in the Christian life and we drift by neglect. Notice chapter two now and verse one.
"Therefore we must pay much closer attention to the things we have heard, lest we drift away."
Therefore or for this reason, what reason? Remember chapter one let me remind you, because Jesus is so great in who He is and what He has done. Remember the O.T. says chapter one came to man from God in many ways and in many parts, shadows, types and illustrations, but now God’s final Word is complete in Jesus Christ. Don’t drift by the reality of Christ, He is God’s last and final Word. Miss Him and you miss it all. Miss Him and you will miss becoming the Christian you were intended to be and you will have to deal with God’s discipline.
Now its very important that we realize how the book is structured to understand the message. Everything that comes before the five warning passages in the book is pure teaching about Christ and who He is. This is called Christology and Hebrews is rich in this. Chapter one is pure teaching about Christ, we get a picture of Him. Then that picture is interrupted in chapter two verses 1-4 with the first warning passage, which is also called "exhortations" in 13:22. Now listen five times the teaching moves away from exalting Christ and focus on the kind of people being taught. Shifts from a picture of Christ to a picture of the audience. So throughout the book we move between teaching and the audience (when the writer talks to the audience its a WAKE-UP CALL) then its back to the teaching then back to the hearers, five times this happens. When the audience comes into view we get a warning, that all Christians need to pay attention too.
1st WAKE-UP CALL - Hebrews 2:1-4 has to do with drifting due to neglecting our salvation.
2nd WAKE-UP CALL - Hebrews 3:7-4:13 its the problem of unbelieving believers. (Notice 3:12)I don’t know why but everyone tries to get unbelievers in the book of Hebrews, 3:12 says "Beware, brethren (believers)..." The Bible including Hebrews was written to BELIEVERS not unbelievers. Hebrews is addressing real problems that real believers face everyday. Here we see the problem of unbelieving believers. It is not a contradiction of terms to speak about unbelieving believers. Listen: I believe totally in Jesus Christ for my salvation and eternal life. And I am convinced I’m saved and that the "work He began in me He will complete unto the day of Jesus Christ." Phil. 1:6 But when He says, "Cast all your cares upon Me for I care for you..." 1Peter 5:7 I struggle with that at times, most of the times if I am honest, otherwise I’d never have a care, they would be all His. Amen How about you, do you struggle like me and experience the samething then what you are and what I am at times is an unbelieving believer.
3rd WAKE-UP CALL - Hebrews 5:11-14 Look there with me Hebrews chapter 5 and verses 8-10 a beautiful picture of Jesus, now the audience and the warning verse 11 NO PUSH in their ears to hear God’s Word. Aren’t you glad we are not like that at Immanuel Baptist Church, be careful, because if you are a believer the writer is addressing you.
4th WAKE-UP CALL - Hebrews 10:26-31 This warning section talks about "...if we sin willfully..." as a lifestyle with no repentence even God can not help us. Let me ask you do Christians willfully sin, I mean sin by planning to do it? Recently a person in my office said pastor, "I never sinned by planning to do it." I just looked at that person and said, "are you sure.." Listen now, willful sinning becomes a pattern whereby a believer can get use to certain sins and patterns of sinning that dominate us and control us. Have you ever known someone who always justifies their sin and will never say they are wrong? Read with me Hebrews 10:26, we are warned about this very real problem and its bad effects in our lives.