Characteristics of Drifting | College Retreat
How do you never start the drift? We need to resolve in our hearts to be faithful to the Lord. In this session, Brody walks through Hebrews 2 and the characteristics of drifting.
Jesus warns us because He loves us. Let’s hold fast to the Word of Jesus. He will not let go of you. Fight to stay faithful.
- Hebrews 2
- Romans 8:1
- Isaiah 6
- Galatians 3
- Hebrews 10:26
2024 COLLEGE RETREAT
Read the Transcript Below
You are adults. If you’re not behaving like an adult in your day-to-day life, now is the time. The day has come and so it’s time to put on your big boy or big girl pants and start walking in the ways of manhood or womanhood.
And I think that if you’ll do that, you will avoid a pitfall that so many people in your generation are falling into. And the Bible speaks of this pitfall, and it comes in multiple, I guess, facets or ways, and it’s the pitfall of walking away or turning away from your fight. For those of us that were raised in the church, and I know not everybody was raised in the church, a lot of you were raised coming to Snowbird and you heard the Gospel preached, and it breaks my heart when I hear stories of young men and women that grow up coming to camp here, doing summer events, coming to fall, winter, spring events, and then they get off to college, oftentimes is where this happens, and the propaganda-driven machine of American or Western academia pulls, pushes, drags or sometimes hand-in-hand walks them away from the faith. And y’all know what I’m talking about. You’ve seen this happen with friends that you grew up in youth group with. Student pastors, people that are in ministry have seen this happen. We all know somebody that’s walked away from Jesus, walked away from the faith.
And the way that the Bible will describe this, the multiple facets that it’ll break it down into, or the multiple ways that we see this is, some people will fall away, some people will turn away, some people will drift away. And the Bible also uses a really strong, harsh word, that word is apostasy. Some people become apostates, and what that means is they wholeheartedly reject the gospel. And apostates are people who had once embraced the Gospel, and then they reject the gospel. But I wanna look tonight at a warning in Hebrews 2 that’s… This is literally gonna be a part two sermon to the part one that I preached last year at this event. Literally, this has not left my mind, this thought, this idea. It’s something I’m constantly coming back to, because we see so many people walking away from Jesus, falling away from Jesus. And I wanna say this, people that walk away, people that turn away, people that fall away, all of that begins with a drifting away. And I would say also that when we’re describing… And we’re gonna get into and unpack what this looks like, but more than looking at what a drift looks like… Last year, we looked at the drift. This year, I wanna talk about, how do you never start the drift?
How do you fasten yourself to something that’s so immovable you can sit dead front and center in a New Testament… A secular, atheistic professor can teach a New Testament class at your institution, and you can sit there and be ostracized, be marginalized, be made fun of, be talked about, and you’re perfectly resolved in your heart to stay faithful. Two years ago at this event, we talked about the resolve of Daniel to be in the Babylonian University system and to resolve to be faithful. And he did that. And I wanna encourage you that you can run your race well, and you can one day finish your race. My race is more than half over, my race is potentially three-quarters over. Your race, for the most part, is just beginning. And how you start the race will determine how you run the race and how you finish the race. And I’m gonna give you a little secret. It is not complicated. The simplicity of the Gospel that Jesus has called us to is so easy that Jesus says, “If you will take my yoke, the burden will be light, ’cause my yoke is easy.”
‘Cause guess what? It ain’t hard for Jesus. It ain’t hard for Jesus not to turn away from the Gospel. It ain’t hard for Jesus to reject the world’s ideologies. It ain’t hard for Jesus to endure suffering and persecution and ridicule at the hands of sinful people. And he says, if we’re yoked with Him, He will bear the weight and the bulk of that burden, and we will remain steadfast. And we’re gonna look at scripture tonight that gives us some promises to that end and to that degree, and we’ll be in that again tomorrow. So, Hebrews Chapter 2, now I’m gonna back up. I wanna back up and read a little bit as a ramp into this, we’re gonna back up to Hebrews Chapter 1. We’re gonna read more scripture tonight than typically we would read, but I wanna do that to set up the four verses we’re gonna look at. We’re gonna look at Hebrews 2, 1-4. We’re gonna do a high, fast fly over Chapter 1, but Chapter 1 is just 15 verses.
