Summary: From Hebrews we discover a true warning about Immaturity in believers and for the church
CODE YELLOW ALERT
Warning About Immaturity
* There has been a dramatic shift in our society over the past generation.
We have gone from a sense of duty and responsibility to a demand for services and entertainment. The society around us has put great emphasis on "how do you feel?" as being more important that "what should we do?" Our society has turned inward rather than outward, a reflection of self absorption and immaturity.
* It is tragic, but the Church can reflect society all too much. Probably the
weakness of Churches today is that they fail to challenge those Christians in the congregation to move on to maturity. If we are not careful we will strive to make people HAPPY rather than make them HOLY, that we will make them FEEL GOOD rather than make them FAITHFUL and GODLY. We must be careful not to encourage just EXCITEMENT and avoid EDUCATION spiritually.
* The story is told about an old American Indian who attended a church service one Sunday morning. The preacher’s message lacked real spiritual food, so he did a lot of shouting and pulpit pounding to cover up his lack of preparation. In fact, as it is sometimes said, he "preached up quite a storm." After the service, someone asked the Indian, who was a Christian, what he thought of the minister’s message. Thinking for a moment, he summed up his opinion in six words: "High wind. Big thunder. No rain." Yes, when the Scriptures are neglected, there is "no rain." And with the dry spirit which has no spiritual rain becomes immature.
* Do you remember the story of “Peter Pan?” He was a boy who refused to grow up. Growing old is not always synonymous with becoming mature. In fact, one novelist named Shirley Conran wrote, “You’re never too old to grow up.” The humorist Dave Barry said, “What I look forward to is continued immaturity followed by death.” Without being unkind, a case could be made inside the church membership that this has become the modern day mantra for members.
* The real issue is this; Jesus never commands us to go and simply make converts which, by extension, means don’t just become converts. His Great Commission to us is to go and make DISCIPLES which again would mean, become disciples. Would it shock you to know that this word means a pupil, student, learner, and even carries with it the concept of a “scholar?” According to one Bible Dictionary, A disciple of Christ is one who believes His doctrine, rests on His sacrifice, imbibes(consumed by) His spirit, and imitates His example.
* One of the reasons that the church today is so weak is because of the Immaturity of the believers. It is seen in the everyday function of the believers as well as expressed in the purpose & mission of most bodies.
* This warning about immaturity is one every believer and body needs to serious look at. Let me offer you 3 thoughts from our text.
1. The Catastrophe of Spiritual Immaturity. Some may think the word “catastrophe” is overstated, but I submit it may be understated. Too many equate longevity with maturity. Candidly, I wish that were true, but in too many instances people have been church members for years on end and still have trouble digesting the meat of the word. The fallout from this truth is written in the blood of churches, pastors, staffs, and even denominations. In light of this difficulty, it is safe to say that spiritual immaturity has grown unnoticed and unchecked in many local assemblies until they are nothing but a house of cards waiting to fall down.
* In St. Louis in 1984, an unemployed cleaning woman noticed a few bees buzzing around the attic of her home. Since there were only a few, she made no effort to deal with them. Over the summer the bees continued to fly in and out the attic vent while the woman remained unconcerned, unaware of the growing city of bees. The whole attic became a hive, and the ceiling of the second-floor bedroom finally caved in under the weight of hundreds of pounds of honey and thousands of angry bees. While the woman escaped serious injury, she was unable to repair the damage of her accumulated neglect. Watch what happens with (what I call) spiritual ‘post-adolescent’ immaturity. In life, when one moves through adolescences into adulthood, maturity begins to develop. If it doesn’t;
a. The Difficulty of Lessons – In verse 1-10, the writer is attempting to explain the difference in a “Man-called” and a “God-called” preacher (priest). Then in verse 10, it’s almost like he gets exasperated because it is obvious to him that his readers cannot comprehend this teaching. So he says, “I want to teach you, but it’s difficult to explain to you.” Why is this? In the church today many people have difficulty with truly Biblical lessons. Start talking about gifts of the spirit, church discipline, and even a loving God allowing an unrepentant “good person” to go to a place called hell and you’ll see eyes glaze over. Start talking about consistency and priority of attendance and the same thing happens, it’s amazing. The next phrase gives us two eye-opening explanations of this phenomenon.