“Therefore we must give the more earnest heed [all the more careful attention] 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 with various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His will?” Hebrews 2: 1-4
As Christians, we base our beliefs and world view on what has been revealed by our Creator, and not on what we have observed in this physical world, nor on what has been presented to us from other men’s observations of the physical world or from other men’s wisdom. We know that the wisdom of men is foolishness to God and that He has even chosen the things that are considered foolish to men to present His truth and wisdom.
As Christians we also understand that God has prepared His revelation carefully and specifically throughout the ages, revealing Himself first to Abraham, with whom He established an initial covenant or special relationship, and then established the nation of Israel, His chosen people through Abraham’s grandson Jacob (renamed Israel). God carefully, and in His timing, revealed truths to this chosen people through His prophets and had them record these truths, in detail, in the Scriptures. God raised up Moses, who recorded the first 5 books of the Bible, and who also received the covenant of the law on Mt. Sinai (apparently from angels as referenced in the above quoted verse from Hebrews 2).
Throughout these revelations to His people, God mentioned a coming savior or deliverer, or messiah (meaning the anointed one). The Greek word for anointed one is “Christos”, translated in English as “Christ”. God’s final and ultimate revelation came in the form of a man, His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The writer of the book of Hebrews says it this way (at the beginning of the book):
“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” Hebrews 1: 1-4
God, in His wisdom and greatness, not only sent Jesus to correct the fall of man from Adam’s sin, that is, to redeem and justify us, restoring our relationship with Him and our position as His children, but He also revealed His very nature in Jesus. The revised standard version of the Bible translates Hebrew’s 1:3 this way:
“He [Jesus] reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of His nature”
Consider the extreme value that is contained in the Biblical record of the life and teachings of Jesus. They have as their source the very nature of our Creator and heavenly Father. They reflect His desires and attitudes and emotions, or His personality. In them are the keys for how to please Him. Men who walked with Jesus communicated this information either by directly recording their experiences or by telling others who later recorded them, but all of this directed and “inspired” by the Holy Spirit.
Even Paul the apostle, who wrote a large portion of the New Testament of the Bible, received the Gospel “through the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
“But I make known to you brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Gal. 1: 11-12
And this from Paul in 2 Corinthians:
“I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: I know a man (Paul talking of himself) in Christ who fourteen years ago – whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows – such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man – whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows – how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” 2 Cor. 12: 1-4
I believe that Paul met and spoke to Jesus face to face and has communicated that knowledge to us in his writings in the Scriptures, also under the anointing and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible is very clear and explicit that whoever rejects the revelation of Jesus in unbelief has condemned themselves. From the words of Jesus in the Gospel of John:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he had not believed the only begotten Son of God.” John 3: 16-18
This is God’s business and not ours. He will deal with the people around the world and is able to present to them in His time the truth about Jesus, for them to accept and believe or to reject. As to the people who may not hear the Gospel message of Jesus, again this is God’s business and the judgment of them is in His hands. I believe that He is able to present the truth of the Good News of Jesus to whomever He wants, when and wherever He wants.
As Christians we are instructed to judge those who claim to be Christians, making sure that they are in the truth and walking in holiness.
“I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner – not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore, put away from yourselves every evil person.” 1 Cor. 5: 9-13.
And also consider this test from John:
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the anti-christ, which you have heard was coming and is now already in the world.” 1 John 4: 1-3
“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ if born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.” 1 John 5:1
Hopefully you are one who has believed and accepted the message of Jesus, and are living as a true Christian.
As true Christians, we must ask ourselves this question: have we neglected the revelation of this great salvation (as the writer of Hebrews warns)?
“….how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation….” Heb. 2: 3
Hopefully you have agreed with me regarding the value and importance of this revelation. If we have truly recognized the value, how is it that we don’t really pay enough careful attention to it. I am guilty myself in this area. We must honestly examine ourselves to see if we spend enough of our time immersed in these teachings of Jesus that reflect the very nature of our Creator. Or if we spend enough time studying the principles and revelations that were communicated from Jesus to Paul regarding the salvation for the Gentiles (non-Jews). (We have not been raised as the religious Jews were at that time. I don’t even think that most modern Jews have the same fullness of understanding that they had then when they practiced the full worship in the temple of Jerusalem with animal sacrifices etc.)
I do not want to end my life here on earth and regret that I did not do my expected diligence regarding this great salvation as revealed in the Scriptures. I don’t want to stand before the Lord and find out that I have “drifted away” due to my negligence.
We also have the Holy Spirit to help us understand the Scriptural truths and to guide us in the Word. Reading or listening to the teachings of men, even Christian men, does not substitute for direct absorption of the revelation from its source, the Bible.
I urge you therefore to study to show yourself approved to God, as Paul urged Timothy:
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim. 2:15
Don’t let the things of this world distract you. The truths contained in the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ have eternal value. Don’t be deceived by the false substitutes claiming to be revelations from God. There is no other message but what has been established by God in His Word regarding the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I leave you with these words from Jesus regarding Himself:
“Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, He will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. “ John 10: 7-10
Let’s not neglect this abundant life that has been freely given to us through the Great Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ.