“We must therefore pay even more attention to what we have heard, so that we will not drift away. For if the message spoken through angels was legally binding, and every transgression and disobedience received a just punishment, how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?” (Hebrews 2:1-3a HCSB).
I’ve neglected my dog. She lets me know this by peeing on the floor. My Bad. I neglected my lawn mower since we moved here to Virginia, and it let me know by seizing up and exploding in the back yard. Oh my! Fortunately I was on the other side of it, or it would have really let me know.
I’ve neglected my face, and stubble grew until my wife let me know that I looked like Keith Hernandez. You probably won’t get that. There are a lot of things which I’ve neglected which eventually let me know. Is it the same with our salvation?
Because of the superiority of Christ over any other tool or aid or fix or device, really over all things related to our redemption which could never satisfy or solve the problem anyway, because of the superiority of Christ as explained back in Hebrews chapter 1, the writer of Hebrews says that we must pay closer attention. Not that we could or that we should, but that we must. Pretty firm admonition here.
We have full knowledge of God’s redemptive plan, and yet sometimes we neglect to be diligent. How will we escape – escape what? The entanglements of sin, the limits to our potential, the distractions to the pursuit of our calling.
This redemptive work is called by the writer “so great a salvation.” So great because of what it required to enact our deliverance. So great because God knew that on our own we could never ever escape from sin. So great because the destinies of thousands of people have been changed by trusting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We can and do neglect the significance of what He has done, and unlike my dog or my lawn mower, we do not get an immediate message that there is a problem.
Charles Finney the great evangelist wrote, “This salvation is life’s great work. If not made such, it had best be left alone. To put it in any other relation is worse than nothing. If you make it second to anything else, your course will surely be ineffectual.” (http://www.gospeltruth.net/1858OE/580120_doom_of_neglect.htm). He didn’t really mince words.
The Apostle Peter wrote of being ineffective: “Jesus has the power of God, by which he has given us everything we need to live and to serve God. We have these things because we know Him. Jesus called us by His glory and goodness. Through these He gave us the very great and precious promises. With these gifts you can share in God’s nature, and the world will not ruin you with its evil desires. Because you have these blessings, do your best to add these things to your lives: to your faith, add goodness; and to your goodness, add knowledge; and to your knowledge, add self-control; and to your self-control, add patience; and to your patience, add service for God; and to your service for God, add kindness for your brothers and sisters in Christ; and to this kindness, add love. If all these things are in you and are growing, they will help you to be useful and productive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. [my note – if not, then you will be ineffective and unproductive in exercising your faith] But anyone who does not have these things cannot see clearly. He is blind and has forgotten that he was made clean from his past sins.” (2 Peter 1:3-9 NCV). Have we developed a blind spot in our faith walk?
So what are you neglecting? That back yard project – I hear you. That oil change – oh, man, when will it all end? Soon, if we neglect to care for those machines and devices and plants and resources which God by His mercy has given over to our stewardship. What about your faith walk? Charles FInney again: “It is infinite folly to make the matter of personal salvation only a secondary matter; for to do so is only to neglect it after all. Unless it has your whole heart, you virtually neglect it, for nothing less than your whole heart is the devotion due.” May we honor this great redemptive work that God had done on our behalf by giving our whole mind and soul and strength and heart to the One who has at great cost given His life for so great a salvation.