“Letting Things Slip”
David M. Green

“Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.” (Hebrews 2:1)

This is an article that has been adapted from a sermon preached in late summer 2005. I believe to be a very important message on the subject of “Letting Things Slip.” We live in a day when men have failed to be men. I am talking about men who should be leaders of churches not standing for the truth. I am speaking of husbands and fathers who fail to lead their families in the ways of God. We have allowed too many things to slip!

Before we go any further, let us look to see what the Word of God means when it says this. In the original language, the word is the Greek word pararrhueo¯, which means “to flow by....to carelessly pass by.” In our day and age, there are many things that we let slip or to carelessly pass by us.

“ But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
(I Peter 1:15-16).

We have let our standards slip in our day and age. By standard, I mean “That which is established as a rule or model...” Instead of measuring ourselves up to what God thinks, we measure ourselves to the world. Think about it. Instead of saying, “I want to be holy like God is holy” we have lowered ourselves down to say “Thank the Lord I am not as bad as so-and-so!”

“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (II Corinthians 7:1)

Notice that last phrase. “...perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” Our standards are so low that I am afraid we have no fear of God anymore!

“ Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” (Luke 18:10-14)

The Pharisee had lowered standards. He didn't set them high. By comparing himself to extortioners, unjust, adulterers, etc. he was supposing that he was OK. However, the standard is not other people it must be God. And, according to God's standard that Pharisee was headed to eternal damnation just the same as what he figured were worse sinners.

“ For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”
(I Corinthians 3:9-15)

“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:11-15).

In both judgements, the standard is God and His word. It won't be a matter of how you stacked up compared to someone else. It isn't going to be a matter of your good works vs bad works.

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.” (Haggai 1:7).

The Lord says “consider your ways!” We need to set our standards high and consider our ways.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
(Romans 12:1-2).

To be not conformed to this world means to not fashion yourself after the ways of the world. Herein is our problem: We let the world decide how we ought to walk, talk, and dress. We have let our morals slip in our day and age!

“And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” (I Corinthians 6:14-18).

We have become slack in our morals. The Lord DEMANDS a life of seperation. It doesn't matter if you are reading about Israel in the Old Testament or the Lord's Church in the New Testement, He has always demanded separation.

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).

We live in a world that believes it good to be immoral and bad to be moral. And, there are even those who claim to be servants of the Lord, but their actions and articles speak otherwise.

“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry." (II Timothy 4:1-5).

We live in a time when men will let doctrine slip. We are almost afraid of certain doctrines. We ignore the gospel because we don't want to be called Arminian. We steer clear of the doctrines of grace because we don't want anyone to think we're hardshell. We don't preach about the Holy Ghost because of other movements. And on and on. I've even heard of some who say we ought not to preach doctrine simply because doctrine offends!
In the passage we just read, we find exactly how it is today. People do not enjoy sound doctrine!

“Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” (I Timothy 4:16).

We are told to take heed (or to pay close attention) to ourselves and to our doctrine. Why?? We are saving ourselves and those that hear us. We are being saved from the pollutions of the world, heresies, and punishment from Almighty God!

“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” (Ephesians 4:14).

We need to hold to the true doctrine and not be tossed about with every wind of doctrine!

“Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.” (Hebrews 2:1).

To give the “more earnest heed” to the things we have heard means that we be more cautious with it. We committ it to memory and we hold to it. We not only believe it, but we live it everyday of our lives. May God help us all to do that “lest at any time we should let them slip.”