And so if you would, read with me, this is the word of the Lord. “Long ago, at many times and in many ways… “ Before I continue, let me say this. This is beautiful, poetic scripture. I want you to just sit, and if you’re reading along in your own copy of your own version of Scripture or you’re on a device and you’re reading and you’re following, or you’re following on the screen, drink the beauty and the depth of God’s word in. This passage has moved my soul over the last two weeks as I’ve prepared this. This is beautifully poetic and it’s laced with passages from the Psalms. Read with me:
“Long ago at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets. But in these last days, He’s spoken to us by His son whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world. He’s the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name He has inherited is more excellent than theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say, ‘You are my son. Today, I have begotten you.’
“Or again, ‘I will be to him a father and he shall be to me a son.’ And again, when He brings the first born into the world, He says, ‘Let all God’s angels worship Him.’ Of the angels, He says, ‘He makes His angels winds and his ministers a flame of fire.’ But of the Son, He says, ‘Your throne, Oh God, is forever and ever. The scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom, you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.’ And ‘You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning. And the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe, you will roll them up, like a garment, they will be changed. But you are the same and your years will have no end.’ And to which of the angels has He ever said, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet’? Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?
“Therefore, we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will.” – Hebrews 1-2:4
This is the word of the Lord. Let’s pray. Lord, I pray that tonight, you give us understanding into your word and that it would shape us, change us, mold us, and most importantly, we might be fastened to it as we would be fastened to the rock that is Christ Jesus in a culture that is a swiftly moving, philosophical and ideological current. I pray that we would remember tonight, that all that’s needed to drift is to do nothing. But in Christ, we can fight and claw and run and hold fast and take hold of what you’ve given us to take hold of, and 20 and 50 and 70 years from now, we can finish our race well. So help us tonight to understand what you would have us to understand and be shaped by in your word. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
So let me start by talking about that word “therefore” at the beginning of Chapter 2. You guys, you see this in scripture, and it’s always a really important word. So the word “therefore” is a word that is always calling us back to something that we just looked at, something that we just studied. And my favorite “therefore” is in Romans Chapter 8 and Verse 1. There’s therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” And that therefore comes on the tail of this passage at the end of Romans 7 that kind of… You go through Romans 6 and you see the beauty of the Gospel, and you get to Romans Chapter 7, and you see the turmoil that the believer lives with, the struggle, the fight, the battle. You get to the end of Chapter 7 and he says, “I find then a law, that evil is present within me, the one who wills to do good.” And so he’s talking about this struggle to walk faithfully with the Lord, but then to recognize his own shortcomings and the fact that he often fails and falls short. We can all identify with that. I wanna be faithful to Jesus, but there’s a lot of times I fail miserably. And he says, “There’s therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Condemnation has been removed. And so when we come to this “therefore” in Hebrews Chapter 2, we gotta look back at what we just studied, and what we just studied in the first four verses was sort of this snapshot of these massive positions that Jesus holds.
In the Old Testament, under the old covenant of the law, there were three primary positions in ancient Israel, which was the nation of God’s people. There was the position of the Prophet, the position of the priest, and the position of the king. You guys have heard this, right? You’ve studied this, you’ve seen this. Great prophets, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah. Great Kings like David and Josiah, and great priests in the line of Aaron, even Zechariah the father of John the Baptist, prophet, priest and king. In those first few verses, what he’s saying in Chapter 1 is, Jesus has fulfilled all of those offices and brought them to completion. We no longer have prophets the way that we had prophets under the old covenant. We no longer have priests. In fact, we are priests.
You guys have probably heard the story when I was in the airport, I was in San Francisco, which is a crazy place to be. And I’m in the airport and I’m reading, I think… I don’t think I was reading anything spiritual. I think I was reading a magazine or something. This crazy guy’s in there… You know there’s different levels of crazy, there’s different kinds of crazy. And he was crazy, crazy. My family has a word to describe the kind of crazy he was, and I won’t say it here, and he was just nuts. And he’s walking around talking to himself, talking to something in his bag, and I’m like, “Man, this guy’s… ” I’m keeping an eye on him. I’m like, he got through security, and it’s gotta be okay. I didn’t get through security, they stopped me for a random questioning or whatever.
