“Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” Hebrews 2:1
What then have we heard? What is this that we must pay closer attention to?
We have a tendency to forget, don’t we? The old saying is true for a lot of us, “I’d forget my head if it weren’t screwed on.” I have good friends who recently moved to a different state. There is a lot that goes on in a move, and there are a million things to forget. They remembered to pack their belongings, they remembered their children, they remembered to leave. But, they forgot certain forgettable things: a spare key, the kids’ school records, even their outside cat who didn’t show up for dinner the final few nights. We all forget. Sometimes they’re non-important things.
But sometimes, we forget important things, like that we need a Savior. We forget that we are lost and without direction. Sometimes we think that we are saved and forget that we are also being saved and that we will be saved.
Once we forget, we start to go away from what our original intent was. Do you remember when you first became a Christian? What did you think of your sin? Did you hate it and say, “I’ll never do that again. How could I? God’s love for me is so big that I will never forget his grace and mercy and the wretchedness of my sin.” How long did it take you to run back to that sin that so easily entangled you?
When we forget or drift away from this message we tend to lean on our own merits and our own righteousness. We no longer pay close, daily attention to Jesus’ gospel because we have our eternal get-out-of-hell-free card and no longer need Christ every day because he’s saved us to himself for all time.
This type of thinking is actually assuming that the good news of Jesus is only a one-time event. It’s not paying close attention to his gospel. If we pay closer attention we can see this great need for a Savior, not only before we knew Jesus, but also right now and in the future.
Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 15:1–2 in particular (emphases mine): “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received,” (in the past), “in which you stand,” (in the present), “and by which you are being saved,” (in the present continuous, which will keep going into the future), “if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.”
This keeps us humble. This keeps our hope pinned to Jesus for our salvation.
Where is your hope today? Are you paying attention to the whole of the gospel that is proclaimed? This doesn’t mean you have to work for your salvation—it simply keeps our hopes where they should be.
Hopefully we have heard and accepted the good news of Jesus’ gospel: that Christ died for sinners, he died for every sin, and there is nothing you have done that Jesus can’t forgive. Our hope is in the fact Jesus is alive, that he rules and reigns over heaven and earth. Jesus didn’t just die for sinners, but he also rose from death to defeat death, sin, and Satan.
This salvation that Jesus gives us is not simply a one-time event. Instead, we get the privilege of being saved by Jesus continually.