Friday Morning Manna
May 15, 2020
DO NOT POSTPONE OR NEGLECT TO PREPARE!
“How shall we escape, if we neglect such a great salvation; which at first began to be spoken [declared] by the Lord, and was confirmed [attested] unto by them had heard Him.” Hebrews 2: 3, K.J.V.
“If you are right with God today, you are ready if Christ should come today.”- E.G. White, In Heavenly Places, p. 227
In verses 1 and 2 of our lead verse, the apostle wrote: “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at ay time we should let them slip, for if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward (see verse 3 above).”
In his book, The Book of Hebrews (which I highly recommend to all serious Bible students), M.L. Andreasen provides the following incisive commentary on the first chapter of Hebrews chapter (emphasis mine);
The subtle sins plaguing God’s people then but more so today
“This section gives a warning against the subtle sins of apathy and carelessness. Paul [as all faithful ministers/pastors/under shepherds/messengers in these momentous times should] about the spiritual condition of the people. There were troublous times ahead of the church [certainly now in the antitype than when this dual prophecy was first raised as the type by Jesus in A.D. 70 before Jerusalem was desolated by the Roman armies led by Titus]. Persecution would soon break out anew; in a very few years the Roman armies would take the city, the temple would be destroyed, and the Christians would be compelled to flee for their lives. Despite this, the church was not fully awake. They were adrift with no sure anchor. Their condition was critical, and more serious of all, they did not sense their danger.
“Verse 1. ‘Therefore’ refers to the fact that God had sent His Son and through Him had spoken to them [the Hebrews/Israelites/Jews]. This was an additional reason why they should give more earnest heed to the call of God.
“More earnest heed.’ Christ never preached for the sole purpose of imparting information. Wonderful as were the truths He revealed, His preaching had a deeper purpose than that of enriching the mind. He wanted to move men to action; He wanted them to give heed to what He said; He wanted them to be doers and not forgetful hearers of the Word, deceiving their own selves [see James 1:22].
“This also is the intent of the apostle. He warns the church to give more earnest heed to what they have heard. He intimates that they are not entirely heedless; but he desires them to give more earnest heed to the things which belonged to their peace [see Luke 19: 42]. They already had the knowledge needed. They knew what to do [hopefully this is true right now]. But they were not living up to the light they had. They must be stirred into action.
“The things which we have heard.’ The apostle is not presenting new light to them. This he will do later as he unfolds to them some of the deep things of God as the are able. But first he wishes them to give more earnest heed to the things that they knew. They were in a dangerous condition and must be aroused in their lethargy.”
NOTE: Eve was first deceived then tempted by Satan in disguise to “know more” than what she already had but did not know enough of! While the ten virgins in the parable had fallen fast asleep at midnight, the people of God today are but half-awake, spiritually lethargic, even ‘lukewarm’].
Drifting. ‘’Lest at any time we should let them slip,’ or more literally, ‘lest we be floated past them,’ or ‘drift away from them.’ The picture is that of a boat’s being carried along with the current [as in ‘trending’ or following the trends], the occupants unaware of the fact that they are drifting. Before they realize it they are nearing the cataract, far past the landmarks, and danger is at hand, and possibly destruction.
“Drifting is one of the easiest and pleasantest means of locomotion, but it is also a most treacherous and dangerous one. No effort is needed to drift, and as one glides down the river toward sure death, the feeling is one of well-being and contentment, with accompanying delightful drowsiness. The downward movement is hardly perceptible, for as the boat moves down the river it seems to remain motionless. The water moves the boat and appearances are deceitful. [When used in connection with prophetic symbols, “sea” or “waters,” stand for “multitudes of people,” Rev. 17: 15; Isa. 8: 7; 17: 12; Jer. 6: 23]. Unless one awakens in time, the danger is very real.
“This was the condition of the church to which the author was writing. They were drifting spiritually, and did not know their danger. Slowly they were nearing the precipice, and soon it would be too late. For every one who falls into great sin there are ten who are drifting [with the “sea,” “multitudes of people,” “the world”]. Even where one seems to leap suddenly into sin, it is often the case that he has been previously drifting, unnoticed by others and perhaps by himself. Most open sin begins by slowly drifting. Therefore, let all beware.
“Float past,’ ‘drift away,’ ‘slip away.’ These are different renderings, and all of them significant. We are told that we ought to give the more earnest heed; that is, we must, we owe it, it is imperative. We are to be watchful lest we float past, or drift away from the moorings of the Word of God. In view of this danger, it behooves each one to examine himself, lest he be drifting without being aware of his peril.”
The author lists six ways of drifting spiritually, although there are definitely much more, corresponding to Satan’s rapidly-increasing “unnumbered schemes” and deceptions for these last days “knowing that he has but a short time” (Rev. 12: 12):
“ Carelessness in prayer,  discontinuance of family worship,  absence from church services, lukewarmness in spiritual or church activities,  neglect of Bible study or private devotion,  avoidance of the ordinances of the Lord’s house  remissness in tithe paying [actually, returning] and offerings,–these an many other signs should be carefully watched. Our attitude toward them indicates if and how fast we are drifting. The apostle’s admonition against drifting is as applicable today as when it was written.” pp. 80-82.
