Monday, January 23, 2017

HEBREWS 2:1: A MESSAGE OF SALVATION AND OBEDIENCE TO CHRISTIANS

Heb 2:1-3
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;
Regarding these verses of scripture, Holman NKJV Study Bible Study Note contributor, Malcolm B. Yarnell III, of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, D. Phil., University of Oxford, says this (italics and bold face mine):
"He warned his readers about the dangers of slipping away from participating in the gospel mission by standing on the sidelines as God's plan for history moves forward."
How in the world....??
Even if we treat this verse of scripture as a stand alone, I am at a loss to understand where that explanation comes from.
But no verse of scripture stands alone!
The Epistle (or "letter") to the Hebrews is undoubtedly written to Christians. Initially, early Christians who may have been converts from Judaism, but were undoubtedly familiar with the Old Testament is a certainty.
However, If there is any doubt the previous verses refer to the possibility of losing salvation,  continue reading this letter to a Christian church (in case we forget, this is a continuous letter that was not initially sectioned off into chapters and verses):
Hebrews 3:7-19
7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, 8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. 10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. 11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) 12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; 15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. 16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. 17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

In verse 12, the word translated into "take heed", is translated into the word "beware" in the NKJV. This Greek word really means to understand, perceive, discern with both our physical and spiritual eyes (understanding).
The Lord lays the case out in black and white so we can biblically and  historically see God's hand in judgment of His people. Our first reaction should be one of "Oh, I see." 
When we strive to obtain Spiritual discernment, our reaction should be one of " OOOOOHHHHHH, now I See!"

The word "departing" in Heb 3:12 means:
from Strong's:
aphistēmi- verb
to remove, that is, (actively) instigate to revolt; usually (reflexively) to desist, desert, etc.: - depart, draw (fall) away, refrain, withdraw self.
Thayer's definition:
to make stand off, cause to withdraw, to remove; to excite to revolt; to stand off, to stand aloof; to go away, to depart from anyone; to desert, withdraw from one; to fall away, become faithless; to shun, flee from; to cease to vex one; to withdraw one's self from, to fall away; to keep one's self from, absent one's self from
The word, meaning and context is exactly the same as in 1 Timothy 4:1:

1Timothy 
4:1
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
and
Luk 8:13
They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
In 2 Thessalonian 2:3, The Lord confirms the same warning, but a different word in Greek is used:
2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

falling away:
 from the Greek:
apostasia- noun defection from (the state of) truth, apostasy, falling away, forsake.
apostasy (dictionary.com):
total desertion of or departure from one's religion, principles, party, cause, etc..

These are not words synonymous with someone who " never really believed"!
As I always say, you can't forsake a marriage if you were never married to someone. How can someone divorce you, if you never knew the person? Neither can you divorce someone with whom you were only pretending to be married to!
"No, judge, we 
 never met, but I want a divorce and financial support!"
What I did not knew until today, is that the word apostacia, our word for apostasy,  comes from the greek word for divorce, apostasion
Thayer Definition:
divorce, repudiation, a bill of divorce
The contrast is a simple one when you read the scriptures, utilize a Greek/Hebrew dictionary, and seek His Spirit's guidance in understanding.
 The Old Testament Israel had blessings and curses for their obedience and disobedience. The Lord expected their obedience based on the testimony they received. We, as the true, spiritual Israel, have blessings and judgment based on our obedience and disobedience. However, our disobedience will be judged more harshly because we have a better testimony than the one old testament Israel received. They fell away and did not enter His rest, the then Promised Land, and the same thing applies to us, with the understanding that the rest God is truly talking about is a spiritual one. Salvation

Heb 3:14 
 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

God's word is clear. Scripturally, you can be joined to the Lord, saved, and willingly give up or lose your salvation.
We need to abide in Christ and the faith, and endure in righteousness and obedience from our hearts until the end.
I BELIEVE WE ARE IN THE LAST DAYS AND ARE NOW EXPERIENCING THE BEGINNING OF THE GREAT FALLING AWAY!
There is no way the 2016 presidential candidates could have received the Christian support that they have, unless people's hearts and minds are not with God in Christ!
THE QUESTION IS NOT NOR WILL IT BE " DO YOU KNOW JESUS CHRIST OR THE GOSPEL MESSAGE".
IT IS NOT A MATTER OF HOW "GOOD" OR "MORAL" YOU BELIEVE YOURSELF TO BE! THAT'S VERY SUBJECTIVE AND RELATIVE.
THE MATTER WILL BE, IF YOU KNEW AND BELIEVED THE GOSPEL MESSAGE, AND  HOW OBEDIENT AND FAITHFUL IS/WAS YOUR LIFE?? GOD IS CALLING HIS PEOPLE INTO ACCOUNTABILITY!

If you don't know Jesus Christ, the BIBLICAL Jesus Christ, is it because of how you perceive the actions of "christians"?
Can I tell you that God will not accept that as an excuse? In this age of internet, EVERYONE can have access to the bible (I suggest the King James Version). I think it is the grace and mercy of God,  because of the last days we are living in, access to The Bible is within mostly all people fingertips. He wants all people to have the opportunity to come to Christ and receive His gift of eternal life with Him! 
2Peter 3:9 
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

I ask you to consider John 3:16-17.
John 3:16-17
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

God wants EVERYONE equally to understand and receive Him regardless of who you are or where you are in life. He gives wisdom, knowledge, peace and strength to all equally so that everyone has the same opportunity to learn of Him and grow in Him! 

James 1:5  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not [doesn't keep back] ; and it shall be given him.

So,  if it's the God and Jesus Christ of the Bible you want to understand, then it is to the Bible you must go to understand Him. You can't go to the "god of nature" and ask that spirit to give you understanding of the God of creation that reveals Himself and His word through the Bible!