Neglect

“Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.” —Proverbs 8:33

Have you ever had a thought that “escapes” you; something that you can’t recall? Have you ever said or heard someone else say, “Oh, it slips my mind, right now”? I know I’ve heard my mother use that expression a time or two before. And as you know, as we advance in years, it seems that more and more things seem to “escape us” when we try to call them to mind. This is what Hebrews, chapter two, verse one is talking about.

Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. —Hebrews 2:1 (ESV)

The Greek word translated as drift in English, is pararrhueo [par·ar·hroo·eh·o]. The AV translates it once as “let slip”. According to Strong’s Concordance, it means “to glide by: lest we be carried by or pass by.” Or “lest these things which we heard – that show us how to obtain salvation – slip away from us.”

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? —Hebrews 2:2-3a (ESV)

When you hear the word neglect, what comes to mind? What does the word neglect mean to you?

The Greek word ameleo [am·el·eh·o] – translated as neglect in English – means “to be careless of.” The AV translates it as “neglect” twice, to “make light of” once, as “regard not” once, and to “be negligent” once. Of those, I would say that many people today “make light of” this “great salvation,” simply because they do not realize their need of salvation and/or how great the salvation being offered really is – for it is a free gift from God, who is not only our Creator, but is also our spiritual Father.

“My sons, do not now be negligent, for the Lord has chosen you to stand in his presence, to minister to him and to be his ministers and make offerings to him.” —2 Chronicles 29:11

Perhaps if (or when) we realize just how great the retribution will be for our negligence, we will also come to realize just how great God’s salvation through faith in His Son, truly is!

“Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, ‘He is out of his mind.’” Mark 3:20-21 (ESV)

On this section of scripture, J.R. Miller comments:

They could account for His unconquerable zeal only by concluding that He was insane. We hear much of the same kind of talk in modern days when some devoted follower of Christ utterly forgets self in love for his Master. People say, “He must be insane!” They think every man is crazy whose religion kindles into any sort of unusual fervor, or who grows more earnest than the average Christian in work for the Master.

That is a good sort of insanity. It is a sad pity that it is so rare. If there were more of it there would not be so many unsaved souls dying under the very shadow of our churches; it would not be so hard to get missionaries and money to send the gospel to the dark continents; there would not be so many empty pews in our churches; so many long pauses in our prayer-meetings; so few to teach in our Sunday schools. It would be a glorious thing if all Christians were beside themselves as the Master was, or as Paul was. It is a far worse insanity which in this world never gives a thought to any other world; which, moving continually among lost men, never pities them, nor thinks of their lost condition, nor puts forth any effort to save them. It is easier to keep a cool head and a colder heart and to give ourselves no concern about perishing souls; but we are our brothers’ keepers, and no malfeasance in duty can be worse than that which pays no heed to their eternal salvation.

There really is nothing more I can say. You know the truth as well as I do, and the truth has been spoken plainly and more powerfully than I ever could.

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