Heb.2: 1 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.
2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;
3 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;
4 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?
First began to be spoken by the Lord.
What was this Great Salvation that was first began to be spoken by the lord.
In Mark.1: 14 -15, we are told.. “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel”.
So we can see that what Jesus began both to speak first is the message of the kingdom.
It is evident that though John the Baptist went before our Lord to prepare his way, it cannot be properly said that he preached the Gospel; Just as Christ’s preaching was only the very beginning of the great proclamation of this great message
Essentially it was the Spirit of Christ in the Apostles and Evangelists, the men who heard him preach, that opened the whole mystery of the kingdom of heaven to the rest of mankind, especially in the land of Judea as the Father confirmed their words with signs and wonders following that declaration.
So then we read of the Lord bearing them witness and confirming their words with signs following as in …
Mark. 16:19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
20 And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following”
The Lord working with them]. This is a twofold dimension of operations which is both internal and external. On the Internal level, we have the illuminating of the Apostles minds, convincing them of the truth, and establishing them in it. On the external level, was the conveyance of their words to the souls of men that heard it, by the demonstration of the Holy Ghost;and so convincing them of sin.
This Co-operation of God is so indispensable in every minister’s life, as it guarantees the success of the preacher; and the saving of every soul hearing the word…
“ 1 Tim.4: 16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”
So we found that the words of Mark 16: 17“ And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues” ….was confirmed in them as they preached the message that Jesus first began to preach and teach.
It is said of Paul and Barnabas…
Acts 14:1 And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.
2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.
3 Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
What then was the Great Salvation that we ought not to neglect?
How shall we escape.Heb.2:3] This is simply a comparison of the old covenant of Moses and that of the New with Christ, and the privileges associated with both, but with the fact that the privileges of the New cannot be compared to that of the few of the Old.
The old was ministered in diverse manners by God through the prophets and angels to the people of Israel,and it was seen that failing to uphold these precepts ends up in one’s destruction.
Now, this Great Salvation mentioned here is the whole system of Christianity, as revealed in and through the message of the kingdom with all the privileges it confers on the recipient of the message.It is properly called a salvation, because, the message brought such an abundance of heavenly and greater light into the world, thereby saving or delivering men from the kingdom of darkness, ignorance, error, superstition, and idolatry; and again providing all the required means to free man from the power, guilt, and contamination of sin.
It is such a great Salvation when compared to that which was given to the Jews in this wise
- While the old covenant was sort of provided for the Jews alone; the Christian dispensation of the kingdom message under Christ is universal.
- The Old Testament was full of significant types and ceremonies; the Christian era is the substance of all those types and shadows. 3. The Jewish order was chiefly concerned with the outward state of man-washings and external cleansing of the flesh, it never ministered to the heart; But the Christian Era, deals with the inward state of man,-purifying the heart and soul, and purging the believers conscience from dead works of ceremonies and religion to live of the life of God.
- While the Jewish dispensation promised temporal happiness based mostly on material things; the Christian-kingdom dispensation is spiritually based first on a foundation for material good things.,
- The old order belonged chiefly to a time frame; but the Christian-kingdom Era is for eternity.
- The Jewish age had its glory, which is also a fading one; but nothing compared to the exceeding glory of the Gospel 2 Cor.3: 5:18.
- Moses the servant of God was the administrator of the Old, (Heb.3:1+); Jesus Christ, the Creator, Governor, and Saviour of the world, is the author of the New.
- It is evident that describing the greatness of this salvation, which is by far higher than the old order, is beyond human comprehension, which no tongue or the pen of man can describe. Because it encompasses the work and intents of God in the redemption and the placement of man in the place of dominion on the Earth once again. The message of God’s domain and rule on the earth is truly that of a great salvation.
Now, the word is “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation”
Get this right, with the fewer privileges given to the people of the old order, ministered to them as God spoke in divers manners by angels and prophets, if they fall under the displeasure of their maker, they received a just punishment for it; how shall we escape the wrath to the uttermost if we neglect the salvation provided for us, and proclaimed to us by the Son of God?
Their offence was high; ours, indescribably higher. You may ask how? Because in the first place, you will miss out on all the privileges of the New order in Christ. You will rob yourself of the God-son relationship and the dominion that the Father has provided for his own in the new dispensation.
Take a look at these words of John by the Spirit.
2 John 9 “For if you wander beyond the teaching of Christ, you will leave God behind; while if you are loyal to Christ’s teachings, you will have God too. Then you will have both the Father and the Son.
10 If anyone comes to teach you, and he doesn’t believe what Christ taught, don’t even invite him into your home. Don’t encourage him in any way. 11 If you do, you will be a partner with him in his wickedness”. TLB.
Can you see the gravity of not adhering to the message Jesus preached which is the great Salvation? Firstly, here you will leave God behind, meaning you will not be at walk with God in life. You might be leaving behind the Father being with you and in you.
You see Jesus puts it in another way..John.14: 23 “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him”
By implication in keeping with the word of God, you have the Father and the son come to make their residence in you. You truly become the dwelling place of God and the son. Therefore in neglecting the great salvation, you rejects God’s offer of you becoming His dwelling place.
When Paul wrote to the Ephesians “ Eph.2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:”
It doesn’t mean that they were not existing as human beings on earth, but that they were not enjoying the privilege’s and benefits the Father had for the Israelites because they were not in that covenant. So to be alive without the Father is not to enjoy his privileges and true fellowship with him.
John went further to state that, if you support those who do not believe and will not continue with the message of the great salvation,-the message of the kingdom, that you are supporting evil, because that itself is an act of unbelief. And God referred to such rebellion as evil heart of unbelief. One of the major reasons Israel could not enter the Promised Land, which is their rest as provided for by God. In other words, we lose our rest in Christ. Now we can see why there are so many struggles today within the body of Christ to either please God or live the Christian life, even the harder pursuit of materials things which ought to follow the believer instead?
So how do we neglect this great Salvation today?
We can see it from the way Israel, Judea neglected their giving privileges that the Father gave them by sending the Christ and the Apostles to them first with signs and wonders. They opposed or persecuted the carriers of this message, the Apostles. They paid no regard to it; they tried to get it mixed up with the old, they did not concern themselves about it, and so not laying it to heart, and as a result, they never got their hearts changed by it.
What was the outcome of these attitudes of theirs towards the message; they could not escape the coming judgments of God on Jerusalem in AD 70. You must understand that this Book of Hebrews was primarily written to the Jews, those in Judea. And it was written between AD 63-67.
This neglect of the message and the after effect of it, is what led to Jesus tears over Jerusalem in..
Math 23: 37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!. When he foresaw the judgment that was coming on Jerusalem in Mathew 24, i.e. her destruction in AD 70.
Now, notice that this destruction that came upon them as neglecting the great salvation was not merely because they opposed his will and commandment, which is the message that he provided for their deliverance, but because they sin against the very cause and means of their deliverance, that is the message and the messengers of the message. This message was the only remedy by which their diseased souls through Adam could be saved, and have them protected from external aggressions, therefore in their refusal to apply that one remedy to themselves by faith, they must necessarily perish. And this is what happened to them in AD 70.
The great Salvation message therefore is the kingdom message and this is what the Father really intends us to preach and declare for the emancipation of mankind and to establish his rule on the earth as it was in Eden. With this, God can truly have a family again on the earth through whom he can not only rule but through whom he can express will on the face of the earth. And so fulfilling the prayer. ..Math.6: 9 “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven”.
(c) 2015 – Dr. David O. Ogaga