Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 46
How Shall We Escape – Part 2
Now you can be turning with me to Hebrews chapter 2, and we’re going to pick right up again with verse 3. I don’t know how much longer we’ll be in it, but we’ll pick as much out of this verse as we can, because that’s what makes Bible study interesting. Now I don’t know how many of you know about the operation of the Jewish Rabbi’s and the ones who study Scriptures. But all the way up through their history they would sit and maybe spend days, and maybe even weeks, on one verse. Maybe they’ve got all the commentaries of all the other Rabbis and know what everyone else has said, but they’ll look at that verse, and study it to see what other meaning they can pull out of it.
Well, I’m not going to go to that extreme, but I do love to just see how much you can pull out of a particular statement in Scripture, by comparing it with other Scriptures. That’s the name of the game you know, building Scripture on Scripture. So we’ll be staying here in Hebrews 2:3 for at least this lesson, and maybe the next one also.
We also want to thank you for all your letters, but most of all for your prayers. My how we love your letters when you tell us that you’re praying for us every day. Some of you say, you pray for us two or three times a day. Well that’s what we need, because we know that the Devil is quite the adversary, he’s powerful, and yet we do feel that the prayers of the saints are more powerful. Now that’s all we need for opening comment, so let’s get into the Book and once again look at verse 3. In the last half hour we looked at the first 3 or 4 words, “How shall we escape.” Now we’ll move on.
“How shall we escape, (that is the wrath, and doom, and eternal lostness) if we neglect so great salvation;…”
Now that word neglect, I think we all experience it. I know I try to tell my sons in our ranching business, you know you can’t get careless, you can’t cut corners and say,“Oh well, we’ll do it tomorrow or next week,” because just as sure as do, it’s going to hit you in the pocket book. So, neglect, you see is a word that catches us almost everyday of our lives regardless of what our lifestyle is. Neglect leads to carelessness and it means the same thing here.
In fact as I was mulling over these things last night, and I haven’t even had time to share it with Iris. Quite a few years ago, I think back in the early 1980’s we were driving across New Mexico, and I’m sure some of you have been on that same state highway; it’s not an interstate. Anyway you’re driving along on a flat table top plateau, and all of a sudden you come to the Rio Grande River which is just a gorge, and way, way down is that little Rio Grande River, and of course the bridge goes right on over it. So you come down a very gentle incline and cross the bridge.
Well, they had a walkway on the bridge, and we got to the other side, and I thought, boy this is unique, so we stopped and parked to walk back on the walkway. There were a couple of other couples who had also stopped and were out on the walkway, and they were looking way down at the bottom, where there was a beautiful motor home that was smashed up and ruined. They were all discussing it, so I asked what in the world had happened? Well the couple who owned the motor home, had pulled off the shoulder on the east side of the bridge, got out, came down on the bridge where we were, and they neglected to set the brake or put it in gear. And while they were on the bridge, that motor home started rolling, and just almost as if somebody steered it, just before it got to bridge, which had no guard rails, over it went, down into the bottom of that gorge, totally destroying it.
Well what prompted that accident? Neglect! Just a moment of neglect, and isn’t that exactly what people are doing with their eternal doom? They’re neglecting the most important thing in life, and that is to accept God’s offer of Salvation, and escape that eternal doom. Now with that as a backdrop,
“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation;…”
It isn’t that Salvation isn’t there. I mentioned it so often in John chapter 10, the chapter on the good shepherd – where is the door of the sheepfold? Right at ground level. Not up on some high cliff or across some raging river, but rather it’s right at ground level, and in front of every lost person throughout their life. All they have to do is step in by faith, but they neglect to do that. Alright, let’s just use a couple of Scripture verses to point that out.
“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation;…”
Alright we’ll stop right there and come back to Matthew chapter 22, where the same Greek word, in a little bit different form, nevertheless it’s the same Greek root word here in this chapter, and let’s look at verses 1-5. But in order to get the real meaning of the verse, I guess we should go to the beginning of the parable, because this is the Lord Jesus speaking during His earthly ministry, and remember these parables again were directed primarily to the Jewish people, and the Pharisees in particular. In fact while you’re in this chapter just go back a chapter to 21:45, because I always like to use this verse to explain to people what I mean when I say, that everything Jesus said, was said to Jews under the Law. So let’s look at that passage first.
“And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.”
Do you see how plain that is? They understood that all His parables were directed to them, because they were the ones that were so guilty. Now you come into chapter 22, He gives another parable.
“And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, (So who do you think He’s directing it to? Well the chief priest and the Pharisees) 2. The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3. And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. 4. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. 5. But they made light of it, (they neglected it, they didn’t pay any attention. They neglected their invitation to the wedding feast. So in their neglecting it, what was their response?) and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise;”
But instead of responding to the invitation they neglected paying any attention to that invitation to the marriage feast. Now I think I’ve got another one in chapter 23, at least I hope that’s the one I want. Here the Lord Jesus, and you’ve all seen pictures of it on somebody’s wall, where He’s looking out over Jerusalem. And it is a thought provoking picture, no doubt about it. But this is what He’s saying:
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!”
Why not? They neglected. They didn’t pay any mind. He’s making reference of course to the whole Old Testament economy when the prophets were constantly warning Israel of their chastisement, how that other nations would over run them, and then, he says: “You would not.” So consequently because of their neglect He says:
“Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”
Oh, what awful condemnation, but that wasn’t God’s fault. God pleaded with them, and pleaded with them, and pleaded with them. “But they would not!” Now let’s turn to the Book of Acts, chapter 2 for a little bit and pick up this same thought. This is on the Pentecostal sermon that Peter is preaching. This vast crowd of Jews has gathered for the Feast of Pentecost. Remember this is just 50 days after the crucifixion, and here’s the same response, total neglect.
“Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 23. Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:”
Why would they do this? They neglected to understand that He was the promised Messiah. He proved it for 3 years, but they spurned Him, and neglected even as those who were invited to the wedding feast we read about a few moment ago. Now let’s go over a little further, still in the Book of Acts. So come on over to chapter 24, when Paul has now come on the scene, and let’s drop in at verse 24. Here Paul is being accused, and supposedly being brought to trial.
“And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. (now you all know this, I know you do. But I want to give you another thought on it.) 25. And as he reasoned (Felix, this governor or whatever his title may have been, but as he reasoned) of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered. Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. 26. He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him:…”
What’s Felix doing? Neglecting Salvation. He’s putting it off to his own doom. Oh, the constant reminder in Scripture is, “Don’t put it off” because the Scripture says, “Now is the day of Salvation.” Not tomorrow or next year, but now. Now let’s come back to Hebrews chapter 2, and we’ll go on a little further in the verse.
“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation;…”
How are we going to miss the doom of the lost, if we neglect or spurn or postpone so great a Salvation. Now listen, I’m afraid the average well-intentioned church member doesn’t realize what a great Salvation has been offered to the human race. It’s the inhuman understanding. It’s just totally beyond us. Alright now I’m going to bring you back again to Romans and this time chapter 1. This is a verse that most of you probably know from memory. Let’s drop down to verse 16. And remember, “How can we escape, and how can the human race escape if they neglect, or treat lightly so great a Salvation.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it (the Gospel) is the power of God unto salvation to every one that (repents and is baptized? No! Your Bible doesn’t say that and neither does mine, or anything else you can put in there. This great Salvation has now become accessible to everyone that) believeth; (It’s faith, it’s trusting this Gospel. So it’s to everyone that believeth,) to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
Alright, so great a Salvation. Now let’s go look at Philippians chapter 2. I’m going to wear your Bibles out today, and I thought of that even as I was preparing last night, that we’re going to do a lot of page turning today. And the whole idea that we want to keep in our minds for at least this program and maybe on into the next one is, “this great Salvation.” These are verses we use periodically.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; 6. Who, (God the Son as we saw in Hebrews 1. Who) being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (He was God. He was the Creator of everything) 7. But (even though He was the Creator God, He) made himself (He was forced into it) of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, (bond slave, the lowest level in the human economy) and was made in the likeness of men: 8. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
Now again our human intellect cannot comprehend all of this. It’s just beyond us. We cannot put together and get a full understanding of all that was in the mind of God when He preprogrammed that horrible death of crucifixion. You see, when you go back into the time of Moses, when the serpents were running rampant through Israel, what did Moses put up in the midst of the camp. Well the brazen serpent. And the whole idea was that if the people would look up at that brazen serpent, then they would be healed of their snakebites. Then you come along to John’s Gospel, and what does he say? “The Son of man had to be lifted up.” He had to be lifted up in order to fulfill the type of the brazen serpent.
So it had to be the death by crucifixion, because no other death would have lifted him up. He had to be the cursed One, because again you go back into the Old Testament economy, when there was a no good son, and nobody could do anything with him, what had to happen? Well they had to put him to death, but after they had stoned him, what did they do with his body? Hung it on a pole. And again what was the whole picture? Cursed is everyone that hangs on a tree. So those were all prototypes of what Christ would fulfill in that horrible death by crucifixion. But you see in God’s Sovereign way of thinking, it had to be, as nothing else would have worked. But you see we can’t comprehend that, at least I can’t, and I don’t think anybody can.
And it’s the same way with the soul that sins. In fact come back with me to the Book of Genesis chapter 2, because we’ve got to see this with our own eyes once in a while, because it makes a better impact, I think. Let’s drop down to verse 17, and this is right at the beginning of the human experience. Yes, even before Eve is even on the scene. Adam had to teach this little piece of knowledge to his wife Eve at some later point, because Adam is alone when this happens. So here the Lord is instructing Adam of his habitation in the Garden of Eden.
“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
Why? Because the day he would eat, he would be a disobedient person, and disobedience is sin, and sin and death go together. So the whole purpose then of Christ having to die, is to overcome the death that was precipitated by sin. Now when you start putting all that together, it’s mind boggling. Is it any wonder, then, that the Bible calls it, “so great a Salvation?” It is so great that we can never fathom it. And that’s why the Lord has been gracious, and let’s us take it only by faith. There’s no way we can finally pass the exam, and say, “Well Lord I’m ready, so test me, because I’ve got all the answers.” No, we’d never get there. We would always fail it, so He’s made it real simple. We just come into Salvation by faith, by believing as much as we can understand, and then as a believer we begin to comprehend a little more all the time. But listen, this is such a great Salvation that no one can understand the total ramification of it.
Now let’s go to I Corinthians chapter 1 and look at a few more verses. You also want to remember that Paul’s letters are directed to you and I as recipients of God’s Grace, the Church Age. All the rest of Scripture, as we saw in the last program, is written for our learning, but these of Paul are written to us. Not just for us, but rather to us. So in this passage, my, we can just sink our teeth into it, and say, “this is God speaking to me,” even though it’s through the apostle’s pen, it’s still God speaking to you and I. Here, I always like to start with verse 17. I know this throws a curve at a lot of people, but it’s what the Book says, it’s not what Les Feldick says, but rather what the Book says.
I Corinthians 1:17
“For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, (in other words, not with some fast talking, whatever. You know, even Apollos was a great orator, but it took a couple of little Jewish lay people to teach him the truth. So he doesn’t come with wisdom of words) lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.”
Listen, at the heart of everything is that work of the cross. Now verse 18, and remember what I’m still harping on, “How great a Salvation.” And for the most part mankind is neglecting it, and because they’re neglecting it, they’re never going to escape their doom. So don’t lose sight of that.
I Corinthians 1:18
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; (how true. The average person here in the Bible belt does not feel it’s the cross that makes the difference) but unto us which are saved it (the preaching of the cross) is the power of God.”
Now you’ve heard me say it on this program over and over, “it took more power to save this sinner, and you as a sinner, than it did to create the universe.” Now you may think that’s a play on words, but listen, who held us chained to our lost estate? Satan did. Satan held every one of us, but Who alone could break that chain? The work of the cross! Well, we’ve only got a minute left so let’s continue on right here in I Corinthians chapter 1. Let’s begin at verse 22, and remember this whole idea is, “this great Salvation,” based upon this preaching of the cross.
I Corinthians 1:22
“For the Jews require a sign, (and we’ll be looking at that in a further program in Hebrews chapter 2. Oh, they were always saying, “show us a sign.” And Christ did with wonders and miracles, but the Greeks on the other hand didn’t care about signs, and miracles, all they wanted was what?)and the Greeks seek after wisdom:”
But for us God satisfies both sides of the coin, as He gives us the power of God, and the wisdom!