How shall we ESCAPE if we NEGLECT such a great SALVATION?

Hebrews   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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How shall we ESCAPE if we NEGLECT such a great SALVATION?

John 1:12 ESV
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
Some would suggest that certain questions and discussion should be avoided.
Politics & religion
Personal finances
Unresolved pain
Life history/gaffs
Are such concerns/taboos valid?
Are some issues important enough that although awkward warrant be discussed?
Driving under the influence of alcohol and whatever undermines life, safety and relationships
Spiritual life and health endangering habits
Unresolved pain and hurt
Difficulty forgiving and trusting
Unhealthy emotional crutches
The question, “How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?” might seem to some to be delving into that which is too personal. To some extent, we need to respect and understand that, but what the writer of Hebrews explained with regard to salvation both affirms those who feel this is an essential question and provides concrete truths for discussion.
To that end, the writer of Hebrews asks and answers 3 questions.
Is there an escape if we neglect salvation? - 2:1-4
What is man? - 2:5-8
Should I trust Jesus for salvation? - 2:9-18
Is there escape if we neglect salvation? - 2:1-4
The writer of Hebrews is transparent and honest. There is no escape if we neglect the great salvation provided by God in Christ.
Last week we reminded each of other that this part of the letter was directed to those who for whatever reasons had not believed. The writer used 2 nautical terms to explain the consequences of not believing.
Pay closer attention - more earnest heed - KJV - tie up the boat
Drift away - slip past the dock with no chance of reconnecting - in a day before motors and reverse, taken by the tied.
Consequences of past disobedience - 2:2
Here the writer by reminding his readers of the Word of God, explained why there is no escape. In essence, we are told that the validation of the message shouts believe.
There was no escape re the message delivered by the angels, whom God also used to deliver the message - the law on Mt Sinai.
Deuteronomy 33:1–2 ESV
This is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed the people of Israel before his death. He said, “The Lord came from Sinai and dawned from Seir upon us; he shone forth from Mount Paran; he came from the ten thousands of holy ones, with flaming fire at his right hand.
Psalm 68:17 ESV
The chariots of God are twice ten thousand, thousands upon thousands; the Lord is among them; Sinai is now in the sanctuary.
Acts 7:38 ESV
This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our fathers. He received living oracles to give to us.
Acts 7:53 ESV
you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”
Galatians 3:17 ESV
This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void.
Galatians 3:19 ESV
Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary.
Sins of omission and commission
Transgression - step across the line - deliberate
Leviticus 24:14–16 ESV
“Bring out of the camp the one who cursed, and let all who heard him lay their hands on his head, and let all the congregation stone him. And speak to the people of Israel, saying, Whoever curses his God shall bear his sin. Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall stone him. The sojourner as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death.
Disobedience - omission - shutting one’s ears to Gods commands - omission but ...
Refuses to listen
Matthew 18:17 ESV
If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
Both are serious and require just retribution

The punishment for disobeying the word spoken by angels was death; what, then, must be the penalty of neglecting the great salvation wrought by the Divine Redeemer Himself? He who does not give earnest heed to the gospel treats with disdain the Lord Jesus Christ, and he will have to answer for that sin when the King shall sit upon the throne of judgment. Trifle not, therefore, with that salvation which cost Christ so much, and which He Himself brings to you with bleeding hands. If you have until now trifled with it, and let it slip, may you now be brought to a better mind, lest by some chance, despising Christ, the “just penalty” should come upon you. And what will that be? I know of no punishment that can be too severe for the man who treats with contempt the Son of God, and tramples on His blood. Every individual who hears the gospel, and yet does not receive Christ as his Savior, is committing that atrocious crime.

Some of the punishments in the OT seem severe to most us - stoning those who blaspheme or gather wood - not so much what was done but disobeying what God clearly commanded and refused to believe.
Numbers 15:30–36 ESV
But the person who does anything with a high hand, whether he is native or a sojourner, reviles the Lord, and that person shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the Lord and has broken his commandment, that person shall be utterly cut off; his iniquity shall be on him.” While the people of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation. They put him in custody, because it had not been made clear what should be done to him. And the Lord said to Moses, “The man shall be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” And all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death with stones, as the Lord commanded Moses.
Nu 15:
Jude 5 ESV
Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

God is often accused of being unjust when His punishment seems to us to be out of proportion to the wrong committed. But God, by His very nature, cannot be unjust. Under the Old Covenant He punished severely those who were determined to live without Him and to defy Him. He removed them from among His people for the sake of those who were pure and holy and wanted to live for Him. His judgment on the people of Israel was severe because they knew better.