And so I’m like, “This guy made it through.” So then he starts talking to me. And at some point, he asked me what I do. I said I’m a pastor. And he knelt down in front of me like one would kneel to be knighted. And he says, “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.” And I did what any good-humored pastor would do, I knighted him and told him to rise there in the airport. And I gave him a commissioning, and then I told him I was just messing with him, that I ain’t really that kind of preacher. And so there are whole religious systems that try to hold to the priesthood. They try to hold to the priesthood, they say, “Well, we have priests in the church that are unique in their role,” and they attach the unique nature of that to the Old Covenant.
You guys, you come through with that? There are also large groups of people that try to hold to the prophetic office. They’ll call their pastors “prophets,” they’ll talk about prophetic movements, and they’ll try to keep alive the Old Testament prophet. But Jesus fulfilled that. The first few verses we read says, “He’s the high priest who is sat down at the right hand of the Father. He’s made final atonement for sins. There no longer remains a sacrifice.” If you’re… Listen, look at me, listen to me. If you are in Christ under the blood of Jesus, the gates of hell cannot prevail against your salvation. I don’t care who lies to you, and it is a lie. If Christ has redeemed you by His blood, the gates of hell and the movements of the world will never come against that. You can rest in that. You may wrestle with doubt, you may wrestle with anxiousness, you may wrestle with fear, there’s a reason that more than 300 times in scripture, we are told, “Don’t be afraid, don’t be anxious, fear not,” because God knows the natural bit of our fallen state, and so we fear. But Jesus’ work as a high priest is done, and as such, he is the high priest and we are priests, simply meaning we can now go before the Father in prayer. That’s what a priest would do.
There’s no more role for a prophet, because what we have is the final prophetic word, the word of God is the final word of God to people. There’s nothing else to be added. And then he’s the King of Kings who sits on a perpetual throne. The Kingdom of Jesus is not something that is yet to come. It’s something he has already ushered in. He’s the King on a throne. And then he moves into this contrast over Chapter 1 where he’s comparing Jesus to angels. And you look at that and you’re like, “What, angels are one of those things that’s kinda confusing. You know what I mean? Lot of misrepresentation of what angels are, fluffy, pudgy cartoon characters or like anime type. You know what I’m saying? I’ve seen these airbrush angels on t-shirts, it’s like, what are angels exactly? And so in Scripture, angels carry a few roles, they’ve got some unique roles, they’re God’s messengers in the spiritual realm, they’re God’s warriors in the spiritual realm. In fact, Jesus is called the Lord of Hosts. Yahweh is the Lord of Hosts, which means the Lord of God’s armies, signifying that there’s an angelic Army.
There’s one story where Michael the Archangel goes to hand-to-hand battle that lasts for three straight weeks. No UFC rules, no boxing rules. It’s not like, “Three minutes, take a break, five rounds.” It’s 21 days of war between this angel called Michael and this demonic figure that a lot of people think is Satan himself, called the Prince of Persia. There is a scene in the book of Revelation looking back at the fall where there’s a vision where Michael the Archangel casts the dragon to the earth. And so we know that there’s that military role that angels play, there’s also the role of messengers. There’s the role of messengers like when they show up… The angel shows up to Mary and says, “Hey, you’re gonna have a baby.” She says, “I’ve never known a man.” He says, “This is gonna be supernatural, the Holy Spirit’s gonna put this in your womb.”
That angels would be messengers, and we see that happen throughout scripture. But angels also are true and faithful in their worship. And when Jesus comes into the world, there’s a reference there, I believe, in Chapter 1, where all the angels are worshiping the Christ child. But then also, there are these prophetic scenes yet to come, where in the heavenlies, the angels will be this chorus and this group that will worship day and night, night and day. In Isaiah 6, there are these angelic figures and creatures that hover around the throne of Jesus, and they worship Him day and night, saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty. The whole earth is filled with His glory.” And it’s so powerful that it almost freaks Isaiah out. And he’s a bold guy, he’s a strong follower of Yahweh. But there’s an office to angels, or a responsibility to angels that, for me, I never understood until diving into this text. And it’s only referenced five times in scripture, and this is one of them in Chapter 2 Verse 2. And then it is referenced in Deuteronomy Chapter 33 Verse 2.
