WARNING: Don’t Ignore your Salvation!
Today’s Text: Hebrews 2:1-4
In chapter one, Jesus is portrayed as standing at the pinnacle of redemptive history, vastly superior to the angels; the creator of everything. In chapter two, He is seen joining the human race to rescue man. This is accomplished in two sections, first vv. 1-4 warn us not to neglect our salvation, and then vv. 5-18 tell us how He did it.
This first paragraph of chapter two, like the beginning of chapter one is content rich. It contrasts two divine systems, the Old Covenant and the New; the contrast looks like this:
|A message spoken by angels
||Announced by Jesus Himself
|It was binding
||It was confirmed by its hearers and by God Himself
|It contained just punishment for every infraction
||It includes no escape for ignoring it or even for just drifting away
2:1 This is the thesis of the first paragraph, and by extension the rest of the chapter. Notice the use of the imperative “must”. “What we have heard” is the Gospel of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, and the imperative is applied toward the assertion that we need to be paying more careful attention to it. Simply stated, this is telling all of us that we have no possible alternative to taking our relationship with Jesus Christ very seriously. It is not just a Sunday morning activity on the way to brunch; it is life itself! The statement here is the first of many exhortations in the book calling our attention to the fact that we absolutely must not allow anything to distract us from our relationship with Christ, for if we should let that happen, we will lose everything we have.
2:2 “For” at the beginning of verse two ties it to the statement just made in verse one: Because we might drift away… The author is going to make a case here, and this verse is the beginning of it. His case relates the two covenant systems together as noted in the introduction above. Since the message brought by angels was binding refers to the Old Covenant. It was binding means that if a person entered into the covenant relationship with God, then he was required to keep its 613 laws or face serious punishment: there was no way to avoid it, for you cannot fool God.
2:3 Our salvation is greater than we can hope to comprehend. We must not ignore this great salvation! This is quite interesting because it is what most of us do on a regular basis. When we are fighting with our wives, we are ignoring our salvation. When we are going through our days just like everyone else being irritated, selfish and prideful, thinking about how little people appreciate us and all of the rest of that kind of stuff, we are ignoring our salvation. When we don’t get around to spending time in prayer or in the Word, we are ignoring our salvation…
Wait! Escape what? Verse two made reference to the just punishments that the Old Covenant has for breaking any of the laws; what punishment does the New Covenant have…? The New Covenant is full of grace and forgiveness, this is true; but it also has a punishment: Eternal Damnation. So here’s the proposition that our author seems to be making: “Do you feel lucky Punk; well do ya?”
This Gospel was not announced by mere angels, it was given to us personally by Jesus Himself who is at the very top of the organizational chart. It was confirmed by those who heard His words personally: the message is true.
2:4 Verse four reinforces the message in verse three by demonstrating the fact that the veracity of the message we have received from Jesus Himself is altogether true and correct; it must be taken seriously. It has been further confirmed by God Himself by miracles, wonders and signs… For Heaven’s sake take it seriously!