Punishment related to light
Matthew 11:20–24 ESV
Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.”
Jesus was clear and direct about hell and punishment
Hell is a real place with eternal fire - Matt 25:41
Where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched -
Revelation - lake of fire which burns with brimstone - - bottomless pit or abyss - ;
Outer darkness where there is continual weeping and gnashing of teeth -
Black darkness -
Anyone who set aside the law of Moses died without mercy
Hebrews 10:28–29 ESV
Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?
Present message declared by the Lord and affirmed by God - 2:1, 3, 4
What we have heard - 2:1
Declared at first by the Lord - 1:2
God spoke to us through His Son.
Attested to us by those who heard - who did what commanded
Mark 16:20 ESV
And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.
Acts 5:32 ESV
And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
By those who heard - noted by Luke
Luke 1:2 ESV
just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us,
Severest consequences for rejected what God communicated in favour of what others say.
Affirmed by miracles and gifts according to His will.
2. What/who is man? - 2:5-9
In this verses, the writer of Hebrews asked and answered the question - what/who is man with the further implied question as to why God is so concerned about mankind.
The bookends of these verses focus on Jesus:
2:5 -The one to whom the world to come will be subject.
World - not kosmos - creation - but inhabited world/mankind
World to come - great millennial/messianic - this will not be subjected to the angels - ref
Zechariah 14:9 ESV
And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one.
Zech 5:
Revelation 20:1–5 ESV
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while. Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection.
2:9 - Him who for a little while was made lower than the angels - incarnation - namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honour because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
God’s concern for mankind - 2:5-8
In this context of who Jesus is, what is man - mankind - anthropos.
Quote - - God’s intention for mankind as referred to at creation - but never realized because of the fall sin - spiritual death.
Genesis 1:26–31 ESV
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
Gen 1:26-
Genesis 2:15–17 ESV
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Gen 2:15-17
What we see now - 2:9
Fallen mankind and creation
Genesis 3:17–19 ESV
And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
Gen 3:
Therefore Jesus suffered death for everyone who acknowledges their sin and believes.
Cain and Abel - 2 offerings - one of repentance and faith, the other of self.
Genesis 4:3–7 ESV
In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.”
Gen 4:
2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
1 Timothy 2:6 ESV
who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
1 Tim
1 Timothy 4:10 ESV
For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
Titus 2:11 ESV
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,
3. Should I trust Jesus for salvation? - 2:9-18
Hebrews: The MacArthur New Testament Commentary Man’s Destiny Recovered by Christ

Man’s revealed destiny, restricted by sin, has been recovered by Christ.

Romans 6:23 ESV
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Rom 3:
Romans 6:5–11 ESV
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Rom 6:
Fitting- consistent with God’s character, promises and purposes
Jesus fulfilled God’s original purpose for mankind - 2:9, 13
Jesus suffered in my place - 2:9-10
Founder - author - archegos - literally pioneer, leader - translated prince - ;
Used of one starts and heads a family, man who founds a city in which others come to live
Perfect through suffering
Not in the sense of without sin BUT complete
Complete in the sense that lived, died, suffered, was tempted but did not sin
Jesus called those who trust him brothers and sisters - 2:11-13
Psalm 22:22 ESV
I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
restored relationship
From servants to friends
John 15:15 ESV
No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
Brothers and sisters not only know what the master is doing but obey.
Matthew 12:50 ESV
For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
Directly addressed as brothers and sisters after death and resurrection
Matthew 28:10 ESV
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”
John 20:17 ESV
Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ”
Quoted & Is 8:18
Psalm 18:2 ESV
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Isaiah 8:18 ESV
Behold, I and the children whom the Lord has given me are signs and portents in Israel from the Lord of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion.
Jesus destroyed him who has the power of death - 2:14-15
Through death and resurrection conquered death - beginning with Satan.
Jesus is the merciful and faithful high priest - 2:16-17
Helps offspring - spiritual offspring of Abraham
Made like brothers in every aspect
Therefore merciful and faithful
Jesus made propitiation for the sins of the people - 2:17
Satisfied God’s requirement for sin obtaining God’s full forgiveness - Christ - it is finished - the Father - it is finished - raising Jesus
Jesus is able to help those who are tempted - 3:18
Hebrews 4:14–16 ESV
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
For 1st and 21st century readers of Hebrews alike, these are enduring truths.
There is no escape for those who neglect salvation/Christ.
Since the beginning of time mankind has tried find alternate ways to escape the consequences of their sinful nature.
Deny it, explain it, excuse it.
Invent other escapes that to some seem more palatable. Some of them are self and add value in that as best they can deal with some of the symptoms of our sins. They do not though deal with the root cause, our sinful nature.
Some of those short term band aids seem good and gain some traction.
Proverbs 14:12 ESV
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.
Romans 6:12 ESV
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.
Romans 6:21 ESV
But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.
John 14:6 ESV
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Jn 14:
Acts 4:12 ESV
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
2. Only through salvation can men and women be what God intended/created them to be.
While we could look at the extremes of those who seem more broken because our sin, the Word of God makes it very clear that we are all sinners in word and in thought if not in deed.
Luke recorded Jesus’ parable that many, even some with no religious connections, remember - the Pharisee and the Tax Collector - - self justification and comparison versus confessing sin and asking for God’s forgiveness.
Luke 18:9–14 ESV
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Lk 9:
All of us long for forgiveness.
All of us long for peace and assurance that there is hope for today and when we die.
We long for what is broken to be made new.
Isaiah 11:6 ESV
The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.
Revelation 21:3–4 ESV
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Only through Jesus is salvation plus possible.
Only through Jesus is salvation plus possible.
3. Only through Jesus is salvation plus possible.
Have you made a clear defined personal commitment to Christ - confessed sin, repented, believed?
Acts 2:37–41 ESV
Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
Acts 2:
Acts 3:19–21 ESV
Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.
Acts 3:
Acts 3:26 ESV
God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”
Acts 4:11–12 ESV
This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
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