It’s referenced in Psalm 68, verse 17. And then Paul speaks of it in Galatians 3, 16, 17, 16 to 19. And this is what it is, that it was angels who delivered the Covenant law of God to Moses at Mount Sinai.
So we get this picture of who angels are, and Jesus is not an angel. You and I are not going to become angels, they have a unique characteristic by God’s design, and one of the things that they have been created by God to do is to deliver the covenant promises at Sinai. And Moses even speaks of it later in his life, 30 years later. And so when we think about the role that angels play, we can affirm and with solid doctrine, say this, Jesus is greater than the angels. He’s greater than the angels. Jesus is unique from the angels, and the angels worship Jesus. And so he gets to this point in chapter two, the text that we’re looking at where he says… He says, “Therefore, based on what we know to be true about these angels,” and He gives these seven quotes that are tied to angels, and he even in verse… And in those quotes, you saw there was some contrasting.
Like in verse 8, he said, “Your throne, oh God is forever and ever. The scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.” He’s recognizing the person, the place and the work of Jesus, and so we get to Chapter 2, and therefore, he says, based on, the message that the angels were given, and the role that Jesus plays in relationship to the angels, and I would also… One more thing to add, Peter riding in his letter says that angels are mystified by the gospel of salvation that God has provided for humans.
Because they’ve always been faithful, and we haven’t been. We were rescued and saved out of the bondage of decay, out of the brokenness and slavery to sin. So angels are like, well… They long to look into this, they long to understand it, therefore, we gotta pay close attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. Now, what is he referencing when he says, “What we have heard,” the word of the angels? No, go back to… That’s part of it. Certainly we’d… Certainly we wouldn’t reject the Old Testament writings of Scripture, but go back to the first few verses of chapter 1. And he says, “God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days, He has spoken to us by his son.” He’s using that word, speaks twice or spoken, “Whom he appointed the heir of all things through whom He also created the world.” And then in Verse 3, “And he upholds the universe by the word of His power.” So in the first three verses, God speaks, Jesus speaks. Jesus’s words sustains creation. I heard an amazing sermon on this last Sunday at church by one of my pastors, I was like, “That’s some good time in right there.”
‘Cause one of the things that you will learn, if you ever get into pastoral ministry is when somebody else gives you some good red meat, you like, you just repackage it, tell ’em you got it from somebody else, and then lay it out there. And here’s what he said, it was Rob, and it was awesome. He said, “And I never heard this before.” Boy don’t you love it? When you learned something in church? I do, man, I’m like giddy. He said, the idea is that when Jesus spoke, he didn’t continue speaking, but His very word is eternal and its reverberation and power, so creation is still being sustained, by the spoken word of Jesus.
Oh, that’ll make me get a little bit charismatic and so… So when he says, don’t drift away from the message that we’ve heard, here’s the message that Jesus spoke in the created order, so message of the angels through… There’s a message of the prophets, but what about the word of Jesus? ‘Cause what he’s gonna do is he’s gonna compare, he’s gonna draw this comparison, lest we drift away from it, for since the message declared by angels proof to be reliable, we’ve already addressed what that message was, that message proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution. How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord and attested to us by those who heard, so he’s saying, what we gotta make sure we hold fast to is the word of Jesus, the Gospel of Jesus, if there was weight and eternal significance and gravity and holiness, laden in the words of angels to the prophets, under the old covenant that God made with his people. How much more should we pay attention to the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Listen to me tonight, Snowbird. If you don’t plan to drift, you better have a plan to grip the word of Jesus tightly, and don’t ever let go of it, don’t ever walk away from it, don’t ever turn away from it, don’t ever cycle it out of your life, but yield to it, be mystified by it. Embrace the mystery when you don’t understand something, dive deeper when the water feels shallow. I guarantee you, as shallow as the truth in Scripture might feel, you’re still over an infinite depth of water that you could never touch the bottom to. Oh, I got that, I understand it. I was preaching recently at a church, and a guy comes up to me, compliments me and then tells me about how he already knew everything I was saying, but these other people really needed to hear that. I was like, “Man, God, please don’t let me get to this place where I don’t sit under the hearing of your word, open your word and read the most familiar passages that I remember, committed to memory that I won’t go deeper into.”
