How Shall We Escape?

July 3, 2012

How Shall We Escape?

            In Hebrews 2:3 we find a question that should occupy the mind of all of us.  The question is, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?”  The preceding verses clarify what is meant by the great salvation.  It is a message of God’s great love and his offer of forgiveness for every lost sinner.  We should be diligent in taking heed to the message because it is extremely important.  Multitudes have heard the message but they have been indifferent.  Some heard the message early in life, perhaps in Sunday school.  Perhaps they made some outward response to the message without understanding what it was all about.  Many years have passed and they have lived as though the things of God have little importance.  Others heard the message from a neighbor or relative and they said, “Not now;  perhaps some other time.”

What is the danger we should escape from?  First of all, it is an escape from a wasted life.  In Mathew 16:26 Jesus ask the question, “What is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” This life is a time of preparation for the next life.  Refusing to believe that there is life after death isn’t going to change the truth in the least.  The first step in preparation for the next life is to become a child of God.  This we do by confessing to God that we are sinners and asking him to forgive us and save us.  John 1:12 says “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”  After that we can start to lay up treasure in heaven on a daily basis.  Mathew 6:19-20 says “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:   But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.”  He who refuses to repent now will do so later but it may be too late.  After death there is no turning back.  After death an unrepentant sinner may think back and remember the day when someone witnessed to him, and he refused to take it seriously.  Over and over again he will say to himself, “What a fool I was.”

Evangelist John Bray tells a story about a young girl who refused to trust in Christ as her Savior.  He says her father was hospitalized on his death bed.  This young girl stopped at the hospital one morning to visit her father.  He pleaded with her saying, “Dear, you must repent of your rebellion and seek God’s forgiveness and salvation.” Instead of taking heed to his counsel, she looked him in the face and said, “Dad, you’re crazy.” With that she walked out.

That night the man’s pastor received a call form the hospital asking him to come because the man was at the point of death.  It so happened that the man’s daughter arrived at the door of the hospital at the same time the pastor did.  She also had been informed that her father was at death’s door.  When they arrived at the door of her father’s room a nurse stopped them.  The girl looked into the room and saw that her father was covered with a sheet which indicated that he was dead.  She turned around and screamed.  Then she grabbed the pastor’s sleeve and led him to the hallway.  She said “Pastor, you have to helpme.” He took her to a seat in a waiting room and asked her how he could help her.  She told him what she had said to her father that morning and asked how she could undo it.  The pastor had to look her in the eyes and say, “I’m sorry but there is no way to undo it.  Your father is no longer in this world.”

My friend, if once and again you have said “no” to God, it’s not too late.  You can still repent and ask God for forgiveness.  Why don’t you do it now?

Another thing you need to escape from is eternal punishment that the Bible calls Hell.  Just as the love of God is immeasurably great, so also is the suffering in Hell.  No one needs to go there.  Jesus gave his life in a cruel death on the cross to make it possible for God to forgive you.  He took your punishment.  If you neglect this “great salvation” there is no way of escaping eternal punishment.

Friend, do you realize that what you do in this life has a powerful influence over those around you?  It might be your spouse or a son or daughter who will spend eternity in Hell because they followed your example.

Every day that you put off accepting this great salvation your heart gets a little harder.  Perhaps the first time you heard the old old story of salvation you thought, “I should do that” but, for some reason you said, “No, some other time.”  The second time you heard it, your heart wasn’t so moved.  The third time you were moved even less.  It gets more and more doubtful that you will ever accept it.

We are talking about escaping from the condemnation of God.  John 3:18 says “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”  Hebrews 9:27 says ‘And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”   Revelation 21:8 says “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

You are already condemned, but it’s not too late to have the sentence revoked.    II Corinthians 6:2 says “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”


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