The danger of neglect

Good afternoon

Yesterday I was at home most of the day nursing a bad cold and raging throat so as I was reading Hebrews 2 v 3 something dawned on me that I found quite interesting and challenging.

The writer says: How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him.

What had happened to the people to whom the book of Hebrews was written? They were losing—indeed, had already lost—much of their former conviction. Though they had plenty to believe in relation to God, as Paul ( who I assume to be the author) shows within the epistle, their conviction was ebbing away through neglect. They were not working out their salvation (Philippians 2:12); as a result, they were losing the power of it!

Conviction is the opposite of being superficial. This does not mean a superficial person cannot be religious. Rather, he/she may appear religious outwardly, but in terms of a true, inward transformation of the heart, he/she is lacking, and this will be noticeable in their daily life – not least and most certainly at work.

In Paul’s judgment, the Hebrews had lost the internal certainty that what they believed was right, trustworthy, and so important that they should willingly give their lives to it. They were allowing other concerns like business, social, and entertainment matters too much time and attention. In the world, and particularly in the work place the challenges of sceptics against the Christian faith are everywhere and constantly pressuring a Christian from every angle. At least that’s my experience. The Hebrews’ works showed that they were steadily retreating under that pressure.

This world is the Christian’s largest, broadest field of battle. What happens if we neglect the right use of God’s gift of faith? Hebrews shows us that a Christian does not immediately “lose it,” but as he/she slowly spirals downward, spiritual life becomes merely an intellectual position to be held, not a striving after being like Christ. God becomes merely an object of intellectual thought, not a motivation for change of behaviour and attitude to imitate Him. Church attendance and religion become something to be debated and not experienced. A real strangle hold that chokes a Christian and is a far cry from our “Joy being full” and “abundant life”.

So at work this week, do, like I will be doing, try to remember that as a Christian at work we must not neglect this great salvation and continue to exercise these gifts of faith, prayer, trust etc as we press on.

Have a good week

Mark

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