Wednesday, July 27, 2016

What Slipped?

bible (1)
Last Sunday we had a visiting preacher, Chesford Carr. You can pick up a couple of his sermons online. I won’t try to cover what he did Sunday morning – there was much more than I can fit into this space. Just know that we began in Hebrews and looked at several other verses.

The admonition in Hebrews 2:1 caught my attention early on:

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. (Hebrews 2:1 KJV)

It’s a well-known English idiom that we are capable of letting things slip away from us, but the Greek παραῤῥυέω carries that same concept of being swept by or missing. The thought is also shown as:
lest the salvation which these things heard show us how to obtain, slip away from us
That thought is continued in the next two verses:

For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; 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; (Hebrews 2:2-3 KJV)

We have all had opportunities slip by us. I won’t even go into examples because I know that some of mine are similar to some of yours. We let time slip by, too. We’ve lost contact with people we care about simply because time passed and we let that contact slip.

But what does happen if we let these things we’ve heard about God, about Jesus, about His followers, about His message – what happens if we let this slip away from us? What happens if we do neglect so great salvation?

That determines how we will spend eternity, if God is real and eternity exists. If it doesn’t, there is no difference. We could do as Nero did and allow our world to burn. We could do as Hitler did and be the worst example of mankind for generations – until someone else came along, but it wouldn’t matter. Philosophers, prophets, intellectuals and the most common of mankind have spent time on that question. Belief is a very personal matter.

I believe God does exist, has existed before time began and will exist after time ceases. I believe God created the universe we see and the spiritual world beyond it. I believe what we do makes a difference here and in God’s kingdom (which is a very poor manmade word to describe eternity.) I believe what we do here, determines what we do there.

I believe God inspired Paul to describe what does happen:

For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (1 Corinthians 3:9-15 KJV)

I am not the least bit interested in what you build – I’m concentrating on being certain on the foundation, which goes back to part of yesterday’s thought from Matthew 7:24-27.

We’ve heard, haven’t we? What have we let slip?

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