Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;
3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
The word “therefore” tells us that God is building on the truths He gave us in chapter 1. There is a response that should come from those who are saved because of what God has already declared.
Because of the fact that Jesus Christ is better than the angels and also than the prophets, we ought to not just pay attention to what has been said, but to give more earnest heed to the things we have heard. Taking heed has to do with more than just paying attention. It means that we should apply the particular truths to our hearts and lives. Those who are saved need to adhere to what has been said. We have every reason to be encouraged in the true faith God has given us. We ought also to apply our hearts and minds to growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ because the more we grow in the Lord, the more we will be able to rejoice in what we have. We have been granted a precious gift. We see here again that true saints cannot live carelessly. Salvation is a work of God. It is a gift to the repentant sinner. Once we are saved we need to actively make application of the blessings God has in store for His children.
This week there was a news item about a contestant in the Wheel of Fortune. (I do not watch this program and would not waste my time on it). The news item talked of the person who had made it to the final round and needed to choose the correct phrase in order to win the grand prize of the day. That prize was an Audi Q3. Apparently the contestant took too long to say the last word in the phrase. She was not awarded the prize. However since then, Audi has decided that they will give her an Audi Q3 because it is the season to give. Apparently a number of people complained about the treatment this contestant received from the game show. This is all over the gift of a new car that I suppose is an expensive car.
Of far greater value is God’s gift of eternal life. No matter how expensive a car is, that car will break down and will eventually end up in a scrap yard. God’s salvation is eternal and never loses any of its value. It never gains in value either. However, those who are saved should gain a greater appreciation for this eternal gift.
The danger God speaks of is that those who are saved, would let the significance of Jesus Christ and His gift slip. We have mentioned New Evangelicalism here in the past. New Evangelicalism became popular in 1948. It came about because there were men who were letting God’s truths slip. It gained in popularity and became a dominant force in “Christendom” because there were many who wanted to be called Christians, but did not want the life that God offered. They wanted their own brand of life. Thus there are many living today who call themselves Christians, but have no life in them. Every generation must examine what they believe and what they base their belief on. True Christianity cannot be a second or third generation belief. It must be a first generation belief system. Every generation must build their faith on the truth — the everlasting Word of God. It is good when children can learn how to walk with God from their fathers. Godly fathers cannot just talk about God, they must also live the truth. They must help their children to build upon God’s truth.
God’s Word never changes. The danger is that we, even we who are saved, can easily allow some false doctrine to slip into our belief system. The Jesus of the Bible is better than the angels and the prophets.
Notice in verse 2 that the word of angels was stedfast. The true angels were simply telling the people what God told them to speak. When Lot was told to get his family together and flee from Sodom and Gomorrha he needed to pay attention. He was slow in leaving and the angels had to take him and his wife and pull them out of the city. They were warned not to look back, but Lot’s wife looked back and she became a pillar of salt. There was nothing the angels said that was amiss.
When the angel spoke to the shepherds about the birth of Jesus Christ, all of it was true. The shepherds came to where Jesus was and they found everything to be as the angel had said. It is interesting to note that when the shepherds came to where Jesus was, they did not encounter the wise men there. The timing of the wise men was closer to 2 years after the birth of Jesus Christ. We learn this from Matthew 2:16. Yet, most of the pictures that deal with the birth of Jesus Christ have the wise men there at the same time as the shepherds.
If we do not pay attention to detail, we miss out on God’s blessings. Some might suggest that this detail is not important. There are no extra words in the Bible.
There is a new movie/documentary out called “The Chosen”. I have seen advertisements for this thing for a while now. I have no interest in watching it. The producer of this documentary put out a short blurb this week because I guess there is a lot of discussion regarding this film. He admitted that they took liberties with the film in order to make it a film. He admitted they were not true to the Bible, but he also stated that they tried to stay true to the message. The question is: how do you stay true to the message when you embellish the message? Any time the Word of God is put into “movie” form, it loses out. No one would watch if it would strictly follow the Bible. Movie producers know this. The devil also knows this. The devil wants people to get a false idea of what the Bible is. He is happy for films like “the Chosen” because it will keep people away from the truth. It also does not have the power of the Gospel in it. It is just a movie and from what the producer stated, it is a bad movie.
God is drawing people to Himself. People are drawn to God when they are confronted with the truth. God tells us the preaching of His Word is what is needed to bring people to Biblical salvation.
In verse 2 of our text we see that every warning given by the angels was powerful. Every warning carried the exact reward that they stated it would have. That is because the angels spoke God’s Word.
In verse 3 we are asked to consider an important question. If the words of the angels were powerful and those who failed to heed it suffered the consequences, how shall we escape if we neglect the great salvation that was preached and delivered by the Lord Jesus Christ and then further proclaimed by the apostles? The angels delivered a message that came from God. It was the truth. Jesus delivered the message of salvation that He alone could provide. It came from the One Who is better than the angels. He came in person and demonstrated the truthfulness of His message so often and in so many ways. His message was confirmed by eye-witnesses.
I Corinthians 15 tells us:
I Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
The evidence of the gift that Jesus Christ not only offers, but also delivers, is irrefutable.
In verse 4 we read that God backed up everything that the apostles said, with signs and wonders. The saints of that time did not have the luxury we have today. They did not have the ability to pick up a true Bible and examine what was being said. They had to trust in the men who spoke to them. God set apart the true apostles from the false teachers by giving the true teachers the ability to do signs and wonders. The apostles were special in that they were given the authority to complete the written word of God. The Bible was not assembled and accepted because a group of ungodly men got together to decide what should be in there and what should not be in there. The Bible is the Word of God because God authenticated It and He established It in the life of the first churches. Jesus authenticated the Old Testament by quoting from many sources of It. He referred to others as well. The apostles also quoted from passages of the Old Testament and referred to others as well. They were the last living men who the Bible describes as “holy men” that He chose to give us His Word. They established the true Scriptures during their years on earth. God did not leave the assembling of His pure Word to chance. He made sure It was in place when His chosen men were gone.
You notice in our text and elsewhere that the signs were given to the apostles. Not every born again Christian could do those signs. The signs were God’s way of authenticating the apostles. God used the apostles to write letters which were part of the Scriptures that were inspired of God and were included in the Bible. I am writing this devotional but it is not inspired of God. It will never be added to the Bible. Those who read these devotionals need to examine what is said here by the sure Word of God. We can do that and we need to do that.
Acts 19 tells us of the sons of Sceva who wanted to do the same things that Paul did. They tried to duplicate the signs that Paul did. The Bible tells us that one evil spirit attacked these seven sons and beat them up. God does not cause every false teacher to be beat up for spreading their lies. Many false teachers assume that because God is not punishing them now, they must be ok. We have God’s completed Word and if we do not want to accept that as the truth, then we will be susceptible to being led astray.
Back in our text, God is telling us how important it is to believe what He has declared. There are no loop holes in His Word. It is all true and it is all powerful. The wise person believes It and follows what God says.