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May 9, 2018, 7:38 AM

So Great A Salvation

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

“How shall we escape [eternal punishment] if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3)

The writer of Hebrews asks a penetrating question. It is closely akin to the question asked of us by our Lord in Mark 8:36, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” At issue here is salvation and whether we will spend eternity with God or apart from Him. God has provided forgiveness and salvation to whosoever will come to Him in repentance and faith. It is the free gift of eternal life. The Scripture speaks of it as “so great” a salvation. This is God’s gracious provision for us!

While salvation is a great provision, it also comes with a great and potential peril. We will either escape or encounter that peril depending on our response to God’s gift. “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” There are three words that describe the response of every person toward the gospel: reject, accept, or neglect. Some individuals have flat-out rejected the gospel message. They have consciously and deliberately refused the gift of eternal life. Other people have accepted the free gift of eternal life offered them through Jesus Christ our Lord. They have heard the gospel message, believed it, received it by faith, repented of their sins, and trusted in His finished work to save them. Finally, some individuals see themselves in a sort of spiritual no-man’s land. They have neither rejected the gospel, nor have they accepted it. They are among the vast throng who have neglected the divine offer of salvation; they have simply put off the decision for the present. They are deceived into thinking they can merely consider the issue at another time.

The writer of Hebrews warned that our hearts can become hardened (Heb. 3:8) by such neglect of the gospel. The apostle Paul added that those who repeatedly neglect Jesus’ invitation to eternal life can “lose all sensitivity” (Eph. 4:19) to the gospel. The Greek word found here is the same from which we derive our English word callus. Every time God calls us to decide and we postpone our decision, the callus on our heart gets a bit thicker. In time, our hearts can become so hardened that there comes a time when we no longer can sense Him. That hardened heart is the great peril of neglect.

Perhaps there is someone reading these words at this very moment who would never neglect paying their bills or running their business or studying for class. Somehow, tragically, some think it is different with the spiritual matters of the soul. Hell is full of people who had good intentions of one day seriously considering and even accepting Jesus’ invitation, but they never seemed to get around to making spiritual matters a priority. God offers you and me salvation. And not just salvation, but so great a salvation! How shall we escape eternal separation if we neglect it? Only three roads lie before us. You can take the road less traveled and accept the gospel. You can take the road some travel and flat-out reject it. Or, tragically, you can continue on down the road and neglect the gospel to your own eternal peril. If so, what will it profit you, even if you gained the whole world, to lose your own soul in the end. Remember, not to decide is to decide! Call on God . . . right now! Say with Simon Peter, “Lord, save me.” For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).

Let us join in prayer: Almighty God, grant me absolution and remission for all my sins, true repentance, amendment of life and the grace and consolation of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

You are Loved!

Pastor Jason Stevens

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