For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. (Hebrews 2:1)
In the salvation that the Lord Jesus has wrought for His people, there are responsibilities given – both of the Lord and of His people. We have a tendency by nature to concern ourselves with God’s responsibility and to desire God to do our responsibility. Two illustrations will demonstrate this tendency. Matthew 6:31-32 commands us not to take anxious thought concerning the necessities of food, drink, or clothing. Why? Our heavenly Father knows that we have need of these things. He created the need and is responsible to provide. Our privilege is to allow the Lord to have care for these things while our care is to seek first His Kingdom. Is it not true that we care for material provision while neglecting the things of the Kingdom of God? We have switched the responsibility. Our second illustration concerns the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). The Lord commands His people to witness unto discipleship of all nations. If we would witness in the power of His presence then people would come to know Christ. Yet, I have run across believing people who have prayed for loved ones and co-workers for years. These believers, when asked if they have ever sought to witness to them for the purpose of seeing them saved, would declare an emphatic, “no.” Again, we have sought to give the Lord our responsibility of confession while wondering why they have not gotten saved.
In the context of Hebrews, the superiority of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, has been proven over any created angelic being (Hebrews 1). God, bit by bit and at different points of history, spoke in the prophets. In contrast, God has spoken in these last days by His Son, the fullness of God. The Son is the ultimate means of speaking to man because of His Person.
Brethren, in light of His superiority, God has given us a duty. We have a responsibility to give His Words our highest priority and attentiveness. We are under divine obligation to interrupt our lifestyle and give them our utmost obedience. Therefore we ought to pay much closer attention. All of mankind is obligated to stop and hear the Son of God. What would it be like to see this Lord’s Day all of the world cease their tireless seeking for food, drink, and clothing? What would it be like to not have a vehicle moving through the town during the services and all Bible-believing churches filled with men and women seeking to hear and obey the Words of Christ? What would it be like to have the world of mankind quiet and still before the risen Christ as He proclaims His Words through His men this Lord’s Day? A glorious prospect indeed! Yet this is what the command entreats.
Jesus Christ has stronger claim on our mental attention than any angel, any physical need, or any feeling that we might have. We (all who have heard the message in a point in the past) are to pay much closer attention. The phrase means to be in extreme care, to apply the mind to, or to remain on course and bring the ship to land. We are to allow the words of God in His Son to finish our pilgrimage in His Son. The danger is that we neglect our responsibility. We can hear and allow them to drift away and become indifferent. We refuse to give mental labor to the hearing of His Word and allowing those Words to guide our pilgrimage, mixing the hearing with faith. We refuse to allow those words to have the highest priority in our life. We sit in church or are not in church at all; “hearing and leaving” unchanged, indifferent, and apathetic.
May these things not be! Gird up the loins of your mind. Heed your responsibility. Take upon yourself the mental exercise of learning to hear His Words, to follow sound scriptural exegesis and preaching, and then obey His voice. If you refuse to allow His voice to slip,His Word will profit you this day and carry you unto His heavenly Kingdom.