Grace for Your Day April 04

The Book of Revelation has often been viewed as a confusing letter. Some have referred to it as a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, placed inside of an enigma but there is no reason to be so bleak about it because the book starts off with some very practical advice to churches. In Chapters 1-3, the Lord Jesus addresses several congregations that existed in the First Century including the churches of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. The interesting thing about His counsel to them is that He confronted most of them on one main issue and that was the sin of apathy.

For example, to the church in Ephesus, Jesus said this in Revelation 2:2-4:
I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 

You can tell by reading that passage that the church in Ephesus had a lot of things going for it. They did a lot of things right because they were diligent in the ministry (“I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance”). They were doctrinally sound (“and that you cannot tolerate evil men”). They also showed a lot of discernment with visiting preachers (“you put to the test those who call themselves apostles”). However, it was all for nothing because they had lost their passion for Jesus (“But I have this against you, that you have left your first love”). They were just going through the motions so Jesus issued a solemn warning against them in verse 5:
Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place.
In other words, Jesus was about to end their ministry or remove their light from the earth if they did not focus on Him again. The Lord gives similar warnings to the churches at Pergamum (2:16), Thyatira (2:20-23), Sardis (3:3), and Laodicea (3:15-16).

He also does a similar thing in the Book of Hebrews because it was written to a church under similar circumstances as well. Hebrews 2:1 says:
For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. 

The word for drift away” is parereo in Greek which refers to something that gradually wanders off. Depending on how it is used, parereo can refer to a ship slowly sailing on the ocean or a ring gently slipping off a finger or a rock gradually falling down a hill. The Author uses it here because it is so common for Christians to do that. We are all prone to drift away from our love for Christ because our hearts have grown apathetic.

The danger in doing so is that, if we wander off far enough, it shows that we were never saved to begin with. If we let our souls grow cold enough, it will demonstrate that we never even knew Jesus at all so we do not want to make that mistake. We want to repent of it quickly which is what we are going to talk about this Sunday morning at Grace Fellowship Church.

This week, we are going to talk about “The Danger of Drifting Away” in Hebrews 2:1. The reason we are going to spend an entire sermon on this verse is because this issue is addressed so many times in Scripture that we need to take a moment in order to let it sink in before we move on. We have to learn how to overcome the sin of apathy swiftly so that it does not overtake us because this is not a warning to get saved. It is a warning to stay saved or persevere in the Christian life. It is not a caution to start well but to finish it well and that is something that we should strive to do.

Please join us as we study this convicting passage together. The service begins at 9:30