We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
The first of five admonitions in Hebrews is found in Chapter 2, Verses 1-4. The warnings become stronger as we progress through the book from drifting from God’s Word to defying God’s Word. (Hebrews 12:14-29) The danger noted here is that of neglecting salvation, not rejecting it. How are we neglectful as Christians? The translation here says that the danger is in ignorance. The word salvation means to save, wholeness, and well-being. We must not be ignorant of the full meaning of salvation. When we receive Christ into our lives, we are saved from our sin, but this is just the beginning of living in Christ. He came to set us free from sin, bind up the broken- hearted and set the captive free. Although in Christ we are new creations, we bow down to the old creation, the one that is in chains, the one that believes the lies of the enemy. Jesus continues His work on earth through His Holy Spirit, and the process of sanctification – becoming holy and set apart for Christ to live His life through us – begins. It is a journey of surrender, a journey of willingness to allow the Lord to bring healing into our lives.
The writer of Hebrews knew that careful attention needed to be paid to the gift of salvation that we are given. It must not be neglected or ignored. The gift of salvation was confirmed by God with signs and wonders and gifts of the Holy Spirit. (Hebrews 2:4) As we journey with Christ, He calls us to live as children of the light. Too often we continue to live in darkness. Our chains are broken and our freedom is won through the blood of Christ, but yet we live as if we are still in prison! As children of light, Paul writes that we must no longer live in the futility of our old thinking: So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. (Ephesians 4:17-18)
Have you hardened your heart in terms of allowing God to bring His light and healing presence into the dark corners of your life? Embrace the fullness of salvation and recognize that your chains are removed. If your heart is hardened by disappointments, remember Jesus died not only to take you to heaven one day, but for you to experience His freedom through salvation on this side of heaven.
Heavenly Father, Forgive my hardened heart. Soften my heart to know and love You and to receive Your love and freedom through Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen