1 “For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every violation and act of disobedience received a just punishment, 3 how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, 4 God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders, and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.”
The author continues his argument started in chapter 1. Having established that Jesus is greater than the angels and that the New Covenant is greater than the Old Covenant, the author now urges his readers to pay attention to the Gospel message. The word spoken through angels was unalterable and transgressions were punished, therefore the greater message, the New Covenant, is even more permanent and authoritative. Because of this, those who reject the Gospel receive a worse punishment than those who rejected the law.
Drift away: Hebrews is speaking of rejecting the Gospel in favor of the Old Covenant law and temple sacrificial system. The author is warning his readers against trying to get right with God through the law. There is no compatibility between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. The Old Covenant revealed the depth of humanity’s sins while the New Covenant of grace truly saves people. Therefore, the author did not want his Jewish readers to drift away from the New Covenant back into the Old Covenant law.
How will we escape: Hebrews warns unbelievers, those who have neglected the Gospel, of an impending judgment. Throughout Hebrews we see this warning presented in different ways. The bottom line is this: If we reject Jesus there is punishment because we’ve rejected the one sacrifice for our sins.
Signs and wonders: Hebrews presents the miracles which occurred during the days of the early church as tools to confirm the Gospel message. Those who were rejecting the Gospel, not taking in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, have ignored the purpose of the miracles and the Gospel itself.