060507 God Is No Fool Hebrews 2­ 1 4 Dale Wells

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A sermon on Hebrews 2:1-4 presented at Palm Desert Church of Christ (California) by Dale Wells on May 7, 2006.

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060507 God Is No Fool Hebrews 2­ 1 4 Dale Wells

  1. 1. Scripture Reading
  2. 2. Hebrews 2:1-4 NIV <ul><li>We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. (2) For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, (3) how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. (4) God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. </li></ul>
  3. 3. God is No Fool Dale Wells Palm Desert Church of Christ May 7, 2006
  4. 4. Hebrews 2:1-4 NIV <ul><li>We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. (2) For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, (3) how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. (4) God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Meet Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister, Earl of Swinton <ul><li>Served British government in various capacities as Secretary of State for Air, Minister of Civil Aviation, & Minister of Aviation, before, during and after WWII. </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Earl of Swinton flew from Liverpool to Southampton <ul><li>The only plane available was seaplane. </li></ul><ul><li>Sir Lister was about to touch down on tarmac, when the co-pilot said: “Sir, you do know this is a seaplane?” </li></ul>
  7. 7. Sir Lister pulled up, circled & landed in the waterway <ul><li>He barked: “I do know the difference between a seaplane & airplane.” </li></ul><ul><li>Then, he opened the door & stepped into the water. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Warnings: Ignore to your peril.
  9. 25. The Bible is full of warnings. <ul><li>God loves his world & wants the best for us. Therefore, he warns us about the danger of neglect & disobedience. </li></ul><ul><li>Even the OT was filled with contingent promises & warnings – offering blessings if Israel obeyed & curses if they didn’t obey. </li></ul><ul><li>There are many examples of this, all with the same theme: </li></ul>
  10. 26. Deuteronomy 11:26-28 MSG <ul><li>I've brought you today to the crossroads of Blessing and Curse. (27) The Blessing: if you listen obediently to the commandments of GOD, your God, which I command you today. (28) The Curse: if you don't pay attention to the commandments of GOD, your God, but leave the road that I command you today... </li></ul>
  11. 27. Luke 13:4-5 NLT <ul><li>(4) …what about the eighteen men who died when the Tower of Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem? (5) No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will also perish.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t worry about other people’s guilt – unless you repent, you will face a worse fate than they did. </li></ul>
  12. 28. Luke 12:16-21 NLT <ul><li>&quot;A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. (17) In fact, his barns were full to overflowing. (18) So he said, 'I know! I'll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I'll have room enough to store everything. (19) And I'll sit back and say to myself, My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!' </li></ul><ul><li>He died that night. “Let that be a warning to you against greed.” </li></ul>
  13. 29. Matthew 16:26 NLT <ul><li>And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process? Is anything worth more than your soul? </li></ul>
  14. 30. Today, we come to the first of five warnings in Hebrews <ul><li>Hebrews 2:2-3 NLT The message God delivered through angels has always proved true, and the people were punished for every violation of the law and every act of disobedience. (3) What makes us think that we can escape if we are indifferent to this great salvation that was announced by the Lord Jesus himself? </li></ul>
  15. 31. This is one of the clearest warnings in Bible <ul><li>In OT, God laid down just retribution – specified punishments for every sin. </li></ul><ul><li>Christ is God’s final word on the subject. If you neglect him & don’t listen to him, how can you hope to escape worse punishment? </li></ul><ul><li>Things to notice: </li></ul>
  16. 32. The unmistakable proof <ul><li>Hebrews 2:3b-4 MSG First of all, it was delivered in person by the Master, then accurately passed on to us by those who heard it from him. (4) All the while God was validating it with gifts through the Holy Spirit, all sorts of signs and miracles, as he saw fit. </li></ul>
  17. 33. The most fundamental question about Christian faith: “Is it true?” <ul><li>Yet, it is the one question people don’t ask. </li></ul><ul><li>Other religions sell themselves as ways to make you happy, rich, successful, satisfied, powerful, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Very rarely does a religion sell itself as “This is the truth & you can inspect it for yourself.” </li></ul><ul><li>Yet, this is what the writer says: </li></ul>
  18. 34. First taught by the Lord. <ul><li>Attested by his friends. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I heard of a lady protested Christ didn’t exist. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Q: Who invented him? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A: His disciples. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The disciples are the best witnesses. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Signs & Miracles are proof of the gospel: </li></ul>
  19. 35. His life <ul><li>John 1:18 CEV No one has ever seen God. The only Son, who is truly God and is closest to the Father, has shown us what God is like. </li></ul>
  20. 36. His teaching <ul><li>John 7:45-46 NLT The Temple guards who had been sent to arrest him returned to the leading priests and Pharisees. &quot;Why didn't you bring him in?&quot; they demanded. (46) &quot;We have never heard anyone talk like this!&quot; the guards responded. </li></ul>
  21. 37. His miracles <ul><li>John 3:1-3 NLT After dark one evening, a Jewish religious leader named Nicodemus, a Pharisee, (2) came to speak with Jesus. &quot;Teacher,&quot; he said, &quot;we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are proof enough that God is with you.&quot; (3) Jesus replied, &quot;I assure you, unless you are born again, you can never see the Kingdom of God.&quot; </li></ul>
  22. 38. In the wake of raising Lazarus: <ul><li>John 11:47-53 NLT Then the leading priests and Pharisees called the high council together to discuss the situation. &quot;What are we going to do?&quot; they asked each other. &quot;This man certainly performs many miraculous signs. (48) If we leave him alone, the whole nation will follow him, and then the Roman army will come and destroy both our Temple and our nation.&quot; (49) And one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said, &quot;How can you be so stupid? (50) Why should the whole nation be destroyed? Let this one man die for the people.&quot; </li></ul>
  23. 39. In the wake of raising Lazarus: <ul><li>(51) This prophecy that Jesus should die for the entire nation came from Caiaphas in his position as high priest. He didn't think of it himself; he was inspired to say it. (52) It was a prediction that Jesus' death would be not for Israel only, but for the gathering together of all the children of God scattered around the world. (53) So from that time on the Jewish leaders began to plot Jesus' death. John 11:47-53 NLT </li></ul>
  24. 40. His resurrection. <ul><li>John 2:19-22 NLT &quot;All right,&quot; Jesus replied. &quot;Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.&quot; (20) &quot;What!&quot; they exclaimed. &quot;It took forty-six years to build this Temple, and you can do it in three days?&quot; (21) But by &quot;this temple,&quot; Jesus meant his body. (22) After he was raised from the dead, the disciples remembered that he had said this. And they believed both Jesus and the Scriptures. </li></ul>
  25. 41. How do you know the resurrection occurred? <ul><li>The best proof is the existence of Christianity! </li></ul><ul><li>Seven weeks after the crucifixion, Jesus’ disciples preached that he had been raised from the dead. </li></ul><ul><li>Not only that, but they preached it in the very city in which he had been crucified. </li></ul><ul><li>All anyone would have had to do to kill Christianity that day would be to produce the body of Jesus! </li></ul>
  26. 42. Acts 2:22-36 NLT <ul><li>&quot;People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus of Nazareth by doing wonderful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know. (23) But you followed God's prearranged plan. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to the cross and murdered him. (24) However, God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life again, for death could not keep him in its grip. (25) King David said this about him: 'I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. (26) No wonder my heart is filled with joy, and my mouth shouts his praises! My body rests in hope. (27) For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave. (28) You have shown me the way of life, and you will give me wonderful joy in your presence.' </li></ul>
  27. 43. Acts 2:22-36 NLT <ul><li>(29) &quot;Dear brothers, think about this! David wasn't referring to himself when he spoke these words I have quoted, for he died and was buried, and his tomb is still here among us. (30) But he was a prophet, and he knew God had promised with an oath that one of David's own descendants would sit on David's throne as the Messiah. (31) David was looking into the future and predicting the Messiah's resurrection. He was saying that the Messiah would not be left among the dead and that his body would not rot in the grave. </li></ul>
  28. 44. Acts 2:22-36 NLT <ul><li>(32) &quot;This prophecy was speaking of Jesus, whom God raised from the dead, and we all are witnesses of this. (33) Now he sits on the throne of highest honor in heaven, at God's right hand. And the Father, as he had promised, gave him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see and hear today. (34) For David himself never ascended into heaven, yet he said, 'The LORD said to my Lord, Sit in honor at my right hand (35) until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.' (36) So let it be clearly known by everyone in Israel that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified to be both Lord and Messiah!&quot; </li></ul>
  29. 45. What happened to the body? <ul><li>Authorities? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why didn’t they produce it? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Disciples? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hypocrites and martyrs are not made of the same stuff! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Resurrection! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth! </li></ul></ul>
  30. 46. It is rarely intellectual objections that lead people to reject Christ. <ul><li>It is not that they cannot believe Christ, but that they cannot face the consequences Christ demands in their lives. </li></ul><ul><li>God has given us these signs to show us that Christ is true. He wants to remove any obstacles to finding the truth. </li></ul><ul><li>If we don’t turn to Christ, it is not God’s fault. He has given us all the evidence we need. </li></ul>
  31. 47. The incomparable act <ul><li>This great salvation that Christ bought for us is the supreme sign of God’s love for us. </li></ul><ul><li>What does it mean to be saved? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To be rescued from a fate that we deserve. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>People rescued from accidents, crimes, disasters, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This rescue was of a different order. It was a greater rescue. </li></ul></ul>
  32. 48. God rescued us from guilt. <ul><li>Hebrews 10:1-4 NLT The old system in the law of Moses was only a shadow of the things to come, not the reality of the good things Christ has done for us. The sacrifices under the old system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. (2) If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared. (3) But just the opposite happened. Those yearly sacrifices reminded them of their sins year after year. (4) For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. </li></ul>
  33. 49. God rescued us from guilt. <ul><li>Acts 13:38-39 NLT &quot;Brothers, listen! In this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins. (39) Everyone who believes in him is freed from all guilt and declared right with God-something the Jewish law could never do. </li></ul><ul><li>Christ came so we would never have to feel guilty again. </li></ul>
  34. 50. God rescued us from death. <ul><li>Hebrews 2:14-15 NLT Because God's children are human beings-made of flesh and blood-Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death. (15) Only in this way could he deliver those who have lived all their lives as slaves to the fear of dying. </li></ul><ul><li>What does God have to say about death? Is there life after death? </li></ul><ul><li>Christ sets us free from death & his resurrection is the proof of that. </li></ul>
  35. 51. God rescued us from hell. <ul><li>Hebrews 2:2-3 NIV For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, (3) how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. </li></ul><ul><li>The implication is that if we do neglect that salvation, judgment awaits us. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hell & judgment not popular, but they are the clear, unequivocal teaching of NT. </li></ul></ul>
  36. 52. God rescued us from hell. <ul><li>Hebrews 9:27-28 NIV Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, (28) so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. </li></ul><ul><li>When people complain about judgment, they forget that God has done everything in his power to spare us from it. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>He sent Christ, he gave us the Bible, he gives us warning after warning. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If any of us face the consequences for our rejection of Christ, it is not God’s fault! He has done everything to prevent it. </li></ul></ul>
  37. 53. C.S. Lewis: <ul><li>“ In the long run, the answer to all those who object to the doctrine of hell is itself a question. What are they expecting God to do? To wipe out their past sins at all costs? To give them a fresh start, smoothing every difficulty, offering every miraculous help? But he has done so on Calvary! To forgive them? They will not be forgiven! To leave them alone? Alas! I am afraid that is just what he does.” </li></ul>
  38. 54. The unavoidable choice <ul><li>The word is not “reject”, “refuse” or “despise”: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hebrews 2:3 NASB how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hebrews 2:3 NIV how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hebrews 2:3 ALT how will we escape having disregarded so great a salvation? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hebrews 2:3 GNB How, then, shall we escape if we pay no attention to such a great salvation? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hebrews 2:3 NLT What makes us think that we can escape if we are indifferent to this great salvation that was announced by the Lord Jesus himself? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The opposite of acceptance is indifference! </li></ul>
  39. 55. God has won our salvation. What chance have we got if we ignore it? <ul><li>Hebrews 2:1 NIV We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Drift” is a metaphor of a boat inadequately moored. Okay in calm weather, but when storm comes, it drifts away & becomes lost. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>People who do not grasp hold of Christ eventually drift away </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If we are indifferent, we will drift away from, never towards, Christ. </li></ul></ul>
  40. 56. Herod, John the Baptist & the daughter of Herodias. <ul><li>Mark 6:17-28 NIV For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, whom he had married. (18) For John had been saying to Herod, &quot;It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife.&quot; (19) So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, (20) because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him. </li></ul>
  41. 57. Herod, John the Baptist & the daughter of Herodias. <ul><li>(21) Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. (22) When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests. The king said to the girl, &quot;Ask me for anything you want, and I'll give it to you.&quot; (23) And he promised her with an oath, &quot;Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.“ (24) She went out and said to her mother, &quot;What shall I ask for?&quot; &quot;The head of John the Baptist,&quot; she answered. </li></ul>
  42. 58. Herod, John the Baptist & the daughter of Herodias. <ul><li>(25) At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: &quot;I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter.&quot; (26) The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. (27) So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John's head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, (28) and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. </li></ul><ul><li>Because Herod had not decided for John, he ultimately decided against him. </li></ul>