So he says, pay close attention. Let me give you a couple of thoughts on drifting again, you can, I would reference you back to the message that we did here last year on drifting. There’s a lot of content in that. But think about this, the characteristics of drifting. Number one, Do nothing. And you will drift. All you gotta do to drift is nothing. Just remember that. I just want you to remember that. I’m not doing anything crazy. You should have stopped that word with I’m not doing anything, that sentence, there is a constant active pursuit of Jesus that is necessary in the life of the believer, it’s critical and as necessary, all that’s needed is to do nothing and you’ll drift.
Additionally, a characteristic of drifting is that you don’t listen, you don’t hear. You don’t listen, you don’t hear. He says, pay close attention. Pay closer attention. This implies that we don’t come under the hearing of the word of God in general, and the message of the gospel in particular, this is when we’ve all been in this situation, and there’s this precarious thing where you can know the Bible and it not really take hold of you. I’ve seen this happen with some leading secular non-believing like philosophers and psychologists, right. Jordan Peters as the biggest one. That dude’s awesome, that dude’s dangerous ’cause he will lead more people away from Jesus than Bart Ehrman ever will, because he’s so close. And he knows the Bible, he’s doing a whole series now on Exodus, and he’s inspired, and he cries when he talks to Joe Rogan about the cross of Jesus, but he has never been his knee and confessed with his mouth that Jesus is Lord and the most dangerous false teachers that will most quickly drag us away, or those that get right up next to the truth and then pervert it or soften it, or give a little tug.
You gotta pay close attention. So don’t just listen but not hear, the scripture addresses this multiple times that they’re hearing, but they’re not perceiving, their hearts have gone careless. Another characteristic of drifting is to ignore the message and teaching of Jesus, we listen, we hear it, but we don’t surrender, we don’t surrender to the message or to the Teacher, capital T, Teacher of the word that being Jesus. The message of Jesus is the greater message. One characteristic of drifting and this is one that has really brought conviction for me as we compare that what he’s saying, if we pay attention to the words of the angels through the prophets and through Moses, then we need to pay closer attention to what Jesus is saying.
There are a lot of good godly people that hold more tightly to Old Testament law or legalism, and they find a safe place there. Well, my theology is where my security is or my ability to follow the rules or the law, we gotta be careful of that, we can walk away from… We need to love that. But the message of Jesus is a greater message, than the law, it’s a greater teaching, and the teaching of Moses, the teaching of the law was literally given by angels, with the word of God that we have in our possession, including the Old Testament, is given to us by God, so we have to hold fast to the word of God.
And we get into lastly, those, verses 2 and 3, a study of… Like if you study the entire Old Testament, one thing that I’ve found to be true, and you can correct me if I’m wrong, is that messengers sent from God to man were always faithful and true to the word of God. The few times there was a wavering, there were horrible consequences. False teachers are never being true to what God has commissioned them to do. Their message was reliable and it was to be heeded, and even obeyed. These men were not perfect prophets of old the preachers of old were not perfect. The law of God was sent to God, man, and included warnings and even consequences to law breaking. So think of this, the Old Testament law, we said is different than the New Covenant that Jesus ushered in, but Jesus said, I didn’t come to abolish the law. So I didn’t come to throw out the law that the angels brought to Moses, I came to fulfill it. Complete it. Bring it to completion. Now, here’s a cool brain nugget for you right here. Jesus said, I didn’t come to abolish the law, I came to fulfill the law.
