How will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?
One Sunday morning, I began my message by holding up a crisp $1 bill. I said, “Whoever comes up here first will get this $1 bill.” One person responded to my offer. Interestingly, most people in the congregation refused the offer. Why was that? I offered them something for free. Some people might have thought, “I am not sure this gift is legitimate; there may be some trick.” Some might have thought, “I am not going to make the effort to walk all the way down there for a dollar.” Others may have thought, “I do not want people to think I am so desperate for a dollar that I would go down there.” The fact is, most people rejected my offer.
Every day of every year, 151,600 people die–and most of them die without receiving God’s free offer of eternal life. Why would somebody reject or neglect the greatest gift of all and spend eternity in Hell? And what are the lasting consequences of not receiving that gift? The writer of Hebrews answers both those questions in the passage we are going to look at this week.
In our study, we have come to Hebrews 2. The book of Hebrews was written to a congregation of first-century Jewish Christians. Because of severe persecution, some of these Jewish Christians were tempted to give up their Christian faith and go back into Judaism. And the writer said to them, in essence, “Why would you give up Christianity to go back into an inferior religion?” Jesus Christ, the writer argued, is a superior priest who has offered a superior sacrifice to obtain a superior salvation. In this letter, he wrote a detailed explanation of how Jesus is superior to Old Testament Judaism. For example, he began in chapter 1 by saying as great as Moses, Elijah, and the prophets were, Jesus is a superior prophet. Then he said Jesus is superior to the angels. The Jews revered the angels, but Jesus is the one who created the angels and He is the one who rules over the angels.
When the writer of Hebrews pointed out that angels serve those who inherit salvation, he issued the first of seven warning passages in this letter. He gave a warning that is found in verses 1-4, which says, “For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.”
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “So Great A Salvation” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2013.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.