I have been singing “Let there be dancing”.
I see in my mind’s eye a vast crowd dancing with joy – “Yes Ian that is what your joy should look like – letting all constraints go and dancing in worship with your whole body – that is true joy, expressed physically – like David did when the ark was brought into Jerusalem – let all your constraints go, let your intensity, your striving to be the right person, your fear of doing and being wrong = unrighteousness, let all that go – I have set you free – to really dance with Me and appreciate Me – from the deepest core of your being – and when testing comes – receive it with the joy that overflows with the certainty of My relationship with you – and know it has a purpose – to produce character – which in turn produces hope which is all-encompassing and fulfilled in eternity – so let go and let’s dance”!
Just a small note of testimony: I believe that I have been experiencing a small personal revival here in my quiet corner. Writing the stories of my Vet career, I have reached the part where I describe my conversion and then also Emily’s. This has covered three stories, so far. Writing about those most moving times reawakened in me again the sense of the reality of Jesus as He turned my life upside down. It has been as if He has been sitting here with me while I have relived those moments and times that it was almost as if it was all happening again. Often the emotion has overflowed with such tears that I could scarcely see the computer screen.
Now at last to Hebrews. I have many times been involved in discussions about whether it is possible to “lose your salvation”. Then passages like Hebrews ch 6 are raised. Here I wish to warn everyone that one should never seek to understand a difficult concept on the grounds of a small piece of scripture completely on its own. One should look at the broader context and preferably keep in mind what the overall message of the whole book is, and then fit your query in to that if it is still there.
Now reading Hebrews 2:1-4 today, we see this paragraph acts almost like a window through which to look at the whole book. With the very strong admonishment “Pay more careful attention” the writer gives the main message of Hebrews: “So that we do not drift away“. Now as you will probably have seen in people you know, “losing salvation” usually does not happen suddenly. It happens slowly over time as the person drifts away from all that Christianity means.
So what is the counter for this? The reader must pay attention to what he has heard and from who? So the writer starts with angels, but I suggest, only in as much as he has been comparing angels with Jesus in the previous chapter (this should be seen in the light of a counter to teaching and practice which appeared to be commonplace in putting them into a position of worship, equal to or higher than Jesus, whom the opening chapter is of course really about). So if the message of the angels was binding, warning of punishment for any violation, “How much more” 2:3 is the message from our Lord Himself, confirmed to the reader by those who heard it directly from Him (the Apostles) and confirmed by signs, wonders and miracles (described especially in the gospels) and, listen carefully, “the gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will”. Where are those gifts visible? In the local church, functioning effectively as a body where everyone exercises his/her gift.
So, stop and think, where can we access this message in 2021? And what is the teaching about?
Well this is a description of the New Testament scriptures, of course, which should be linked with the statement in Heb 1:1, the Old Testament scriptures and then the Word Himself 1:2,3. And the statement has everything to do with salvation! 2,3. That is the key issue about Christianity and our relationship with Jesus isn’t it, and it is exactly when we drift away that we lose our focus on that most important issue. In fact it is so serious, if you read 2:3 again that it is as if you are ignoring Jesus (God) Himself.
As the book unfolds, we will see how the writer expands on this theme and eventually ending with a wonderful cloud of witnesses in ch 11, who through thick and thin kept their faith and continued to believe and be obedient. And the answer in 12:2 to all who read this book, because we are all in some way, in danger of drifting, “Let us therefore fix our eyes on the author and perfecter of our faith”. Reflecting back to ch 1 where He is beautifully described.
So why not ponder this question for next time: What are the main reasons for people drifting away in 2021?
And for myself, I must diligently keep my eyes fixed on Him, because the devil is like a hungry lion who prowls around seeking to devour even the most devout, if they let their guards down.