I pray that you and your family are doing well. God has blessed Westway in so many ways. More and more people are coming back to church. We have been averaging about 110 to 127. Hope is here! But we must be careful. Our “adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5: 8, NKJV). Hebrews 2:1 says, “Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away” (NKJV). This is the first of the five admonitions found in Hebrews. Their purpose is to encourage all readers to pay attention to God’s Word and obey it. These admonitions become stronger through the book, from drifting (2:1, NKJV) from God’s Word to defying God’s Word as recorded in Hebrews 12:14-29, NKJV. God does not sit idly by and permit His children to rebel against Him. He will continue to speak and, when necessary, He chastens His own.
The admonition is written to believers, for the writer includes himself when he writes we. The danger here is that of “neglecting our salvation” (NKJV). Please note that the author did not write reject but neglect in vs 3. He is not encouraging sinners to become Christians; rather, he is encouraging Christians to pay attention to the great salvation they have received from the Lord.
Later (Heb. 6:19), the writer uses the illustration of an anchor to show how confident we can be in the promises of God. More spiritual problems are caused by neglect than perhaps by any other failure on our part. We neglect God’s Word, prayer, worship with God’s people (see Heb. 10:25), witnessing and other opportunities for spiritual growth, and as a result, we start to drift. The anchor does not move; we do.
The major theme of Hebrews is God has spoken. How are you responding to His Word? When the nation of Israel refused to believe and obey His Word, God chastened them. You might consider a study on the subject of chastening in Hebrews 12. You will get a greater insight into this awesome aspect of God’s dealings with His children.
In stating that this exhortation applies to believers today, but that it does not involve loss of salvation. I am not suggesting that chastening is unimportant. On the contrary, it is important that every Christian obey God and please the Father in all things. Dr. William Culbertson, late president of Moody Bible Institute, used to warn about the sad consequences of forgiven sins. God forgave David’s sins, but David suffered the sad consequences for years afterward (2 Sam. 12:7-15). David had despised the commandment of the Lord (2 Sam. 12:9) and God dealt with him.
What should a believer do who has drifted away into spiritual doubt and dullness and is deliberately despising God’s Word? He should turn to God for mercy and forgiveness. There is no other sacrifice for sin (10:26), but the sacrifice Christ made is sufficient for all our sins. It is a fearful thing to fall into the Lord’s hands for chastening, but it is a wonderful thing to fall into His hands for cleansing and restoration. David said, “Let me fall now into the hand of the Lord; for very great are His mercies (1 Chron. 21:13).
Dr. William Culbertson, late president of Moody Bible Institute.
Standing on His Promises,