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.…
I. Diligent attention unto the word of the gospel IS INDISPENSABLY NECESSARY UNTO PERSEVERANCE IN THE PROFESSION OF IT. Such a profession I mean as is acceptable unto God, or will be useful unto our own souls.
1. A due valuation of the grace tendered in it, and of the word itself on that account.
2. Diligent study of it, and searching into the mind of God in it, that so we may grow wise in the mysteries thereof
3. Mixing the word with faith (see chap. 4:2). As good not hear as not believe.
4. Labouring to express the word received in a conformity of heart and life unto it.
5. Watchfulness against all opposition that is made either against the truth or power of the word in us.
II. THERE ARE SUNDRY TIMES AND SEASONS WHEREIN, AND SEVERAL WAYS AND MEANS WHEREBY, MEN ARE IN DANGER TO LOSE THE WORD THAT THEY HAVE HEARD, IF THEY ATTEND NOT DILIGENTLY UNTO ITS PRESERVATION.
1. Some lose it in a time of peace and prosperity. That is a season which slays the foolish. Jeshurun waxes fat and kicks. According to men's pastures they are filled, and forget the Lord. They feed their lusts high, until they loathe the word.
2. Some lose it in a time of persecution. "When persecution ariseth," saith our Saviour, "they fail away." Many go on apace in profession until they come to see the cross; this sight puts them to a stand, and then turns them quite out of the way.
3. Some lose it in a time of trial by temptation. The means also whereby this wretched effect is produced are innumerable: some of them only I shall mention. As(1) Love of this present world. This made Demas a leaking vessel (2 Timothy 4:10), and chokes one-fourth part of the seed in the parable (Matthew 13.).
(2) Love of sin. A secret lust cherished in the heart will make it "full of chinks," that it will never retain the showers of the word; and it will assuredly open them as fast as convictions stop them.
(3) False doctrines, errors, false worship, superstition, and idolatries will do the same.
III. The word heard IS NOT LOST WITHOUT THE GREAT SIN AS WELD AS THE INEVITABLE RUIN OF THE SOULS OF MEN. The word of its own nature is apt to abide, and to take root: but we pour it forth from us. and they have a woeful account to make on whose soul the guilt thereof shall be found at the last day.
IV. It is in the nature of the word of the gospel TO ALTER BARREN HEARTS, AND TO MAKE THEM FRUITFUL UNTO GOD. Hence it is compared to water, dews, and rain. Where this word comes, it makes the " parched ground a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water" (Isaiah 35:7). These are the waters of the sanctuary, that "heal the barren places of the earth," and make them fruitful (Ezekiel 47.). The river that " makes glad the city of God" (Psalm 46:7). With the dew thereof doth God " water His Church every moment" (Isaiah 27:3). And then doth it "grow as a lily, and cast forth its roots as Lebanon" (Hosea 14:5-7).
V. The consideration of the revelation of the gospel by the Son of God is A POWERFUL MOTIVE UNTO THAT DILIGENT ATTENDANCE UNTO IT.
1. And this is most reasonable upon many accounts.
1. Because of the authority wherewith He spake the word.
2. Because of the love that is in it. There is in it the love of the Father in sending the Son, for the revealing of Himself and His mind unto the children of men. There is also in it the love of the Son Himself, condescending to instruct the sons of men, who by their own fault were cast into error and darkness.
3. The fulness of the revelation itself by Him made unto us is of the same importance. He came not to declare a parcel, but the whole will of Go,t, all that we are to know, to do, to believe: " In Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3).
4. Because it is final. No farther revelation of God is to be expected in this world but what is made by Jesus Christ. To this we must attend, or we are lost for ever.
VI. THE TRUE AND ONLY WAY OF HONOURING THE LORD CHRIST AS THE SON OF GOD IS BY DILIGENT ATTENDANCE AND OBEDIENCE UNTO HIS WORD.
(J. Owen, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.