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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

HEED GOD'S WORD

Hebrews 2:1-4 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things, which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will?

In the first chapter of this epistle, the writer went to great lengths, using Old Testament prophesies and their fulfillment, to establish Jesus Christ as the Messiah and God's mediator with mankind. Jesus is the Son of God, whom He enthroned as the Supreme Monarch of His kingdom, both in heaven and on earth. The complete will of God was revealed to all men and women of the earth through Jesus, and it was recorded in the New Testament through His Holy Spirit-inspired apostles and disciples. Because it is God's word, and because it came through His righteous Son, Jesus Christ, the Hebrew writer says, Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

It is impossible for people to revere Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savio,r and ignore His teaching, through which we can attain the hope of eternal salvation and avoid eternal damnation. Receiving God's word is necessary to salvation, but even more importantly is obeying and keeping His commandments. The warning in this passage is that the gospel of Christ, once received, can slip away from us due to ignorance or neglect. Christians must, not only accept and believe God's message of salvation, but they must retain in their minds and put it into practice in their lives. Once it has been received, does not assure safety from the wiles of Satan. It is the evil one's desire that the gospel of Christ slip away from your mind, and be removed from your conduct of life. Satan plants the tares and thorns that, if allowed to do so, will choke and destroy the seeds of the gospel message God planted in the souls of mankind through the teaching of our Savior.

The second verse of the lesson text refers to the Old Testament law, the Law of Moses, as the word spoken by angels (See Acts 7:51-53; Gal. 3:17-19). God's law was well defined and could be understood by all. It was steadfast, in that it was unchanging; it was unyielding. It identified both the righteous and the sinful conduct of mankind, as well as the just reward for each. It cannot be stated more plainly than in the inspired writings of the Old Testament, how God dealt directly, and decisively, with people of the world, by rewarding their obedience, and punishing their disobedience, to His will. Although He was a forgiving God to those that repented of their sinful ways, He was also a God that meted out a just recompence of reward.

This being true, the lesson text continues with this question: How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation? "We" being those living in the New Testament era, after the establishment of the kingdom of Christ, His church, in these last days known as The Christian Dispensation. Just as God dealt decisively and justly with people that lived on earth during previous dispensations, we should have no doubt that He will do so in these last days (Heb. 1:2). His holy word, the complete gospel message of salvation, was at the first began to be spoken by the Lord. Studying the inspired gospel messages of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, we find God's word being delivered by our Lord, Jesus Christ. To learn of this example, read Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount," as found in Matthew 5, 6, and 7. They that heard God's gospel message of salvation through His apostles and other inspired disciples, were confirmed by the complete message of God spoken by His Son, Jesus Christ, unto us.

Jesus authorized His apostles and other inspired disciples to confirm His gospel message. His instructions to them was Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (Mark 16:15-16, also see Matt. 28:19-20). Indeed, this occurred on the Day of Pentecost, and by the preservation of their teaching found in the New Testament, it continues today. The teaching of God's word was proven and confirmed, with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles,which left no doubt in the minds of those that heard, that it was, indeed, God's Holy Word.

Realizing that the judgment of God is just, and having full knowledge of His will for mankind, we again pose this question: How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation? The answer in truth is that we cannot escape God's just judgment for rejecting Him, and His Son, Jesus Christ, unless we heed God's word and become a Christian. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved!