Drifting away

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I've been memorizing Hebrews 2:1-3. Verse 3 is familiar to many of us: "How then will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation...."

What we may not remember so clearly are verses one and two:

"For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard so that we do not drift away from it. For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?"

Those warned in verse 3 are not naive to the Gospel, they are men and women who've heard, embraced, and then begun to drift away from the gospel of Jesus Christ. We think verse 3 warns those we present the Gospel to. No. It warns those who present the Gospel.

Are we drifting? Drifters? Those who heard the message with eagerness and shot up only to become barren?

Why is it a challenge to live in the wonder of salvation? We began our Christian lives in such joy. We saw sins defeated, read the Word with delight and prayed with enormous expectation of answers. But somewhere along the way the equation altered. We became reenamored of the world. We began to drift from moorings in Christ. Our preaching went from the glory of salvation and eternity to the implications of the Gospel for earthly lives, with Heaven and Hell mere afterthoughts. 

Over time, salvation, damnation and the rest of the Gospel's glories became servants to earthly standing. We began by running from the world to Christ, eager to escape the world's chains, willing to endure its contempt, only to turn around and make Christ a servant to earthly standing, earthly flourishing. Esau has modern rivals. There's a corner reserved for Esau in every preacher's heart, I fear.

(DB)