Jesus is our anchor
Takeoff - Story about hiking in the ADK and needing to pay close attention to the trail markers so we didn’t get lost. winter hiking, night hiking, day hiking, and how when we went hiking locally in a local park the way the trail markers were identified caused me to question whether or not I was on the right path.
Tension - Whether we're hiking in the mountains or on level ground around the block we need to pay attention to the trail markers and street signs. ESPECIALLY when we're in unfamiliar territory. The same thing is true for us spiritually. We will get lost when we don't pay attention to the trailmarkers of truth in our lives.
Text - Hebrews 2:1-4
2 Because of this, it is all the more necessary that we pay attention to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels was binding and every transgression and act of disobedience received a just penalty, 3 how will we escape if we* neglect so great a salvation which had its beginning when it* was spoken through the Lord and was confirmed to us by those who heard, 4 while* God was testifying at the same time by signs and wonders and various miracles and distributions of the Holy Spirit according to his will.
W. Hall Harris III et al., eds., The Lexham English Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012), Heb 2:1–4.
Teaching: the problem of drifting and getting lost is not a new one. as you can see the author of Hebrews was warning people way back in the 1st century. He gave them this advice "pay attention to the things we have heard". Notice his tone - "we" is the prominant preposition here..he wants us to know that this is an all-together human problem and we are in it together. He's not pointing fingers or judging people for drifting. He is with them, concerned for them, he is along side of them in the fight to keep focused on the things that they heard.
- the necessity of paying attention
- - the world around us has an ever-flowing current of counterfeit gods and fake gospels that we could put our hope in. (example)
Jesus is our anchor - ref. Hebrews 6:19
- - every act of disobedience receives a just penalty
it would be an ultimate act of betrayal for God not to punish disobedience. if you Love = you execute Justice
- the association of paying attention
- - importance of community and power of encouraging one another and reminding each other of what is true and what isn't. (example of how to take action on this now)
- the objective of paying attention
- - the most important sermon or message you will ever hear is the one you're preaching to yourself. and the power of that sermon is found in the person you see as your savior. One person may be preaching a message of self-salvation - "i can make it I just need to work/play/fight/sleep/achieve/blah blah blah" that sermon essentially says you can save yourself from yourself. - another person may be preaching a sermon to themselves of horizontal-salvation "i just need more of the things around me to fill me and change my life and I'll be set, more money/relationships/fame/approval/subscribers etc etc" for every human there is a different sermon being preached to our hearts and I think what the writer of Hebrews is saying to them then and what we need to pay attention to now is that The message we preach to ourselves and to our friends matters and if we dont consistently review it and investigate it we will drift downstream to a place we never wanted or expected to be. There's no such thing as a neutral spiritual life.
The power of the gospel message is punctuated with validation not because we are reading it from a book that is over 1900 years old but rather because of the historicity of the accounts inside of the book. The Ssigns and wonders really happened, Jesus really raised form the ddead, there really is a place called jerusalem, golgotha and real people who testified of real things...just like you and me and then wrote these things down so we could PAY ATTENTION to them together and be saved.
Takeaway: I hope you're listening today because if you're like me and feel lost at times, or all the time and need to know how to get back on the correct pathway to life. I want you to pay attention to the Gospel. Pay attention to it every day. Sin - Christ - Salvation. Write these three words down on a card and carry it around with you this week.
Sin - we have disobeyed the law of God and for that justice is inescapable and results in death.
Christ - God made a way for us to be rescued and for our disobedience to be forgiven. Jesus lived the perfectly obedient life we couldn’t and then died in our place
Salvation - by believing in Christs death and that he is risen, I am adopted into the family of God and made a co-heir with Christ.
Jesus is our anchor. Steadfast and sure in times of trial and struggle.
This is the good news of the gospel for everyone who hears it and pays attention to it.