The Book of Hebrews #7 chapter 2:1-4 pt. 2
The Book of Hebrews
The Tragedy of Neglecting Salvation, Part 2
Hebrews 2:1-4
 
Last week, we began our study chapter 2 of Hebrews by looking at the first of five warnings that are found in the book.  The first one has to do with missing salvation.  The idea is there are those who understand what salvation is all about, maybe even intend to be saved, but they just kind of let the opportunity pass b them. 
 
So to encourage his hearers to avoid that danger, the author provides three reasons not to neglect salvation.  The first one is the character of Jesus.  And we’ve already looked at that in chapter one, so I won’t cover again that information.  Suffice it to see, there is no other savior.  He and He alone is superior.  So because of the character of Jesus, we shouldn’t neglect salvation.  
 
Secondly, we shouldn’t reject salvation because of
 
2. The Certainty of Judgment
 
verses 2 and 3
 
Now here we find out about the inevitability of punishment if miss salvation. 
 
And notice the comparison here.  On the one hand, there is the Old Testament, the old covenant.  That’s what was delivered by the angels.  They had the responsibility of bringing it to Old Testament writers.
And if the old covenant, or the word that was delivered by angels was steadfast and God judged men for disobedience in regard to it, certainly the same will be true with that which was brought to us by Jesus. 
 
See what that means?  If nobody got away with breaking the covenant brought by angels, don't ever think you're going to get away with breaking the covenant brought by our Lord Himself.
 
That’s a pretty heavy point.  Some people have the idea that because God loves them and because God is a God of grace that He's not a God of justice.
 
But the truth is, if you do not receive Jesus Christ and therefore, God’s love, then God's justice will  condemn you to hell. 
 
No sinner gets by with anything.  Go back to the Old Testament and you will find that any transgression of the Old Testament had a penalty attached.  There was no escape from the law of the old covenant. Likewise there is no escape from the law of the new covenant. And that's a simple law. You don't have to keep a lot of laws in the new covenant, just one and that is to believe on Jesus Christ and receive Him as your Lord.  And that, and that alone, provides you freedom from punishment.
 
I love the way Paul puts it in Romans 8:1 when he says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, there is, therefore now, no condemnation".
 
Any person who’s in Christ is covered by His blood, and free from any judgment for sin. 
 
So his point is really pretty simple.  If God held people accountable because of the Old Covenant, now that Jesus has come with the New Covenant, how much more accountable will men be since they now have both?
 
In fact, that is answered a little late in Hebrews 10:28-29
 
You think it was bad for those under Moses' law, what’s it going to be like for those who’ve heard the gospel over and over and laughed at preachers and ridiculed the church and intellectually understood the gospel and knew Who Jesus was, and let it all pass by? The severest punishment in hell will be theirs.
 
It's a tragic thing to consider, but it's true. And many people in hell are experiencing that even as we speak.  Hell is a real place of everlasting fire where the worm dies not and the fire is not quenched. It's called a lake which burns  with fire and brimstone. It's called a bottomless pit. It's called outer darkness. It's called a furnace of fire. It's called fire unquenchable. It's called blackness of darkness. It's said that people there are weeping and wailing and gnashing their teeth. And there is no way out.  That’s what our verse is telling us. There is no way to escape if we neglect so great salvation.
 
So to neglect the gospel of Jesus Christ is foolish first of all because of the character of Christ and secondly because of the certainty of judgment.
 
Here’s the third reason. 
 
It's foolish because of
 
3. The Confirmation Of God
 
verses 3 and 4
 
Here we find another affirmation of the deity of Jesus.  The word "Lord" is the translation of the word Jehovah. So Jesus is God.  And now He’s in the flesh and He is preaching the gospel. 
 
He's the first one that preached repentance. We read in Luke 4:16, 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.
 
You may remember they brought Him the book of Isaiah.  I’ve always wondered if He wanted to say, “I won’t need that.  I’ve got it memorized!”  But He opened it and began to read about Himslef. 
 
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,” and He's fulfilling this prophecy right in their midst. "Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, recovering of the sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And He closed the book and gave it to the minister and sat down."
 
The very next thing He said was, “Today this Scriputre is fulfilled in your ears.” And they went crazy because He was claiming to be the Messiah.
 
But it was true.  He was the first preacher of the gospel and that’s what verse 3 is telling us. 
 
And then the verse continues by saying those who were with Him confirmed all of this to us.  The apostles shared the testimony of Christ after He was gone. 
 
Now keep in mind, the original recipients of this letter were a generation removed from Christ.  Whatever they knew about Jesus, they hadn’t heard directly from Him.  They had to learn about Him just like we do. 
 
And what they are being told is what happened when Jesus was in His earthly ministry.  The Lord preached it first and it was confirmed to us by them that heard Him. We got it second hand. They were second generation in terms of hearing the message.
 
But watch this
 
verse 4
 
Now this brings up a very important point. When Jesus preached the gospel, He also did some things that made it believable.
 
We are studying on Sunday evenings the miracles of Jesus and we saw last Sunday that He confirmed His ability to forgive sin by healing a paralytic. 
 
He claimed to be from God and then He did things that made it obvious He was from God.   On one occasion He said, “If you can’t believe in Me for any other reason, believe in Me because of the works I do.”
 
 
Nicodemus came to Him one night and said, "Lord, we know one thing, nobody can do the things that You do except God be with Him."
 
So you see, Jesus confirmed His ministry with God’s miracles.  By the way, God did the very same thing with the first generation preachers. 
 
God confirmed their preaching and ministry by giving them the ability to do the same things that Jesus had done: signs, wonders and miracles.  They did amazing things!  They healed people and raised the dead.  It was unbelievable and it was obviously because of the power of God at work in them. 
 
Miracles were God’s way of saying, “Believe them; they're from Me and it’s proven by the ability they have to do miracles.”
 
But they weren’t the only confirmation.  It often gets overlooked in the discussion but notice that “gifts of the Holy Spirit” are listed as well. 
 
And don’t overlook the conclusion that all this was done “according to the His own will”.
 
See what He’s saying?  Gifts of the Holy Spirit come according to God’s will.  You don’t ever have to get puffed up or feel deflated because of your spiritual giftedness.  It is all by God’s design.  That’s why it is so important to be where God wants you to be doing what God has gifted you to do. He puts together churches with a variety of spiritual gifts so they will be equipped to get the work done He has for them to do.  And if you are supposed to be at a church and you’re not, or you refuse to use your gift in ministry, you are working against the very design of God.
Now that’s all for free and not necessarily germane to the point, but the point is they had, not only signs and wonders and miracles, but gifts of the Holy Spirit that were given by God's will.
 
And all of that was confirmed in the life of Christ so that men would see Him for Who He was and not miss salvation. 
 
So there you have them: three reasons that a man is a fool to neglect salvation: the character of Christ, the certainty of judgment and the confirmation of God. This gospel is a gospel that God has attested to with signs, wonders, miracles, gifts and now He attests to it in the miracle of His written Word. My friend, let it not be said of you that you neglected Jesus Christ.
 
Don't be so foolish as to drift past God's grace.
 
Let's pray

 

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