Summary: Hell is undoubtedly full of people who were never actively opposed to the gospel. Such people are in view in these four verses. They know the truth and even believe the truth, in the sense that they acknowledge its truthfulness, its rightness. They are
The Tragedy of Neglecting Salvation
Hell is undoubtedly full of people who were never actively opposed to the gospel. Such people are in view in these four verses. They know the truth and even believe the truth, in the sense that they acknowledge its truthfulness, its rightness. They are well aware of the good news of salvation provided in Jesus Christ, but are not willing to commit their lives to Him. So they drift past the call of God into eternal damnation. This tragedy makes these verses extremely important and urgent.
I. Right Teaching Demands Response
a. An effective teacher must do much more than simply present biblical facts.
i. He must also warn, exhort, and invite.
ii. The writer of Hebrews is not satisfied with simply setting out doctrine and then going on his way.
iii. He longs for his readers to respond positively to what he says.
iv. He not only wants Christ to be seen and exalted, but also to be accepted.
v. A teacher may know a lot of truth, but if he does not have compassionate concern for how people react to this truth, he is not a worthy teacher.
vi. God’s word demands response, and a faithful teacher of the Word teaches for response.
b. The apostle Paul was like this.
i. Paul over and over again voiced his concern for people to come to God.
ii. Paul had a holy obsession that all people, especially his Jewish kinsmen, come to Christ.
iii. Romans 10:1, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.”
1. Here is the character of a true teacher.
2. He is interested in more than just academics, more than just information.
3. He has a compassionate concern for how people respond to what they hear.
c. Jesus Christ himself is a great example of this.
i. Despite the rejection of his own people, their hardness of heart, and their history of persecuting God’s messengers, Jesus nevertheless ached for their salvation.
d. The opening verses of Hebrews 2 contain the first of five major warnings scattered throughout the book – often, as here, in the middle of a discourse on one of the superiorities of Christ.
II. Warning to the Intellectually Convinced (v. 3)
a. This warning is not directed to the Christian or those who have never heard the gospel, but rather to those people that have heard the gospel message and have failed to receive it.
b. The writer is basically saying here, that all of “us” that have heard the gospel ought to accept it.
c. We have all met people who say, “yes, I believe that Christ is the Savior and that I need Him, but I’m not ready to make that commitment yet.”
i. Perhaps your husband, your wife, your brother, or a good friend is like that.
ii. They come to church and hear and hear and hear the Word of God preached and taught.
iii. They know it is true and they know they need it, but they are not willing to commit themselves and personally accept Jesus Christ.
iv. They have all the facts but will not make a commitment.
v. They are like that man who believes a boat will hold him, but who will not get into it.
vi. ILLUSTRATION: Man stuck on the roof during the flood.
d. There are many such people out there.
i. They know the truth, they stand on the edge of the right decision, but they never make it.
ii. There are the ones to whom this passage in Hebrews is speaking of.
e. The purpose of these four verses is to give such a person a powerful spiritual shove toward Jesus Christ.
III. 3 Reasons to Receive Christ
a. We are given three great reasons to receive salvation: the character of Christ, the certainty of judgment, and the confirmation of God.
i. The Character of Christ (v. 1)
1. So what does this statement have to do with the character of Christ?
a. For this reason is equivalent to “therefore.”
b. The first reason we should pay attention is given in chapter 1.
c. It is Christ.
i. He is the radiance of the glory of God, the exact representation of the divine nature, the sustainer of the universe, the purifier form sin, and the One who sits at the right hand of the Majesty of high.
ii. This is who Christ is.
iii. Who could possibly reject Him?
iv. What kind of person could reject that kind of Christ, the Christ who came into the world as God incarnate, died on a cross to forgive our sins, paid our penalty, showed us divine love, and offers to introduce us to God and give us blessing and joy beyond our imagination?