A Great Salvation Greatly Neglected
Over the last few weeks I have been studying an amazing fact and that fact is that knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Saviour is without a doubt the greatest privilege of a person’s life. One of the greatest things in a person’s life without a doubt is when that person leaves the darkness of sin and the darkness of this world and steps into the light of the world, the lovely Lord Jesus. When a person forsakes sin and embraces fellowship with the Saviour.
Now instead of living for self, they live for Christ. Now instead of living in the flesh, they live in the Spirit. Now instead of viewing things from a carnal, humanistic point of view, they now see them in light of the cross. They are a new creature in Christ. They have been born again. All the old habits, attitudes, values, and thinking begins to fade away and their new life in Christ starts to come forth. New life in Christ is a transformation from the inside out. All things become new as the Bible tells us in II Corinthians 5:17. The Salvation that we possess is indeed a great Salvation!
Here in our text this morning and really the entire book of Hebrews we see the theme of the greatness of salvation through Jesus Christ developed. In Chapter 1, the Apostle Paul, who we believe to be the author, begins his case how that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is better than anything the Old Testament has to offer. He begins by pointing out that God in times past spoke through the prophets, but now has done so through His Son. The chapter further develops that Jesus Christ is better than the angels, and in fact is God come in the flesh.
There is rich Christology and basic theology Chapter 1. The first three verses of Chapter 1 essentially form the introduction to the book of Hebrews and gives us a definition of what great Salvation is. The remainder of Hebrews 1 begins the theme of the superiority of the Lord Jesus Christ. The first evidence produced is that Jesus Christ is better than the angels – Vs. 4. We now come to our text for the morning in Chapter 2 of Hebrews and a very interesting phrase is found.
Notice if you would please in verse 3 the phrase “how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation.” For a few moments here this morning, I’d like to speak to you on the subject, “A Great Salvation Greatly Neglected.”
Now when it comes to interpreting the Word of God, I have found and always try to teach you dear folks whenever I have the privilege of preaching, it is always important to first have the context. The who, what, where, etc. of what a particular set of verses are talking about. Once you have the context, you can then and only then begin to make a Spiritual application and that application can only be made if it still fits within the context of the verses you have read!
So before we apply these verses, what is the context? Well if you look at the very first word of verse 1 you will get the context. See it? It’s the word “Therefore.” Whenever you see the word “therefore” in the Bible, it almost always is relating to something that was previously stated and will always shine more light on the subject with which you are studying!
In this case the word “therefore” is referring to Jesus being superior to the prophets and angels and because the revelation of the New Testament is superior to the Old Testament and because of this it is necessary for us to take heed, to listen to the things which we have heard. Why? So that we don’t let them slip by! The idea is that this great truth – of Christ and of Salvation – may slip by us. Listen, the greatest of ships slip in and out of the harbor entrance with virtually no sound with no one hearing them. The thought is, don’t let this great truth, this great Salvation slip you by!
May I submit to you here this morning that there are millions of people who are letting the great Salvation provided by the Lord Jesus Christ slip them by? You just go out and try to witness to people and everyone thinks they’re alright, that they don’t have a need, everyone’s going to Heaven! Folks, sorry to burst bubbles this morning but not everyone is going to Heaven! Those people that hear the message of Salvation preached, who do not heed, and reject the Lord Jesus Christ are on their way to a very real Hell!
And if you’re here this morning and you have heard the Salvation message and have not yet received Christ as your Saviour, Hell is your future home! If you’re here this morning and you say, “oh I’ll do it some other time”, Hell is awaiting you! The Bible tells us that Hell enlarges itself for the unbelieving and Satan would love nothing more than for you to join him in the fires of Hell someday! But dear friend, Christ loves you here this morning and wants you to grab hold of so great a salvation! You don’t have to go to Hell, you can fill out your change of address card this morning by coming to Christ! Now, today, this very moment is the day of Salvation! Don’t neglect so great a salvation!
Verse 2 shows us that if they were true when spoken by the angels and the prophets, how much more imperative are they now that they have been spoken by the One who is higher than the angels? Verse 3 asks than how shall we escape if we do neglect this great Salvation? The answer is obvious. There is no escape! If you reject Christ, you’re not escaping Hell! Verse 4 than shows us that we have all been given gifts through the Holy Spirit according to the Will of God.