Many more neglect than reject
“’Verse 3. ‘How shall we escape, if we neglect?’ This question is so framed as to demand the answer, ‘We shall not escape.’ The danger here pointed out is not that of rejecting Christ and the gospel. Many do that to their eternal loss. But we are persuaded that many more neglect than reject. And it is against neglect that the apostle warns.
“Comparatively few definitely and finally reject God’s offer of eternal life. Most men intend at some time to attend to their religious duties. But they delay and neglect; and before they are aware of it the harvest is past, the summer is ended, and they are not saved. (Jer. 8: 20). It is always dangerous to neglect. Now is the accepted time. [See 2 Cor. 6: 2].
“How much evil has come into the world because of neglect and delay! An unpleasant task is left to the last moment; a confession is long overdue, but it is not forthcoming; a loved one is anxiously awaiting a letter [or a text, email, facebook post, tweet, etc.]. Young people [as well as older ones] may be convinced that the time has come when they should give their hearts to God; but they delay, and sometimes [more often now in these last days] with fatal results. How often we want to do a good deed, to say a kind word, to send a bouquet of flowers, but we delay and wait, and sometimes wait too long. It is well to be prompt. ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.’ Heb. 3: 15.”- Andreasen, The Book of Hebrews, pp. 83, 84.
“Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.” Amos 4: 12, K.J.V. “Suppose that today that Christ should appear in the clouds of heaven, who . . . . would be ready to meet Him? Suppose we should be translated into the kingdom of heaven just as we are. Would we be prepared to unite with the saints of God, to live in harmony with the royal family, the children of the heavenly King?
“What preparation have you made for the judgment? [Rev. 14: 6, 7; 1 Pet. 4: 17, 18; Eccl. 12: 13, 14; Rom. 14: 10, 12]. Have you made your peace with God? Are you laboring together with God? [1 Cor. 3: 9, 4-8; “occupying till I come,” Luke 19: 13]. Are you seeking to help those around you, those in your home, those in your neighborhood, those with whom you come in contact that are not keeping the commandments of God? . . . . Are you getting ready to meet the King?
“If it were possible for us to be admitted into heaven as we are, how many of us would be able to look upon God? How many of us have on the wedding garment? How many of us are ‘without spot or wrinkle or any such thing’[Eph. 5: 25-27]? How many of us are worthy to receive the crown of [everlasting] life [the reward of the overcomers]? . . . Position does not make the man. It is Christ formed within [see Col. 1: 26, 27] that makes a man worthy of receiving the crown of life, that fadeth not away.’ [See Col. 1: 26, 27; 1 Pet. 5: 4].”- E. G. White, Gen. Conference Bulletin, Apr. 6, 1903.
‘Get ready, get ready, get ready!’
God’s messenger wrote: “I was pointed to the remnant on the earth. The angel said to them, ‘Will ye shun the seven last plagues? . . . If so, you must die [to self] that you may live [the new man in Christ]. Get ready, get ready, get ready. You must have a greater preparation than you now have.” – Ibid, Early Writings, pp. 66, 67.
“It is the privilege of every Christian, not only to look for, but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the whole world would be sown with the seed of the gospel. Quickly the last harvest would be ripened, and Christ would come to gather the precious grain [of the finally redeemed of the earth, see Rev. 14: 14-20].” – Ibid, Vol 8 Testimonies, pp. 22, 23.
Almost persuaded but not quite
See Acts 24: 24-27: “Now as he (Paul) reasoned about righteousness, temperance (self-control), and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, ‘Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.” Acts. 24: 24, 25. That “convenient time” for Felix never came. He lost eternal life by procrastination.
Now see Acts 26: 28: “Then King Agrippa said to Paul, ‘You almost persuade me to be a Christian.” King Agrippa was convinced “of the words and truth and reasoning” of apostle Paul to the point where he publicly confessed, and therefore, “it is written,” that he felt the conviction but decided against it, as so fearfully expressed in the words, “almost persuaded” but not quite.
God is speaking in at least two ways now during this current Covid-10 pandemic to both the churches and to the world-at-large: (a) in “a still small voice” of the Holy Spirit, manifested in the conviction of the conscience, the latter being “the voice of God heard amid the conflict of human passions” and (b) like “the voice of a warning trumpet” in this terrible, multi-faceted global corona virus pandemic.
Because of the fear of the unknown, terror, anxiety, confusion and general feelings of vulnerability with “nowhere to go” or “turn to” brought on by this mysterious “novel” covid-10 global pandemic, countless will doubtless finally hear the convicting voice to thoroughly repent and confess their sins to God for their backsliding, idolatrous “lust of the eye and lust of the flesh, love of the world and things of the world,” and the “drifting sins” of lethargy, procrastination, delay, neglect and negligence. But act on it! Never repeat the fatal sins of governor Felix and king Agrippa! “Repent and be converted that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3: 19, KJV.
(To be continued next week, God willing).