“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
One of the many things we have noticed studying the book of Hebrews as a church is the consistent contrast between warning and hope. Warning for those who know the truth of the Gospel and fall away. Hope for those who with perseverance and endurance, continue in the faith. The warning ends in eternal judgement and the hope ends in eternal life.
Much can debated about the theology of a person who is drifting or falling away from the faith. Some may say, “Once saved, always saved”. Others may say that it is possible for a person to lose their salvation. But no matter the theological debate, what is clear is the warning that once you understand the truth of the Gospel, you must be careful not to fall away from walking in the faith.
To truly understand how a drifting away from the faith happen, we must understand that this doesn’t happen instantaneously. Drifting away from faith happens slowly and progressively; or regressively for that matter. As days turn into weeks and weeks into months and months turn into years, the decision of walking with the Lord and living out one’s faith begin to lessen and lessen if not acted upon throughout each day.
One illustration we talked about in church was the picture of a person on a raft that slowly leaves the beach. Over time the raft begins to get further and further from the beach. Before long, the person in the raft can no longer see the beach and is so far out that they realize they have been carried away. The same goes with how a person loses focus on the Lord when it may not seem like it.
Along with losing focus on the Lord, circumstances in life begin to overwhelm. This also happens little by little until you have completely abandoned any resemblance of faith. Being busy with work, family, events, and so on end up taking priority over spending time in the Bible, in prayer, and meeting with other believers. (I wrote about this in the blog post: Worries Of The World)
All throughout the book of Hebrews is a plea to remain walking in a solid and growing faith in Jesus despite the things we may encounter in this life. As soon as we let our guard down, either against beliefs contrary to Scripture or getting pulled away by the things of this world, we are bound to drift away from the faith. And as we see today, it seems that it is getting easier and easier to be busy and distracted, only to find people trying to claim the faith they once knew; which is now slowly being abandoned.
This isn’t a matter of if people actually know the Gospel, but those that know the Truth and don’t have a faith that takes root in their lives. People end up becoming complacent and comfortable to the point they can only try to justify their past faith. A warning that the writer of Hebrews points to is not a saving faith.
But there is great hope when we press on in faith. Assurance always accompanies an active and growing faith in Jesus. The reward is eternal life living in the presence of God. Therefore, it is critical that each of us as individuals find ourselves keeping our focus on the Lord throughout each day and spend time reading and studying the Bible and in prayer. We must also commit ourselves to meeting with other believers to encourage and challenge one another to continue in the faith and remain grounded in the Truth.
So even though there is a great warning about drifting and falling away from the faith, there is also a great hope of what lies ahead for those walking in faith in Jesus. May we stand strong against any and all things that seek to draw our focus away from the faith so that we don’t find ourselves drifting away.