Final thoughts on Hebrews 2:1-4
Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? NKJV
Hebrews, chapter one, makes the case that Jesus is the Messiah. Chapter two begins with the word, therefore, meaning since or because. Since Jesus is the Messiah, this (the exhortation of our text) is what we need to do; this is how we are to respond. In these four verses, we see three necessary responses to Jesus the Messiah.
First, we need to keep our focus on Jesus lest we drift away (v. 1, Heb. 12:2-3). One of the great Biblical doctrines of the Christian faith is the preservation and perseverance of the saints. That God preserves His Saints in their salvation can be clearly seen in passages such as John 6:37-39, 10:27-30; Philippians 1:6; and I Peter 1:5, and in Baptist circles we commonly quite such verses to defend the Biblical teaching of the eternal security of the believer. However, the other side of this coin is the perseverance or endurance of the saints. Sadly, in Baptist circles, we often have a tendency to emphasize the preservation of the saints with little or no emphasis on the perseverance of the saints. Often professing Christians, who otherwise show no evidence of conversion and spiritual regeneration in their lives, are passed off as backslidden without admitting the much more likely truth that they have never been born again, and are in fact, unsaved. The scriptures plainly teach that once a person has truly been born again, and is in fact saved, that he or she will indeed persevere in the Christian faith (Job 17:9, Matt. 24:13, Col. 1:22-23), and that if they drift away from the Christian faith, they were never saved to begin with (I Jn. 2:19). In verse one of our text, the Lord is calling for self-examination of our personal doctrine and lives in light of what the Scripture declares to be true about the perseverance of a Christian (II Cor. 5:17, 13:5).
Second, if God was serious regarding the consequences of disobeying His laws, how much more serious is His charge to trust Christ and be saved. God gave the law to Moses on Mt. Sinai through angels (v.2; Psa. 68:17; Acts 7:38, 53; Gal. 3:19), and every time the Jews broke God’s laws, they paid the penalty for doing so (v.3); and ultimately the penalty for breaking God’s law is still being paid by every person on earth (Rom. 3:23, 6:23). If God did not spare those who broke His laws, how much more will He bring condemnation on those who reject His commandment to repent of their sin and trust Christ as their personal Savior (v. 3; II Thess. 1:7-9; Jn. 3:16-18).
Third, God has born witness of the truth that Jesus is the Messiah. When the Apostles began preaching that a Jew from Nazareth, who had been condemned as a criminal and crucified, had been raised from the dead and was, in fact, the Messiah, why should their listeners have believed their message? The answer is; because God bore witness with signs, wonders, miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit that what they taught was indeed the truth, and that Jesus was the Messiah and Savior (v.4). The Jews from all parts of the Roman empire who came to the feast of Pentecost in Jerusalem saw the miraculous tongues of flame that rested on the heads of the Apostles and heard them speak in languages that they could not possibly have known (Acts 2:3-12). They recognized that this miracle was done in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy (Acts 2:16-18, I Cor. 14:21), and as a result, they believed the Apostles’ message that Jesus was indeed the Messiah and Savior. Later on, when the multitudes saw the miracles that Phillip did, they believed his message about Jesus. When the Jews saw Peter raise Tabitha from the dead, they too believed on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 9:42). When Paul, through the power of God, struck Elymas the sorcerer blind, the Proconsul, who bore witness of the miracle, believed that what Paul taught was in fact of the Lord (Acts 13:12). In Romans 15:19, the Apostle Paul states that his preaching of the gospel of Christ was verified by God through mighty signs and wonders.
Of course, the greatest miracle of all, the resurrection of Jesus, was seen by over 500 people at one time (I Cor. 15:6), and the empty tomb is still there to prove that Jesus, the Messiah, lives. Have you repented of your sins, and trusted the resurrected Jesus as your personal Savior?