A Warning Against Drifting
Why are warnings given?
The reason is because there is danger that can happen if certain actions are taken
We are given warnings about not diving into a shallow pool
We are given warnings concerning electricity and water
We are given warnings when there is no lifeguard on duty
In many areas of life, we are given warnings for our protection
Today the writer of Hebrews will give his first warning
Hebrews 2:1-4 NIV
We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2 For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, 3 how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
1. A warning is given
a. We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away
b. The writer of Hebrews is writing to those who are considering turning from Jesus
c. We must pay the most careful attention
i. It concerns the truth of who Jesus is
ii. The gospel
d. He speaks to them about drifting away
e. Drift here means to disbelieve gradually or slowly, conceived of as being carried along due to a water current
f. Is it possible for people to drift away?
i. The answer is yes
ii. There are those who become prodigals
iii. Why do people drift away?
iv. Lonnie Frisbee (Jesus Revolution)
v. One of the greatest ways we can drift away is by neglecting our relationship with Christ
g. When we understand the beauty and the truth concerning our salvation we will hold fast to the faith we have in Christ
h. Matthew 24:13 NKJV 13 But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.
2. Neglecting the salvation found in Jesus
a. For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment,
b. Message here refers to the law
i. It is believed on Mt. Sinia that Moses received the law from the Lord but was mediated by angels
ii. Acts 7:53 NIV 53 you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.”
iii. Galatians 3:19 NIV 19 Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator.
c. We saw previously how Christ is greater than the angels
d. If the breaking of the law led to just penalty how can we escape if we reject the salvation we have in Christ
i. Leviticus 18:5 NKJV 5 You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the Lord.
ii. Deuteronomy 28:1 NKJV “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth.
iii. Deuteronomy 28:15 NKJV 15 “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:
e. We are saved by grace and kept by grace, but we have personal responsibility
i. John 10:27-29 NIV 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[a]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
ii. Eph 1:13 NKJV 13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
iii. John 3:3 NKJV 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born [a]again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
f. To abandon faith in Christ leaves us with no hope
i. But it is by His grace we are saved and we are kept by His grace
3. Our Great Salvation in Jesus
a. 3 how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
b. It was first the Lord who proclaimed the gospel
i. Luke 4:16-21 NKJV 16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me [i]to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are [j]oppressed; 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” 20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
ii. It was Jesus who first proclaimed the good news
iii. John 14:6 NKJV 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
c. It was confirmed by those who heard Him
i. This speaks of the original disciples who walked with Christ and continued His ministry
ii. They were appointed apostles by the Lord
iii. They were sent forth to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ
iv. As eye witnesses to the truth they spent three years with Jesus living with Him, listening to Him, being taught by Him, and eventually doing the work of the Kingdom
d. Signs, wonders, and various miracles
i. John 14:12-14 NKJV 12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you [a]ask anything in My name, I will do it.
ii. Mark 16:14-18 14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who [d]believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they[e] will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
iii. Signs, wonders, miracles were a demonstration of The Lord’s authority
iv. It was also a mark of someone being an apostle
e. But it doesn’t mean that God no longer moves in power
i. In Mark the Lord says these signs will follow those who believe
ii. God desires to manifest His glory and power through the lives of His servants
f. But we see here that signs, wonders, miralces, and the gifts of the Spirit bears witness to the truth of the gospel
i. God will honor those who preach His word
ii. Those whose hearts yearn for the power and glory of God will see it in His time and according to His will
4. This warning must be heeded
a. If the breaking of the law resulted in God dealing rightly according to His justice with those who broke it
b. How much more if the precious salvation of Jesus Christ is rejected
c. It is a better covenant based on the shed blood of Jesus
d. We must diligent guard our hearts
e. Proverbs 4:23 NIV Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
f. 1 Peter 5:8-9 8 Be [c]sober, be [d]vigilant; [e]because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
g. One of the great deceptions of the enemy in this age is to lull people to sleep