The word for, fulfill is translated other ways throughout the New Testament, it’s translated depending on what translation of scripture, what you prefer is translated fulfill, it’s translated gratify. This is where Paul writes the Galatians and say, “Don’t gratify the desires of the flesh or rather spirit.” It’s translated as end. In Romans 10, I think chapter 10 verse 4, where Jesus says or where Paul writes, “But Christ is the end of the law.” Paul writes to the Romans, “Christ is the end of the law.” He brings it to completion. Jesus said, I didn’t come to abolish it, but to bring it to completion. To fulfill it, there has been one person in history who was faithful to perfectly fulfill and carry out obedience to the law, and that was Jesus, and then Jesus goes to the cross, and when he’s hanging there, he says, it is. And He uses the exact same word, fulfilled.
Our Bibles translates it, finished, is completed. Is brought to completion. So the law is not bad, Jesus has fulfilled it. Therefore, the word of Jesus is better, ’cause he’s the perfect fulfillment of the law. The law of God was sent to God, man, Paul writes to the Galatians and included warnings and even consequences for law-breaking, there were consequences for ignoring. For disobeying commandments, there was a message given in the covenant that of the law that God made with Moses was literally ratified in the blood of animals, but the New Covenant is ratified in the blood of Jesus.
Maybe the most glaring difference in the Old Covenant and the New Covenant is that blood in which it is ratified in, the old covenant made with man by God was ratified temporarily, at least in the blood of animals, but our salvation, in the covenant that God’s made with us, is ratified in the blood of Jesus. The spotless perfect blood of Jesus that cleanses us from unrighteousness, that washes away your guilt, it sets you free from sexual bondage and decay and sin that releases you from addiction, that frees you from a horrific family cycle of brokenness that gives you purpose, that brings you out of the pit, that ushers you into the throne room of God, Hebrews Chapter 4, that makes you a recipient of God’s mercy, His kindness and his grace that hold you in an ongoing relationship, with your creator and redeemer, that blood is what ratifies the covenant that we’re in, a covenant that says, “I’ll never leave you, I’ll never forsake you.”
A covenant that on the night that Jesus made it, he held up the cup and said, “This is the new covenant in my blood, drink this and remember me,” and the next time we drink it together, we will be in my kingdom ’cause that’s what I’m paying for today. So listen to this warning from Hebrews. Hebrews Chapter 10, verse 26,
For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth,there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again,“The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle,with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For, Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who shrink back…” – Hebrews 10:26-39a
You don’t have to drift. I don’t have to drift. And why is that? Because of the uniqueness of Jesus, Jesus claimed to be God. The message of the gospel was declared by Jesus. It’s not possible to accept Jesus as anything other than the Son of God, the Messiah sent by God. As soon as we neglect the authority of Jesus, we reduce him to a religious sage or spiritual guru or social justice warrior who did supernatural tricks and taught kind and wise humanitarian lessons, feed the hungry, help the sick, help the poor. But guess what? These are the exact same lessons learned by Gandy and the Mother Teresa and dozens of Popes through the centuries, many gurus and prophets have had these messages, these messages are rooted in Jesus’s teaching, and as image bearers of God, it’s interesting that natural man will often carry these out.
Many secular people who reject the very existence of God, adhere to strong social justice ideas or strong humanitarian ideas, but what makes Jesus more than a pacifist who teaches us to care for the poor is that he claimed to be God, commanded His followers to worship Him as God. Performed supernatural miracles that cannot be explained within the natural order, knew the thoughts of people without them telling him, predicted his own death and resurrection, fulfilled those predictions. Rebuked Satan to his face by saying, I am the Lord your God. And lastly, he calls people to repent in their belief and confession that He is Lord and savior.
Jesus is the ultimate piece giver, he is the ultimate peace maker, but he is God, and He warns us because He loves us, and He warns us because he cares about us, and he closes the text by saying, While God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and my gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will, signs and wonders, listen to this commentator named Guthrie says this, Guthrie says, “The language here is legal, it’s as if God has entered into the court room of history to give witness and to confirm the message of Jesus. The three-word expression, that he would perform miracles, signs and wonders, was so common in the early church to express confirmation of who God is and what He’s done for us because of what God has done through Jesus. We have the word of God to hold fast to and to live our lives by,” so the warning to not drift comes down to this.
