An Unanswered Question

Bible Book: Hebrews  2 : 3
Subject: Salvation, Neglect of

The Bible asks some of the most important questions: How can a man be just with God?

If a man die shall he live again? Is your heart right with God?

What is your life, it is even as a vapor...?

What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world...?

What must I do to be saved?

And then, our text: "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?"

This question was asked of the first century Jewish readers who were neglecting what they has embraced-the New Testament principles of Christ-and were on the verge of reverting back to the Old Testament Temple Sacrifices that pictured and promised the sacrifice of Christ.

"Neglect" means "to allow something to drift by." They were drifting by that which they should heed more earnestly, in view of how this truth came to them-by divine revelation through the prophets in other generations, by angels, by dream-and now God has spoken to us by His Son Jesus Christ Himself. Christ, the heir of all things, Christ, by whom God the Father made the world, Who was the brightness of God's glory and the express image of His person, Christ, the one who holds all the universe together by the word of His power-He came into the world, died on a cross, purged our sins and after rising from the dead, ascended to Heaven and now sits on the right hand of the majesty on high.

These early believers had become indifferent to the salvation in Christ which was better that the Old Testament shadow of things to come. They no longer needed the promise and the picture-they had the real thing. At the outset of this message, consider two things,

First, The Question: "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?" Promised and Pictured - Now Provided?

Second, The Question: A Rhetorical question demanding an obvious answer - How Is It Possible?

I. The Question and the Church

"How shall We escape?" This question implies two things:

A. Our Accountability

Ezekiel 3:18, "...If thou givest him (the wicked) no warning nor speak to warn the wicked...the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand."

Romans 14:9, 12 "For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ." "So then every one of shall give account of himself to God"

1. A Serious Matter

To give account to a judge, a court of law, the IRS, etc.

2. A Sobering Thought

We will account to Jesus at the Judgment Seat. There is no way we could describe it now. The blood of a husband, a wife, children, and others - required at our hand.

At that time they may already be in Hell or left to enter the tribulation, then appear before the Great White Throne and then cast into the Lake of Fire. How horrible to be shown where your loved ones will be.

For whom are you accountable? You should get to them now!

B. Our Responsibility

A major thing we are responsible for is our influence. Look at Romans 14:7, "For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself." Note two things about influence:

1. The Peril of a Careless Influence

George Whitefield - "O God, forgive me for my wasted influence over other people."

George Truett - "I would rather be nailed up in my coffin, strong and well as I am this Sunday night, and buried alive, than to live a life that would damn someone else."

Lot - "Sat in the gate of the city." He had arrived at a place of Position, Prominence and Power, but destroyed his influence over his family. To his sons-in-law "he seemed as one who mocked" when he tried to warn them of the impending judgment of God.

2. The Power of a Concerned Influence

a. The Power of Care - Romans 9:1-3

Care with your Mind - Concern, The Psalmist said, "Be not as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding" (Psalm 32:9). Many seem to be oblivious to the needs of children and others. They don't seem to care that souls without Christ are lost. Mental awareness leads to spiritual awareness and concern

Care with your Heart – Compassion

Care with your Mouth - Communication

Years ago I preached in an area-wide crusade in a medium size city in Louisiana. The area was predominantly Catholic and most of the Pastors were non-aggressive and reticent, thinking they could not reach Catholics. An ironic thing happened. Early in the crusade a little woman walked into the civic center where the crusade was being held, came up to me and asked, "Are Catholics allowed to attend this meeting?" Of course I said, "Yes, we want you to attend." This little Catholic mother trusted Jesus as her Savior and continued to attend with her children. Almost every night she sought me out after the service to introduce a son or a daughter (I don't remember explicitly) who had just been saved. While some had no confidence that they could reach Catholics, this woman, if necessary, would have ask for permission to attend. But the point I want to make is - this woman was filled with deep concern and compassion for her children after she was saved. She became a good steward of her influence over them.

b. The Process of Prayer - Romans 10:1

Your first access to the hearts of your loved ones is through God in prayer. God's access to their hearts is through you: Your Mind, Heart and Mouth.

II. The Question and the Unsaved

A. The Usual Response of the Unsaved

"Not now, I'll think about it, I can't live it, I've got to take care of some things." There is no excuse that God would accept for your neglect of salvation. If God won't accept excuses, why should you offer them.

B. The Peril of Procrastination

Someone said, "The world is a battlefield covered over with wrecks caused by procrastination." There are many cemeteries with many graves occupied by people who died prematurely because of procrastination. Many businesses have failed because of neglect-likewise, many marriages.

Procrastination produces loss of interest, weakens the power to decide, causes loss of sensitivity. The one reason why people are finally lost is neglect. No one deliberately intends to be lost.

You don't have to blaspheme God and live in open iniquity to be finally lost. Just sit on the bank while the stream of gospel truth flows by you.


Let the Prayer and Concern of the Church, the Love and Compassion of family and friends, the Conviction and Calling of the Holy Spirit drift on by and you will finally be lost.

The Holy Spirit is drawing you Now - through the church, family, friends.

The Holy Spirit is hearing their prayer for you and honoring their concern and efforts to get you saved.

How can you escape if you neglect salvation?