Verse of the Day Devotion. Hebrews 2:1
“For this reason, we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” – Hebrews 2:1
This verse is linked to chapter 1, and we know this because of the first three words, ‘For this reason’. The question is how far back? I tend to agree with Theologian Paul Ellingworth where He wrote that it was only back to the last one. “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?” Hebrews 1:14. Ellingworth wrote the following, “Because God intends to give us salvation as a permanent possession, we must be all the more attentive to what he and others have said about it.” I believe the author of Hebrews intends to link all of chapter 1. However, I am not necessarily disagreeing with Ellingworth, for verses 1-13 leads to the last verse. And I believe the others must be included in order to understand verse 14.
Now, we see this same idea in the Old Testament. “When Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, he said to them, Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you shall command your sons to observe carefully, even all the words of this law. For it is not an idle word for you; indeed it is your life. And by this word you shall prolong your days in the land, which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess.” Deuteronomy 32:45-47. Notice the words ‘observe carefully, even all the words of this law.’ This goes along with our focus verse. “For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” Hebrews 2:1. The readers are exhorted here to pay close attention “to what we have heard.” This phrase implies submissive acceptance of what is heard. The consequence of failing to pay attention to the word is that the readers would “drift away.”
Now, we see in the next two verses a comparison between the circumstances surrounding the giving of the law to Moses through angelic mediation on Mt. Sinai and the salvation brought by Christ. “For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.” Hebrews 2:2-4. What is said here is that if God’s Word back in the time of Moses, spoken to them by Yahweh and was absolutely true, steadfast, and unchangeable, how can we assume it is not, and yet escape if we neglect and overlook Christ’s words while here, declaring salvation through His saving grace on the cross? It is important to understand what is meant here is that we cannot.
I truly accepted Christ back in 1977. I mean truly in that I had never really given my life to Him, but simply went forward in my church when I was 10 to be accepted by others. It seems I wanted that more than Christ. Unfortunately, my lifestyle never changed, inside or out. I never did spend time with God, but simply went through the motions. Then, in 1977, God showed me reality which brought me to my knees because I now understood my predicament. And unfortunately, there are many who claim they are Christians but have not accepted His word as absolute truth. Using our focus verse, they are drifting away because they are not paying attention to what they hear but simply ignore or refute it. Many only follow the things they like and ignore the rest.
In closing, to not accept all points of the Christian faith as declared in the scriptures is a definite danger zone. There is much to learn, but if we refuse to accept God’s way, we are not paying attention to God’s way but to our own. God’s Word is unchangeable. We either accept it as is and live with Him or deny it and be rejected by Him. I did this back when I was ten years old, but then listened to God and accepted the truth. And I can assure you that accepting what God really says is much better than our version of His Word, which is more acceptable to far too many in this world.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.