The 2nd chapter of Hebrews, apostle Paul’s epistle to Jews, warns them not to be ignorant of what they have heard. He urgently calls his readers to pay careful attention. Today 2000 years later I want to urge you to pay close attention to what you have heard me speaking in the past. Now the question is what have we heard?
Let us see,
1. What you have heard is the Gospel of Jesus Christ
- It’s so simple. We have heard and we hear everyday that Christ loved all human beings, he died for all so we can have joy, peace, love and everlasting life. Today Gospel or the good news is preached in general public, through media, internet and every other possible way. But how do you react to this message you hear?
- Here when it says ‘pay more careful attention’ in original Greek it does not mean to listen only. But to act upon what you heard.
- How do you act upon what you have heard? Submit your life to the Lord Jesus Christ. (Read Hebrews 2:1) For he is above everything and everyone. He is God himself. There is no other God but himself. He alone can set you free.
How do you respond to the good news you heard?
2. Pay careful attention so you will not drift away, Hebrews 2:1
- The verb drift away is used in the sense ring slipping off a finger. I still remember how my mother lost her golden necklace while she was standing with a large cheering crowd.
- We are too bothered about other things we hear, we hesitate to believe, and slowly drift away from the great salvation God has kept before us, without our knowledge.
3. Ignorance is a serious sin, Hebrews 2:2-3
- God gave his law and punishment came on people upon violation. Every religion has a list of dos and don’ts and punishment is promised to those who fail to follow. This is the difference between gospel of Jesus Christ and the other religions and philosophies. Through Jesus Christ God has forgiven you for violating his law.
- However judgment is promised to those who reject this mercy. They cannot give any excuses for missing the opportunity, for the writer says here the salvation offered by God has been confirmed by many others who heard it. Let me give you a good example. When the civil war of Sri Lankan was about end the military forces announced a grace period of 48 hours, and asked the L.T.T.E terrorists to lay down their weapons and surrender. They promised not to kill those who surrender. L.T.T.E rejected the opportunity in pride and finally all of them were perished.
4. The power of God was manifested to bear witness to gospel, Hebrews 2:4
- Witness is a term used in judicial courts. More witnesses you have towards the authenticity of an event, a person, an incident, makes the matter in question more acceptable. God has convinced us that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is valid, by performing signs, wonders and miracles through his servants.
- You were healed not so that you can go back home and live your old life. I have seen many people taking this wrong route.
- You were delivered from oppression not so that you can forget about everything and proceed with your life the way you want. What you saw was not a kind of magic. But it is the power of the risen Lord Jesus Christ.
- Now try to remember what the Lord has done in your life. Pay careful attention. What have you heard so far about the salvation of Jesus Christ? How many times have you experienced his love, power and glory in your life? What was your response to God’s manifestations in your life? Has he done a miracle to you? Then why are you waiting?
- Now is a great time to make decision. Not tomorrow, but today and right now is the time to accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior. If you are with me please repeat this prayer after me.
I am sorry that I lived in ignorance, not paying attention to what I heard and eye witnessed up to this day. According to the evidence you placed before me so far I believe You are the Son of God and that You died for me and arose from the grave.
I need Your love to cleanse me from my mistakes and wrongdoing. I need Your light to drive away all darkness. I need Your peace to fill and satisfy my heart. I now open the door of my heart and I ask You, Jesus, to please come into my life and give me Your free gift of eternal life. Thank You for suffering for all of the wrong I have done, and for hearing my prayer and forgiving me. Amen.