How, then, shall we escape if we pay no attention to such a great salvation? The Lord himself first announced this salvation, and those who heard him proved to us that it is true. 4 At the same time God added his witness to theirs by performing all kinds of miracles and wonders and by distributing the gifts of the Holy Spirit according to his will. (Hebrews 2:2-5 GNT)
In the history of the people of Israel, through the time of Jesus and even to Paul the Mosaic Law came with retribution or consequences, for those who failed to adequately comply with its tenets.
The writer to the Hebrews a connection from that to a greater consequence, or retribution, that will fall upon those who neglect and refuse the salvation that is declared by the Lord – Jesus himself. The place of Jesus as the Son of God gives authenticity and superiority to this message.
The relevance of this message is supported by the witness of Jesus himself and those heard it “first-hand”. At the same time God has backed-up this revelation, this proclamation of the Gospel, the evidence of miracles and signs and wonders.
Some may think that it is a pretty safe bet to neglect, or reject, such a Gospel message of salvation as if there is some kind of “Statute of Limitations” which renders and discussion of retribution or consequence moot.
Let us bear in mind the truth that the presence and power of God are not shut between the pages of a book referring to ages past.
As is shown in v. 4, the message of salvation has continued to be attested to in this present generation by those who have discovered a living faith in Jesus Christ and can also call themselves witnesses to the gift of the Holy Spirit; manifest in signs, wonders and miracles.
“How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?”
God’s promises are true even for those who decline the offer of salvation through Jesus Christ.
But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned (Matthew 12:3-37 NIV)
39 Jesus said, “I came to this world to judge, so that the blind should see and those who see should become blind.” 40 Some Pharisees who were there with him heard him say this and asked him, “Surely you don’t mean that we are blind, too?” 41 Jesus answered, “If you were blind, then you would not be guilty; but since you claim that you can see, this means that you are still guilty.” (John 9:39-41 GNT)
8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. (John 16:8-11 GNT)
5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God ‘will repay each person according to what they have done.’ 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honour and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honour and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favouritism. (Romans 2:5-11 GNT)