"SO GREAT A SALVATION."
I. "THEREFORE WE OUGHT TO GIVE THE MORE EARNEST HEED TO THE THINGS THAT WE HAVE HEARD."
A. The word therefore is a word of conclusion, thus it refers you back to the preceding statements.
1. God spoke in times past to the fathers through the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His own Son.
2. The word spoken through the Son is firsthand, and thus superior to the word spoken, secondhand so to speak, by the prophets.
B. The word translated ought is in many places translated must.
1. It is the same word Jesus used when He said, "I must be about My Father's business."
2. The same word Jesus used when He said to Nicodemus, "You must be born again."
3. We must give the more earnest heed to the things that we have heard.
C. That is, the things that we have heard from the lips of Jesus.
1. What Jesus has said is of utmost importance.
2. What did He say?
a. You must be born again if you want to enter the kingdom of heaven, and that you are born again by believing in Him.
b. That He is the way, the truth and the life, and that no man can come to the Father but by Him.
c. That He did not come into the world to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.
d. That He came to seek and to save those who were lost.
e. That greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
f. That those who believed in Him would not perish, but they would have everlasting life.
D. Lest at any time we should let them slip away. I have added the word away for the Greek word is to drift away. Lest we should drift away from the truth we have heard through Jesus.
1. Drifting is an almost imperceptible process.
2. When you are drifting with the tide, because everything is moving with you, unless you have a stationary frame of reference, you are not aware of the process.
3. Many have drifted away from the truth.
E. The book of Hebrews was written to warn certain Jews who had embraced Jesus as their Messiah, but were drifting back into Judaism.
II. THE WORD SPOKEN BY THE ANGELS WAS STEADFAST.
A. The word angels literally means messengers. The prophets were messengers of God, they brought God's message to man.
1. The things they wrote were steadfast, they were certain.
2. Every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward.
a. Not just recompense.
b. God's judgment is absolutely fair.
c. You need never worry about God being fair.
3. God had laid out through the prophets what punishment should be meted out for each transgression.
B. The Jews were holding to the words of the Old Testament.
C. In the law, God had showed them what was good and what the Lord required of them. But the psalmist declared,
The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, [and] seek God.
They had all gone aside, they all had become filthy: there was none that was doing good, no, not one.
D. If the words of the prophets were steadfast, how much more the words of Jesus who is God who came in the flesh.
III. HOW SHALL WE ESCAPE?
A. Escape what? In Hebrews 10
we have a companion passage where the author is speaking of the words spoken by Moses who was one of the messengers in the Old Testament.
For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
For we know him that hath said, Vengeance [belongeth] unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
[It is] a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
1. How shall we escape the fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries of God?
2. Escape the vengeance of God.
3. Escape the judgment of God.
B. Have you devised a plan by which you think you can escape God's judgment?
C. Don't be deceived, there is no escaping from God.
1. Jesus said to the Pharisees:
You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?
2. Paul wrote to the Romans, "You judge others for doing the same things that you are doing, do you think that you will be able to escape the judgment of God?"
3. The author of Hebrews comes back to the same thought that God has spoken to us through His Son, in chapter 12, and there states,
See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused those that spoke on earth, much more we shall not [escape], if we turn away from him who spoke from heaven.
IV. THE GREAT SALVATION.
A. Great, because it is all encompassing. It excludes no man.
1. "Whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life."
2. Whosoever will let him take of the water of life freely.
B. It is great because of its scope.
1. Paul said, "This is a faithful saying and worthy to be accepted by all, Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief."
Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
3. John wrote, "For the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son cleanses a man from all sin."
4. It reaches to each one here today. Wonderful grace of Jesus, greater than all my sin, How shall my tongue describe it, where shall is praise begin, Taking away my burden, setting my spirit free, For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.
V. WHY WOULD MEN WANT TO NEGLECT THIS GREAT SALVATION?
A. Some neglect it because of pride.
1. They do not want to admit that they are a helpless sinner.
2. They would like to believe that they can live a good life on their own without any help.
3. My alcoholic uncle would never admit to being an alcoholic. He would always say that he could quit anytime he wanted.
B. Men neglect this great salvation because of the love for evil.
1. They will rarely admit to that.
a. They will often say that they have intellectual difficulties believing in a God and accepting the Bible, as the word of God, and Jesus as the Son of God.
b. It is amazing that they do not seem to have the same intellectual difficulty in accepting the absurd theory of evolution.
c. How aptly Paul put it, "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools for they worshipped and served the creation, rather than the creator, who is blessed forever more.
2. Jesus said that He did not come into the world to condemn the world but to save the world. Whoever believed in Him was not condemned, but those who did not believe in Him were already condemned, because they did not believe on the only begotten Son of God. That they were condemned because light came into the world, but they loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.
a. There is the key to unbelief, the love of evil.
b. Who can logically argue against the precepts that are set forth in the Bible as to how a man ought to live?
c. What is the avowed goal of the liberal socialist? To free mankind from the feelings of guilt.
d. More and more we read concerning the vicious killers who have been apprehended, that they showed no sign of remorse. This testifies to the effectiveness of their programs that have dominated our public education system.
e. Leave God out, expose the flaws of the good men, destroy the heros.
C. This salvation is great because it works.
1. As the blind man who was healed by Jesus and was being challenged by the Pharisees. "All I know is once I was blind but now I can see."
a. There are so many today who have the same testimony.
b. Once I was lost, now I am saved.
2. Peter was brought to trial because Jesus through him caused a lame man to walk. Peter's testimony to the counsel concerning Jesus was "Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
a. And we read that seeing the lame man standing with them, they could say nothing against it.
b. How can you deny what you see before your very eyes?
c. I think that most people come to a faith in Jesus because of that kind of evidence. The changed lives of their friends.
3. Millions of changed lives bear witness to the effectiveness of this great salvation.
4. Lives once ruined by sin, now transformed, that is what this great salvation is all about.