We cannot ESCAPE after REJECTING Christ’s SALVATION
December 13 Bible Reading: Hebrews Chapters 1-3
"How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?" (Heb. 2:3-4)
The Book of Hebrews contains five major warnings that admonish believers to pay attention to what God says in His Word. During the Old Testament times, God dealt severely with those who disobeyed His Word. Now, in these last days, God mandated us with a greater obligation to obey His Word because we have the complete Scriptures and the fuller revelation of God through His Son Jesus Christ. The five warnings listed in Hebrews include the following: (1) Do not neglect God’s Word (2:1–4), (2) Do not harden hearts to God’s Word (3:7–19), (3) Do not become deaf to God’s Word (5:11–14), (4) Do not defy God’s Word (10:26–39), and (5) Do not disobey God’s Word deliberately (12:14–19).
The above passage alerts us with the first warning: Do not neglect God’s Word that has come to us in the form of Christ’s message. Jesus Christ is the greatest messenger of God who ever lived on this earth, and the gospel of Jesus Christ (that proclaims salvation to humankind) is the greatest message from God to all the people of this earth. So, if the law given through angels produced severe judgment in the past, how shall we escape if we ignore this greatest message from God’s only begotten Son? This message was proclaimed by Jesus Christ to His apostles and then by the apostles to the author of Hebrews (1:3).
To earn this salvation for us, Jesus offered His own life and His last drop of blood on the cross of Calvary. This salvation includes not only deliverance from foes, and from death but also the grace of the Holy Spirit, the forgiveness of our sins, and the promise of eternal life (2:10). Further, this salvation includes inheritance of the world to come (v. 5; 11:16), entry into glory as God’s adopted sons (v. 10), purification from sins (1:3; 2:11, 17), freedom from the fear of death (vv. 14, 15), and the privilege of drawing near to God (4:16; 10:22) to offer worship that pleases Him (12:28; 13:15, 16). What a great salvation that Christ has obtained for us freely?
To neglect so great a salvation is more serious than to break God’s law. There are three statements made that underlined the importance of salvation: First, the salvation gospel was spoken directly by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, while the law was given by God through angels, to Moses and then to the people. Second, it was then confirmed to the early Christians by the apostles and other disciples who heard the words of Jesus directly. Third, God verified this salvation with signs, wonders, miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost (Mark 16:20; Acts 2:43; 4:30; 1 Cor. 2:4; 2 Cor. 12:12). In fact, it was attested by the ministry of the Holy Spirit through miracles and spiritual gifts (see 1 Cor. 12:8-11). These extraordinary acts proved beyond the shadow of doubt regarding the veracity of the salvation gospel!
Let us be cognizant of the truth that we cannot escape God’s punishment and ultimate justice if we reject the extraordinary salvation that Jesus Christ has paid the price through His suffering and death. If you have not yet accepted God’s gift of salvation, this is God’s message for you: "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Cor. 6:2) If you are stubbornly rejecting this wonderful offer from God, know for a fact that you will pay the full penalty for your sins one day in the future.