You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
1 Therefore [dia] [touto] we [hemas] ought [dei] to give the more earnest [perissoteros] heed [prosecho] to the things which we have heard [akouo], lest at any time [mepote] we should let them slip [pararrhueo]. KJV-Interlinear
1 For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.
We are going to leave Ezekiel and resume Hebrews where we left off. While Ezekiel is a bit trying and depressing due to the negative attitude that people can have, Hebrews in contrast is the book of 'glories.'
Salvation is far superior, in fact it is infinitely superior to no salvation. The lake of fire is extremely bad. Heaven is extremely good. When the two are compared, heaven is infinitely superior to hell. An eternity of perpetual burning and excruciating pain, terror, and tears is not something that any sane person would want for their destiny, yet many are doomed to this terrible existence, from which there is no escape.
Salvation places ones life in heaven for all of eternity. There (in heaven), there is no more pain, no more sorrow, no more death, only pleasant things and perpetual happiness and peace of mind. Many (who believe in Christ) will go to heaven. But even in heaven there will be a distinction between those who have advanced to spiritual maturity and those who didn't.
To those who advance to spiritual maturity there are advanced rewards and blessings available. And for those who do not advance to maturity, these additional rewards will not be available. Certainly everyone in heaven will have a resurrection body, perfect happiness and such, but mature believers will receive far more gifts for eternity. Thus, spiritual maturity is infinitely superior to spiritual immaturity, just as salvation is infinitely superior to no salvation. The contrasts and comparisons are similar in that there is a huge difference between the two things being compared.
The book of Hebrews delves into the superiority of spiritual maturity and why it is more beneficial to ones life and future. God not only reprimands people for their unbelief, but in this book, God reprimands people for their immaturity and lack of spiritual advance.
God has provided us with a tremendous future. This life is but a short staging area for what is to become something that we cannot even begin to imagine - eternal life with God.
Today we think of hours and days and months, even years. We think of good times and bad times. We are experience oriented, time oriented. We are tied, to just the things around us and our senses that connect us, to the world. But the spiritual world in eternity is beyond our comprehension.
Just think. God created this universe in an instant. A universe with all its complexities that we have discovered in the short history of humanity. If God is capable of this, would He not be capable of creating many other types of universes? Universes that we can't even begin to imagine their composition? Perhaps many other types of new life forms - plants or animal? Centuries ago, man could not conceive of rockets, or laptop computers, or even a kitchen toaster. What could possibly be in store for us in eternity where Gods innovation and ideas are infinitely beyond that of mans imagination?
Remember that eternal blessings are infinitely beyond all that we can imagine. Look at any Sci-fi movie (the good ones) and that is still within the realm of mans imagination. What could possibly be beyond that, let alone infinitely beyond that.
In chapter one, this book contrasted the name of angels to that of Christ. Jesus Christ was not made an angel, but a man. He became inferior to angels in order to become superior to angels. We as believers in Christ are elevated in eternity to positions higher than angels.
Today angels have a higher position to humanity. We cannot see them, but we know of them. They can be seen or not seen as demonstrated in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. They can travel through space between heaven and earth with the speed of God. And, they are powerful beings, far more powerful, far more intelligent, far more capable than any human being ever born - with one exception, Jesus Christ.
One day (in eternity) we too will have tremendous capabilities.
We are born into this world with all manner of handicaps and varied talents among our race. None of us had any say in the circumstances of our birth or life. But looking ahead to heaven, we all have the opportunity to define our destiny into something far, far better than anyone who was ever born into wealthy and privileged circumstances in this world. We call that opportunity of circumstance, spiritual maturity.
With it comes great rewards, great blessings, and a great life which will last forever. But it is only a potential, because it is dependent on your advancing to spiritual maturity.
The people of Jerusalem in Ezekiel's day turned their back on God and their spiritual life. They looked to the pleasures of this life as being greater than the pleasures of eternity. They were wrong and their defiance led them to great loss.
Suppose you discovered a magic wallet or purse which filled up with thousands of dollars every time you opened it. How many times a day would you open it up, reach in and remove the money? I would bet that you would open it up often. Would you throw it away? Of course not. Only a fool would do that.
But God has given each one of us a very rich pocketbook, actually several of them, in Bible doctrine. We have only to advance in our spiritual life in order to claim them for our own possession. And advancing to spiritual maturity is very easy to do. All one has to do is study daily, listen, and learn, and live the life that we should all be living anyway.
God really does all of the work in spiritual growth anyway. We merely listen, learn, and grow up.
Look at children around you. What do they do in order to grow up? They listen (sort of), they learn (sort of), and time does all of the rest. Does anyone have any control over time? No. So they grow up merely by default. The only thing that they have to do is learn properly and then their maturing process will be much better for them.
Those teenagers who are defiant in their growing up process have what awaiting them? Trouble. They just dive into one problem after another, and it is all of their own doing.
Just how much time does it take to read one of these lessons? Five minutes maybe? Is that so much time out of a twenty-four hour day? If you could inherit a magic pocketbook (figurative of course) in exchange for a few minutes a day, wouldn't that be worth it?
And yet most people do not see nor believe in the value of their spiritual life, and that will prove to be their biggest single failure in life.
The spiritual life has phenomenal benefits both for this life here on this planet, and certainly in the next life in eternity. It is for this reason (the promise of great reward and more) that we should pay more attention to our Bible study (what we have heard), lest we drift away from our spiritual life and lose our promised excess benefits.
Don't misunderstand, being saved and going to heaven is a phenomenal blessing which cannot be taken away from those who believe in Christ, but advancement to spiritual maturity brings with it infinitely more phenomenal blessings. And infinity is a very big measure. It is well worth the effort (which is really no effort at all).
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.