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The word neglect means to pay no attention, or not enough attention, to fail to take proper care, to omit to do something through carelessness or forgetfulness. The process of neglect is usually slow and often imperceptible. Decay, mildew, rust, rot, deterioration and corruption of all kinds seldom appear immediately. Like neglect they take time. They come slowly.
2. Once Saved Always Saved
Millions believe that once a person is saved, they are always saved. They can never be lost! Their names can never be blotted out of the Book of Life. Salvation, they believe, is guaranteed upon acceptance of Messiah, no matter how the believer subsequently behaves. Is that what the Bible teaches? I can assure you that it doesn't. The Bible teaches that a believer's name can be deleted - blotted out - from the Book of Life. Consider these passages:
|Deut. 9:||13: Furthermore YaHuWaH spake unto me, saying, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiff necked people:
14: Let Me alone, that I may destroy them, and blot out their name from under Heaven:
|Exodus 32:||31: And Moshe returned unto YaHuWaH, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold.
32: Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.
33: And YaHuWaH said unto Moshe, Whosoever hath sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book.
|Psalm 69:||28: Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.|
|Revelation 3:||5: He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels.|
In other words names can be blotted out of the Book of Life. This means that after we have accepted the Savior, we believers must continue to do something to retain our prospects of salvation.
3. What is Neglect?
But back to our text about neglecting salvation. What does that word neglect imply. The word neglect may be examined on two planes: the physical and the spiritual; bearing in mind that the physical plane is merely the shadow, the temporary object lesson of the realities that occur on the spiritual plane.
The Physical Plane
On the physical plane it is easy to determine what constitutes neglect. I list a few of many causes. Remember that word 'we' includes us all.
When one or more of these three conditions is present - and there are other reasons - then the result is weeds, rust, mildew, dilapidation, dirt, decay and death. We see this all around: in our gardens, cars, clothes, houses etc. The second law of thermodynamics confirms this. In effect it says that: unless things are maintained they decay. In other words neglect results in ruin.
The Spiritual Plane
But what about our salvation; that all-encompassing eternal goal on the spiritual plane? Does that second law apply here? It surely does. Indeed that's why the second law of thermodynamics was installed. It was put there by the Creator to teach man that without outside input, all things physical - and spiritual - decay and die. But how does one neglect his/her salvation, that infinitely more important spiritual objective? Bear in mind that neglect on the spiritual plane has eternal consequences. Believe it or not the same three reasons for neglect are present.
4. How Shall We Escape?
You have all heard or read about famous escapes. Virtually every fictional story will include an escape drama. Escape from prison, shame, defeat, fire, famine, drowning, death etc. To the question How shall we escape? there are many potential answers:
|Job 1:||13: And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house:
14: And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them:
15: And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
16: While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of Elohim is fallen from Heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
17: While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
18: While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house:
19: And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
The word escape opens up a wide range of experiences. One may escape with or without possessions. And - sad to say - some may not even escape with life. They may loose eternal life itself.
To these spiritual questions there is only one answer. There is no escape -absolutely none.
If we neglect salvation we will most definitely suffer loss and possibly even loose eternal life. That is a fact!
5. So Great Salvation
Bear in mind that salvation goes far beyond a rescue operation from sin and eternal death. Great as eternal life obviously is, there is a lot more to salvation than just living forever. What will we do throughout eternity? How will we occupy ourselves? Where will we go? Or will we, after a few million years, become bored with an endless life of blissful inactivity? What does that term 'great salvation' encompass?
Our 'great salvation' encompasses endless ages of power, glory and interesting activity under instruction and leadership of the Almighty. Indeed the redeemed will need an eternity to appreciate the worthwhile projects YaHuWaH has in store for us. To begin with He has scheduled Himself to re-create the universe and share it with the redeemed host. They will become joint-heirs of all things with Messiah.
6. I Press On
Have you weighed up the eternal options concerning so great a salvation? Are you pressing on? Do you count all things as garbage, as dung, when compared to so great a salvation? Or are you, perhaps, neglecting your salvation? Am I?
These are questions we must continually ask ourselves.
Because there is absolutely no escape for anyone who neglects so great a salvation: no escape at all!