So that is the context of these verses; don’t let these truths slip you by for there will be no escape if you do and to put to work the gifts that God has given you for His honor and His Glory! So what than is the application? Well for the Christian, it’s real simple; don’t neglect so great a salvation! You say “But we’re already saved! How can we neglect something that we already have!” Well, we’ll get to that because believe we can neglect it but first this morning I got to thinking what makes the Salvation that we have in Christ so great a Salvation? What makes it so great? Well, allow me to give to you 2 reasons what makes it so great a Salvation and then we’ll see 1 reason before closing how we as Christians can indeed and sometimes sadly do neglect it!
Why so great a Salvation? Number 1 this morning:
- The Brutality
Isaiah 52:14; 53:1-12
Here in Isaiah 52 and 53 we see the account of our Lord’s crucifixion foretold. So many times we say, almost to the point of it becoming a cliché, if you want to know how much Christ loved you, just look at the cross! My dear friend here this morning even if we picture the cross I don’t believe that even begins to tell the story of how much Christ loved us! You say what do you mean? Look at these verses again with me!
Verse 14 tells us that His vis-age, most likely His face, was mared more than any other man. Our Lord Jesus Christ was beaten so badly that He no longer even looked like a human. If we were to read the Gospel accounts we would see just how His face was beaten both with fists and with rods.
The Roman scourging inflicted upon His back after He was stripped of His clothes with His hands tied to a post above His head no doubt pulled the flesh from the body as the whip would cut into His skin each time it hit His back cutting deep tearing the skin to pieces as it was ripped from our Saviour’s back!
The swelling, bruising, and contusions from the torture inflicted upon Him left Him looking unhuman. He was abused perhaps more than any man ever was. He was spit upon, His beard plucked, He was mocked, He was condemned unjustly, and this was all before He even had to carry the almost 110 pound cross from His prison to Calvary and finally when the time came for the crucifixion He no doubt was battered, bruised, dehydrated, and exhausted!
While on the cross, He was thirsty, and was given vinegar mixed with gall. He was mocked again, His clothes gambled for! Oh my dear friend here this morning all of this brutality our Lord had to endure and trust me we’re just scratching the surface of what He went through! Think about it, our Lord Jesus Christ who we just read about, who is higher than the angels is now hanging on a cross to die beaten, bloodied, and bruised beyond all recognition!
You say well “how does this make it so great a salvation?” Because dear friends it was for us! It was for me! It was you! Our lovely Lord Jesus Christ because He had so great a love came to this sin sick earth to suffer, bleed, and die so that we could be delivered from our sins, catch that folks, our sins! Not His sins, He was sinless! He came to die for the sins of you and me and in doing so offered us so great a Salvation! The brutality of our Lord for us makes it so great a Salvation!
Why so great a Salvation? Secondly this morning:
- The Blessings
When a man, woman, boy, or girl believes on the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour, they are granted many attributes to instantly. Now, the new Believer will not be aware of many of these things until gaining some spiritual maturity and growth in the Word of God, but these blessings are theirs and regardless of their knowledge about them.
Now I did a search for the blessings of Salvation and folks, there are so many of them we could be here all day long going over them! But instead of doing that, I have chosen just a few to show us just how great a Salvation we have when we come to Christ!
- Access To God’s Grace
Ephesians 2:8, 18 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
- We Are Adopted By God
Ephesians 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Galatians 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
- We Become A Child Of God
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
- We Are Heirs Of God, Joint Heirs With Jesus
Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Galatians 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
- We Are Reconciled To God
Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
- We Get A Heavenly Citizenship
II Timothy 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Folks, these are but a few of so many blessings that we receive when we come to Christ for so great a Salvation! Now some of you may be thinking “well if we have this great Salvation, how could we possibly neglect it?!” Well that is what we see thirdly and finally here this morning, how we can sometimes even as Christians neglect so great a salvation.
- The Business
Hebrews 12:1-2 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Christian here this morning, we neglect our Salvation when we allow the business of life, the weight of life to get us off course. When we allow sin to beset us. When we become so busy with the trappings of this world, our friends, our jobs, our schooling that our Bible reading, our prayer life, our church attendance, and our service to the Lord begins to suffer. I know I’ve been wearing this verse out these last few messages but it is so needful so that we don’t neglect our Salvation and our God given gifts:
Colossians 1:18 that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Christian this morning, God has given us so great a Salvation with many blessings, many gifts, and many responsibilities. May we seek to not neglect the things that God would have us to do!