Discussion Guide - Don't Neglect a Great Salvation (Hebrews 2:1-4)
Monday: Hebrews 2:1-4
Tuesday: Hebrews 2:1; Mark 8:34-37; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Wednesday: Hebrews 2:2; Acts 7:53; Galatians 3:19
Thursday: Hebrews 2:2-3; Leviticus 10:1-2; Numbers 16:1:3, 32-33
Friday: Hebrews 2:4; Acts 2:22-24; 3:1-10
The Son’s message brings greater rewards for obedience and greater judgment for disobedience.
Everything the author has been saying about the Son’s superiority to angels has been building to 2:1 – “Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.”
Hebrews was written to weary Christians who were tempted to turn away from Jesus. Because of this, it contains several “warning passages”. In this first warning passage (2:1-4), the author warns believers that turning away from Jesus doesn’t always happen suddenly and visibly. Rather, it can happen so slowly that we’re not even aware it’s happening. The language of drifting conjures up the image of a boat slowly drifting away from the shore. Because drifting from Jesus can happen in ways we’re not even aware of, we’re told to keep constant attention on the gospel message.
Verses 2-4 reinforce the command of verse 1. According to Scripture, when God gave Moses and the Israelites the Law at Sinai, he delivered it through angels (see Galatians 3:19; Acts 7:53). And we have plenty of examples in the Old Testament of God severely punishing his people who broke this angels-given message (Leviticus 10:1-2; Numbers 15:32-36; Deuteronomy 28:15-68).
And if God severely punished people for rejecting that message, how much more will he punish people who reject a superior message given by a superior messenger (the Son)? A popular misconception of the Bible is that God was severe in the Old Testament but more lenient in the New. Yet the opposite is true. Because the message delivered by Jesus is God’s final and superior revelation, the stakes are higher. Punishment will be more severe. But the rewards too will be more spectacular for those who persevere and “pay much closer attention to what [they] have heard”.
Have you ever known someone who has “drifted” from Jesus?
How are you susceptible to drifting? What steps can you put in place to ensure that that doesn’t happen?
In what ways is the New Testament more demanding than the Old Testament?
Hebrews 2:1 – “Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.”
 See also 3:6b-4:12; 5:11-6:8; 10:26-31; 12:15-17, 25-29
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