Don’t let go of the faith you have confessed, don’t let go of the word of God, don’t let go of Jesus and know that he’s not gonna let go of you. He’s not gonna let go of you. I think there’s, if I could, in conclusion, give kind of a story to tie this together, because I think it’s important to recognize maybe three things about why God warns us, number one, God warns Just because he loves us. What parent doesn’t want… Like good parents provide parameters, right? They don’t provide total freedom to their children. And that’s because they love ’em. God warns us because he’s passionate about His Gospel and His glory, he’s passionate about it, he’s unwavering in that passion, and then He warns us to help us in the warnings, Hebrews 4:16 says that when we approach His throne of grace, we receive help.
So Jesus warns us ’cause he loves us, he doesn’t warn us like he’s sitting there with a proverbial big boot just waiting to kick you in the head for messing up. He’s not like, Miss Tammy my fourth grade teacher, y’all don’t know how good you had. You didn’t grow up in a time when they could whoop you at school, I got whoopings all the time, my kids be like, I got detention tomorrow. I don’t know what that is.
You hang out for 30 minutes. You couldn’t sit for 30 minutes after Miss Tammy got done with you, I promise, she weighed a solid 380 and she had a paddle that was a double hand. Anyway, going down memory lane here. But there are warnings that are given, and good parameters have… There are consequences that don’t remove you from the love of those consequences, and the story that I wanted to tell to close, I got one minute until the clock strikes 9, and I’ll be done. So I have a daughter, there’s several of us on staff, a couple that have moved on now, but there are several guys that all have daughters that are like in this little friend group like a little brat pack, when they were like six, seven, eight years old. There was a sleep over at my house and everybody… You raised your kids, you make jokes about like, don’t take candy from a stranger. Don’t talk to people in white vans, don’t mess with them. Don’t look at somebody’s puppy if they’ve got a car and they tell you to come in. When you’re a parent, sometimes you freak out a little bit about somebody snatching your kid. And so I live in the country, all the girls had a sleep over, I’m in my shed, I’m sitting there, got the windows up. I’m doing sermon prep. It’s a Sunday morning. We’d had a sleep over. Our church meets in Sunday afternoons, and so Sunday mornings are kind of a lazy time, kids are out playing, and we got a little pond about 150 yards down by the road, all the girls are down there playing, now we’ve all taught our kids, don’t talk to strangers, don’t take candy, don’t pet puppy dog and blah, blah, blah. And I hear this car come ripping down the road, and slams on the brakes, I’m like, “What is going on?” And I hear a man’s voice, and it dawns on me, he’s talking to the girls and it’s like five or six… These five or six girls are down there, they’re probably eight years old, and so I get up and I can’t see where they’re at, ’cause there’s trees blocking it through the window. So I get up, walk outside of my space and start down through the yard. It’s down hill, and then I can see, he’s literally telling them to come see his puppy and he’s got a puppy, and I know this guy is a drug dealer and what he’s up to…
I don’t know what he’s doing. I couldn’t believe it. I just took off running and screaming, and he took off and he left, and I got down there, we’re talking to these girls, and I called all the dads and said, everybody needs to have a good come to Jesus meeting tonight with their babies. But ultimately, they did good, they resisted, even though there was a pull, right? He was starting to wear them down, and daddy showed up, and I think that sometimes Jesus is going to let you fight and resist, and he wants you to grow strong by resisting secular ideology and movements within society and the world’s philosophies, and here’s what I promise you, the message of Jesus is eternal, it’s never changed, it will never change whatever bandwagon your friends are jumping on ideologically, they will jump off of a month, a year or 10 years from now. The hippie movement of the 60’s is dead, those people are not fighting for that anymore, that generation faced the same thing y’all faced. The world’s ideologies just get re-packaged.
Hold fast to Jesus, he’s the author of your faith. He warns us not to drift. And the warning is to hold fast to the word of God and to recognize that he’s gonna help us in our time of need and don’t drift. And 10 years from now, I wanna hear that you’re walking with Jesus.
Thanks for listening. We hope this has encouraged you in your walk with Christ, be sure to give us a rating and review and for more Snowbird content, check out our other podcast, No Sanity Required.
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