Summary: The first in a series of warning offered from the book of Hebrews.
Code YELLOW Alert
“Warning About Drifting”
* In the aftermath of 9/11, President Bush established a Department of Homeland Security to protect us from this sort of terrorism. This was a progressive concept which took almost 18 months to flesh out. However, only 6 months after 9/11, President Bush signed the Homeland Security Presidential Directive-3 which establish the Homeland Security Advisory System. As most of us know this system has five levels of warning which are designated by colors. The lowest level is green which indicates “Low risk” and the Highest is red which indicates a severe risk of terrorist attacks. From bottom to the top are Green, Blue, Yellow, Orange, and Red. When I checked today (like many days) our alert stands at YELLOW which means “significant risk.” In thinking about this alert system, it seems that the Bible offers an alert system for all people. Over the next 2 months, let’s think about that MIDDLE Alert color & what it means. We will call our Sunday night series of messages “Code Yellow” Alert which will include the 7 warnings to us from the Book of Hebrews.
* One of the most wonderful books in the New Testament is Hebrews. This book contains many of the great truths of Christianity. Although we don’t know who it was that God selected to pen this book, without a doubt it is a book of wonder. Someone has compared it to the first time they saw the Alpines. When one reads this book carefully, he finds much to embrace. The first warning is found in chapter 2 & is about drifting.
* Turn with me to Hebrews 2 and let’s read the first four verses.
* What comes to your mind when you hear the word drifting? Were I to ask you to close your eyes and meditate on that concept, what mental images would you see? Perhaps a sailboat on an ocean or a ship on the sea. For me, drifting conjures up several memories which are not all good. When I was a teenager my dad and I went to the mouth of the Pearl River to fish. We had an old motor that dad had fixed for this trip. All was good until the motor stopped running. Then, we were at the mercy of the tide and current. Oh by the way, we left the “paddles” in the truck. Throughout my younger years I have several recollections of drifting in a boat.
* Consider the driving of a car. Have you ever become so distracted while driving a car that you drifted into the other lane or off of the road? It happens.
* How about a nation? The USA was founded on the Holy Scripture. Every constitutional document & monument of those early days is filled with Bible verses. Yet in recent days, we have abandoned the God who gave us life and liberty for the pop gods of our culture. There was probably not a decision made to steer us away, just a gradual lack of focus, loss of direction, & carelessness until the erosion had begun.
* Institutions also experiencing drifting. Many if not most people don’t realize that most of the “Ivy League” school were started to train pastors. Until the early 1900’s the presidents of the colleges were largely “Pastors.” How much they have drifted.
* Denominations also drift. The SBC admits that almost 80% of our American churches are plateaued and/or declining. Bro. Kevin Hamm hit the nail on the head on Thursday evening when He spoke about “passion”. Have we lost the burning fire to reach our community, our county, and our nation? Has the “light has all but gone out.”
* How about marriages? You ever had someone to say, “I don’t know what happened, we just drifted apart.” It’s sad and no, it shouldn’t happen. But it has and it does.”
* Churches drift. They begin like a house “on fire.” (because they are on fire) In those early days of a new church, the members are consumed with reaching people, touching lives, growing the church, and being a good positive influence in the community. Those members are willing to do whatever it takes to let their lights shine. Yet, not meaning to, they can drift into the lukewarm or cold spirit of mediocrity.
* Certainly, believers can and do drift. Meeting Jesus for the first time gives every true believer a hot heart for God and somehow, over time, given the “status quo” of the day, the heart grows cold.
* With this background consider 4 thoughts with me;
1. The Description of Drifting – We began this thought with a mental image of a boat adrift on the water. It has no course, power, or anchor; it is completely at the mercy of the outside forces. The boat is simply sitting, floating, and waiting. Truth is, if it waits long enough, it will indeed slip away. I submit to you that drifting is dangerous & deadly. When you drift, you have no control.