Kato Mivule | June 14, 2011
The book of Hebrews is one of those New Testament books that calls for the Christian to take responsibility insofar as their faith in Jesus Christ is concerned, a problem that some Theologians from the Calvinist and Predestination camps find hard to grasp. It is one of those books that proponents of the 'Once Saved Always Saved' doctrines always try to explain away.
When it comes to the issues of discernment, the book of Hebrews is clear, the believer 'must take earnest heed to the things they have heard'; that is, the believer must pay serious attention to the teachings and sayings of Jesus Christ least they drift away.
One of the advantages that Christians have today unlike Christians in the early church, is access to scriptures in many formats, from print to electronic versions of the New Testament Teachings of Christ. Yet, many Christians seem unarmed and taken by surprise by the conduct and teachings of the “men of God”. Many Christians seem caught up in a paralysis, with a “I cannot do anything about it attitude”, to free themselves from the chains of manipulative and abusive preachers.
However, we have the resources that cannot be removed away from the believer, and the responsibility to escape deception and abusive preachers partly falls on the believer. That responsibility is to read the New Testament and study for yourself what it says about the faith you profess.
One of the tricks used by manipulative and abusive preachers is to get some verses, usually out of context and present those to the Christian as evidence of a teaching and a type of authority over the believer. However, usually, a simple cursory test of the preacher's teachings, shows that the teachings fail to synch with the New Testament teachings, but it takes the responsibility a Christian who will study the New Testament.
This even gets more serious and deeper as the writer of Hebrews warns the believers to take more earnest heed to the things we have heard, least at any time we should let them slip. Another translation states, least we should drift away...
Hebrews 2:1-4 KJV 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. (2) For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; (3) 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; (4) God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
Hebrews 2:1 ASV Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things that were heard, lest haply we drift away from them.
But the context of the warning is that the consequences of not giving earnest heed to the teachings of Jesus Christ, will not only be to drift way with the winds of deception but a neglect of the so great salvation. That now, gets serious, an issue that the 'Once Saved Always Saved' proponents will try to explain away.
The truth of the matter is once Christians are caught up in deception, then there is danger that they will neglect the so great salvation in Jesus Christ; and that is the whole purpose of lies and deception. The Devil and his demons are not out to deceive you in order to pamper you and hand out some cookies and ice cream, the Devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy! The Devil and diabolical teachings are aimed at you in order that you neglect your Faith in Jesus Christ and abandon it; and that is what the writer of Hebrews is articulating here, so you can take earnest heed to the Teachings of Jesus Christ that will safeguard you against such diabolical falsehood.
Again the writer of Hebrews even goes further to warn that we shall not escape if we neglect this great salvation in Jesus Christ; that every disobedience received a just recompense. By the way, we are not taking about those who struggle to overcome, in fact, we are called to overcome sin and evil.
There are many Christians going through struggles everyday and crying before the Throne of Grace for mercy and grace in time of need, and for sure The Lord will respond. It is a fight and such Christians have not given up the fight. Yes, “he who overcomes, I will give to eat of the tree of life”... Therefore, The Lord knows our struggles and weaknesses and He commands us to overcome, not to give up.
Yet the warning in Hebrews is aimed at those who abandon the fight, and neglect the struggle all together. It is a warning that we must take seriously, that we should take earnest heed to the Teachings and Sayings of Jesus Christ as that is what will keep us from the deception of men and devils; yes New Testament Doctrine and Orthodoxy matters. The end result of deception and false teachings, is that believers neglect their faith and that is some thing that any Christian minister should consider seriously.