  43. 59. God has done everything he can. <ul><li>If we neglect him, we have to face the eternal consequences, and it’s not God’s fault. </li></ul><ul><li>Acts 2:37-41 NLT Peter's words convicted them deeply, and they said to him and to the other apostles, &quot;Brothers, what should we do?&quot; (38) Peter replied, &quot;Each of you must turn from your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (39) This promise is to you and to your children, and even to the Gentiles-all who have been called by the Lord our God.&quot; (40) Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, &quot;Save yourselves from this generation that has gone astray!&quot; (41) Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church-about three thousand in all. </li></ul>
  44. 60. What must I do to be saved? <ul><li>Acts 16:30-34 GNB Then he led them out and asked, &quot;Sirs, what must I do to be saved?&quot; (31) They answered, &quot;Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved---you and your family.&quot; (32) Then they preached the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in the house. (33) At that very hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; and he and all his family were baptized at once. (34) Then he took Paul and Silas up into his house and gave them some food to eat. He and his family were filled with joy, because they now believed in God. </li></ul><ul><li>What happened between Paul’s answer and the resultant faith? </li></ul>
  45. 61. What must I do to be saved? <ul><li>Acts 16:30-34 GNB Then he led them out and asked, &quot;Sirs, what must I do to be saved?&quot; (31) They answered, &quot;Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved---you and your family.&quot; (32) Then they preached the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in the house. (33) At that very hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; and he and all his family were baptized at once. (34) Then he took Paul and Silas up into his house and gave them some food to eat. He and his family were filled with joy, because they now believed in God. </li></ul><ul><li>Romans 10:17 NIV … faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. </li></ul>
  46. 62. What must I do to be saved? <ul><li>Acts 16:30-34 GNB Then he led them out and asked, &quot;Sirs, what must I do to be saved?&quot; (31) They answered, &quot;Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved---you and your family.&quot; (32) Then they preached the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in the house. (33) At that very hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds ; and he and all his family were baptized at once. (34) Then he took Paul and Silas up into his house and gave them some food to eat. He and his family were filled with joy, because they now believed in God. </li></ul><ul><li>2 Corinthians 7:10 NIV Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. </li></ul>
  47. 63. What must I do to be saved? <ul><li>Acts 16:30-34 GNB Then he led them out and asked, &quot;Sirs, what must I do to be saved?&quot; (31) They answered, &quot;Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved---you and your family.&quot; (32) Then they preached the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in the house. (33) At that very hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; and he and all his family were baptized at once. (34) Then he took Paul and Silas up into his house and gave them some food to eat. He and his family were filled with joy, because they now believed in God. </li></ul><ul><li>Acts 2:37-38 NRSV Peter said to them, &quot;Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. </li></ul>
  48. 64. What must I do to be saved? <ul><li>It is clear from the text that “believing” in Jesus is the same as “believing” in God. So much for the doctrine of those who believe that Jesus is not God in the flesh! </li></ul><ul><li>It is also clear from the text that – for the jailer and his family – “believing” included: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hearing the gospel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Repenting of their sins </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Baptism into Christ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Only after they had done all those things does the text say “they now believed in God”. </li></ul>
  49. 65. What must I do to be lost? <ul><li>NOTHING! </li></ul><ul><li>Christ is our only hope! </li></ul>
  50. 66. God is No Fool – Lois Cheney <ul><li>They say that God has infinite patience. And that is a great comfort. </li></ul><ul><li>They say God is always there, And that is a deep satisfaction. </li></ul><ul><li>They say that God will always take you back, And I get lazy in that certitude. </li></ul><ul><li>They say that God never gives up, And I count on that. </li></ul><ul><li>They say you can go away for years and years, And he'll be there, waiting, when you come back. </li></ul><ul><li>They say you can make mistake after mistake, And God will always forgive and forget. </li></ul>
  51. 67. God is No Fool – Lois Cheney <ul><li>They say lots of things, These people who never read the Old Testament. </li></ul><ul><li>There comes a time, A definite, for sure time, When God turns around. </li></ul><ul><li>I don't believe God shed his skin When Christ brought in the New Testament; </li></ul><ul><li>Christ showed us a new side of God, And it is truly wonderful </li></ul><ul><li>But he didn't change God. </li></ul><ul><li>God remains forever and ever </li></ul><ul><li>And that God … </li></ul><ul><li>Is … </li></ul><ul><li>No … </li></ul><ul><li>Fool! </li></ul>
  52. 68. Hebrews 2:3 NLT <ul><li>What makes us think that we can escape if we are indifferent to this great salvation that was announced by the Lord Jesus himself? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you care, or are you indifferent? </li></ul><ul><li>If you care … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are you going to do about it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are you waiting for? </li></ul></ul>

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