- Hebrews 2:1-4
The Hebrews letter was written to Jewish Christians who lived in a difficult times in the first century. In Judea and throughout the Roman Empire you had localized persecution from the Jewish leadership both in Jerusalem and the synagogues throughout the Roman Empire. There was also persecution by Nero, the Roman Emperor who had developed a strong dislike for the Christians, the followers of Jesus. It felt it was his mission in life to relentlessly persecute them.
These two sources of persistent persecution had an impact on the Christians, especially the Jewish Christians. Thus, there was a temptation for some to turn back.
- Hebrews 10:25
There were some Jewish Christians who had stopped assembling with the saints altogether. They had stopped practicing Christianity.
One of the purposes of this letter was to encourage them to resist the temptation to leave the gospel by turning back to Judaism.
- Hebrews 1:1-3
He makes it clear that God only speaks through Christ today. The writer also points out, in Hebrews 2, Christ's superiority to the angels. He compares the Son with angels due to the fact that the Jews understood that angels stood next to God in greatness and power. But, the writer points out that Christ stands above them. The writer supplies ample evidence of Christ's superior stat to angels.
Why was the warning given? Notice the warning of letting things slip, Hebrews 2:1. Why was there a problem with letting things slip or drift?
Warning signs are part of everyday life. Warnings are there to give us caution. The Hebrews writing is giving us a warning. Christians need to be aware that there is a real danger to slipping away from Christianity. The King James Version uses the word Slip, but the American Standard uses the word drift.
Drift, gives the idea of a boat slipping away from the shore. If we aren't careful, or paying attention, just as a boat, a Christian can slip or drift away from the truth of the gospel. The Hebrews writer refutes the doctrine of once saved always saved.
- Hebrews 2:1
- Hebrews 3:12
He's talking about Christians developing an evil heart and falling away. He makes it clear that one can be lost. He makes it clear that a Christian, who once was saved, to fall so far away that they can't return.
- Hebrews 6:4-6
Notice these are present active verbs. These are those who continue to be disobedient to God. As long as that continues to be the case it is impossible for one to be restored. There is no way to be saved while one is in that state.
The danger of drifting or falling away is very real.
Those that think they can be justified by the law of Moses, are fallen from grace. It is clear a Christian can fall from grace.
1 Corinthians 10:12
We see there is a great warning against drifting. But, why? Why would a person drift?
Reasons for Drifting from the Word
#1 Danger of Drifting Away is Failure to Keep the Passion Alive
The loss of passion or desire to please God, is a failure in faithfulness. If we love God and know what Christ has done for us, we ought to have a feeling of love in return.
- Revelation 2:4-5
Jesus tells the church at Ephesus that they should remember their first love.
- Revelation 3:1-2
The church at Sardis not only grown cold, but had drifted away to the point of death. We can learn from these examples that if one is not careful and retain their passion they can drift away from the church.
- 1 Timothy 1:19-20
The Christians Alexander and Hymenaus, had allowed their faith too be shipwrecked. Was it because they lost their passion for Christ? The same can happen to us.
- 2 Timothy 4:10
Demas, forsook the work of Paul. He wa swith Paul at the writing of the book of Colossians. But, several years later he had allowed the things of the world to pull him away from God.
#2 Danger of Drifting Away is a Failure to Protect the Heart
- Proverbs 4:23
The condition of the heart is an excellent prediction of future thoughts and behaviors.
- Proverbs 23:7
We see the importance of protecting the heart.
- Matthew 5:8
You must be pure in heart if you want to see God. Those who cease to keep their heart pure are in danger of drifting away and leaving God.
Daniel, a young man, likely a teen, was carried away into Babylonian captivity. They carried the sons of the nobles from Jerusalem, as hostages. Daniel was one such young man. He was to be trained up in the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar to be a servant to the king. They were to eat whatever the king was to eat. Yet, they could not eat the same food without violating the law of Moses. So, they, Daniel along with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, asked to not eat the food.
- Daniel 1:8
He purposed in his heart to not defile himself. Daniel did not drift away. Those who have devised a strategy to keep their heart pure are more prone to answer the call to faithfulness. Some are drifting from the church today because they have not protected their hearts from the dangers of this world.
#3 Danger of Drifting Away is Failure to Abide in the Doctrine of Christ
- Galatians 1:6-11
Paul was surprised that there were those who had drifted away from the doctrine of Christ. He stated that even if an angel were to preach another gospel we should not leave the doctrine of Christ.
- 2 John 1:9
This shows the possibility of drifting away from the doctrine. He states that some might go too far. That is too far from the truth of the doctrine of Christ. That is the very definition of drifting away.
- 2 Peter 2:1
To please God requires us to remain anchored in the word. But, some have drifted because of philosophies of man, to other man made doctrines. They have drifted from the doctrine of Christ.
How do we prevent drifting from happening to us? The text is frightening. It indicates the seriousness of staying anchored in the word. It is possible for Christians to drift because they don't keep their passions alive, or failing to protect their heart, or failing to abide in the doctrine of Christ. How do we prevent ourselves from drifting away?
Prevent Drifting by Becoming Anchored in the Word
It is essential that we do something to avoid the mistakes that lead to drifting away.
- Hebrews 1:2-4
We ought to give the more earnest heed. The writer gives us the only clear answer, that is to cast an anchor. A heavy object that holds the ship in a particular place. The only anchor we can have is the word, the things we have heard. A sure anchor is the Word of God.
How to Become Anchored in the Word
#1 Know the word
For every doctrine that we state their must be an anchor found in the word, in the Bible.
- Judges 2:10
- Hosea 4:6
- Acts 17:11
- Hebrews 4:11,12
We must remain anchored in the word.
#2 Possess an Unshakable Faith
We must possess an unshakable faith. Many Jewish Christians were greatly discouraged and ready to turn back. Therefore we are exhorted to pay attention to the word, and develop a faith that is unshakable. We can know that God is in control.
- Daniel 3:17
- Ephesians 3:20
- Proverbs 3:5-6
- Hebrews 11:6
There is no limit to what God can do, therefore I can trust in Him. To have unshakable faith we must be anchored in the word of God.
#3 Remember the Certainty of Judgment
To be anchored in the word is to be aware that those who neglect God's word is in danger of the coming judgement of God.
- Hebrews 2:2,3
If they who failed to obey the law which was given by angels faced great judgment, then how much more shall we escape the word spoken by the Son?
- Hebrews 9:27
- 2 Corinthians 5:10
We must stay anchored in the word, learn and know God's word and grow in Christian faith.
If you haven't obeyed the gospel of Christ we want you to know that God loves you. He sent his son to die for your sins. You can believe that He is God's son and that He died for your sins. You can repent of our sins based upon that belief, confess your belief and be baptized for the remission of sins.
If you are a Christian who has not remained anchored in the word, and in faith, you can repent and turn back to following Him.
Contact us if we can assist you in learning more about the doctrine of Christ and how to obey unto salvation.