Hebrews 2:4 The reward at the Judgment seat will be for those whose record is good, and those who have neglected their great salvation “will suffer loss.
This is what is meant by Hebrews 2:3 – Escape what? Not eternal separation from God, for escaping that is by grace, not works. It is escaping God’s disapproval at the judgment seat of the Messiah. Listen to what the Scriptures say on this in 1 Corinthians 3:13-15. These are sobering words.
Just because we are saved, this does not mean we can live as we please and do as we wish. This free gift does not give us a license to sin or constitute an excuse for carelessness. We need to learn the lesson that our new life is only the first step in a process which will only be completed when we are perfectly and completely conformed to the image of our Messiah Jesus.
God will not stop dealing with us until we are brought to the maturity of our growth in grace and knowledge of our Messiah and Lord. Until we realize that God expects us to bring forth the maximum of fruit, by complete obedience to His will, and surrender of our lives to His leadership we will remain infants in the faith.
In Hebrews 2:4 we are reminded that those to whom Paul wrote this letter were in many cases eyewitnesses to the miracles of God not only through Jesus but the later works of the Holy Spirit among them. Jesus said (John 10:38) these works were an indication that this New Covenant is certain and that they were duty bound to respond to it.
In this chapter we are given three significant reasons for why we should not neglect this great salvation that we have been given: It was spoken to us by the Lord Himself, the certainty that we will be judged by what we do with this message, and that it was proven by the miraculous works of the Spirit of God through the Apostles, both through signs and wonders then and the confirmation of His Word today.
Hebrews 2:5 We next learn what man’s intended destiny is, how and why it was lost, and how it can be recovered in the Messiah.
The word subject in the original language carries the idea of a system of administration. God will not turn over the administration of the world to come to angels. Temporarily angels are superior to men but in the world to come it will not be this way. This verse clearly demonstrates that there is a world; the original language again here means an inhabitable world that is to come. This is a reference to the millennial kingdom. Zechariah 14 talks briefly about this. The earth itself will be different and all its inhabitants will be different.
What will be the difference between this world and the world to come? This world or world system is currently ruled by angels, fallen angels. The chief fallen angel is Satan, who is also prince of this world (John 12:31). We also know from the letter to Ephesians that this world is under heavy influence from forces opposed to God. Not only do Satan and his fallen angels have some rule in this world, but even the holy angels have a kind of sovereignty. Daniel 10 tells of Michael and another angel fighting against powerful fallen angels who were influencing the rulers of Persia and Greece. The rule of this earth is now in the hands of both fallen and holy angels. This joint ruler-ship involves extreme conflict.
Man however, was created as the king of the earth, and in the end man will one day assume the role he was created for. Man, then is lower than the angels only for a little while. He will one day again be above them and will, in fact even judge the angels who have fallen (1 Corinthians 6:3).
Hebrews 2:6-8 is a quotation from Psalm 8 and is reference to man not the Messiah. This describes God’s planned destiny for mankind in general. God made man to be king. Read Genesis 1:26-31 Man is not lower to angels in importance to God, or less loved than angels.
Man is lower than angels only in that he is physical and they are spiritual. Angels are spirit beings; man is made out of the dust of the earth. After Satan rebelled, the faithful angels were secured in holiness forever; after Adam rebelled, all men were cursed with him. In Adam all died. At the time of creation, angels were perfect; man was only innocent.
Even in his innocence, man had the choice of sinning. God’s first words to Adam in the garden were, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in that day that you eat from it you shall surely die.” In the coming new earth, things will be much different.
Daniel 7 speaks to this issue. Those who are part of God’s family will not only inherit a perfect kingdom but an eternal one. We will be ruling and reigning with the Messiah in the age to come. Both the prophets of the O.T. and the new covenant bear witness to this reality. Man’s ultimate destiny is to regain the dominion that was lost because of sin.
Man’s Destiny is restricted now because of Sin. “But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him.” When man was removed from the garden because of his sin the earth was cursed. What was merely a job of tending became a real burden. Man lost his crown, and his kingdom, and we no longer see the earth subject to man. With all our modern technology we are still faced with the reality that man does not control this world but environmental forces rule us. We constantly are fighting against the earth to survive.
After Adam sinned there was murder within his own family and in a relatively short time death was everywhere culminating in a world wide flood. Man certainly lost his crown. The prince of the earth, of the system of the world now is Satan. In 1 John 5:19 “The whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
He rules the cursed earth, which in turn rules sinful man. When man lost his crown, he became separated from God, from his fellow man and even from himself. If that wasn’t bad enough, he also lost the relationship that he had with the animal kingdom. Animals were ruled by man but responded in love, now animals serve out of fear.
What is really amazing is that the earth knows the condition it is in since the fall of man. “For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it” read Romans 8:19-22.
When the kingdom begins the children of God, those who have been made innocent, will reign. “And they will hammer their swords in plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war” Isaiah 2:4. So the Sin that has ravaged this earth and sidetracked God’s destiny for man will someday soon be done away with and the promised world to come will be in place.
This brings us to our third point. Man’s Destiny is recovered or Reclaimed by the Messiah. Hebrews 2:9 Man’s revealed destiny, which was restricted because of sin has been recovered by the Messiah. The ultimate curse of man’s lost destiny is death.
In order for our restoration to be complete the first order of business is to overcome death. The way God determined to accomplish this was through another Adam, one who would be like Adam but who would accomplish what Adam didn’t. He would accomplish the restoration of what the first Adam lost because of sin.
This was to be accomplished by the Incarnation, whereby God became man by a supernatural conception. God stooped to the level of man. God in the Messiah becomes a little lower than the Angels. God went from a position of higher than the angels to one lower. Hebrews 2:16. The purpose of this incarnation was that as a man He might pay man’s debt. Hebrews 2:14.
To regain man’s dominion He had to taste death for man. If a man dies for his own sin there is only judgment and separation from God. But the Messiah came to die for us, because His dying would conquer death. As the prophet Isaiah foretold in Isaiah 53.
As you and I identify ourselves with Jesus in His death, and believe in his work on our behalf, the curse is removed, and we become joint heirs with him in His eternal kingdom. If we are going to reign on earth as kings, there will have to be a kingdom. “And I saw throne, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them.
And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reined with Messiah for a thousand years.
Revelation. 20:4 “Who will be on those thrones? We who are kings. We will be kings with our great King, the King of kings. The redeemer King will rule with His redeemed children over the redeemed of the earth.
Man will be changed: “Now it will come about in the last days, the mountain of the house of the Lord will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples ;will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways, and that we may walk in His paths”.
“For the law will go forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many peoples; and they will hammer their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war. (Isaiah 2:2-4).
The Animals will be changed: “And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them…and the nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.
They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Even the plants will be changed: The wilderness and the desert will be glad, and the Arabah will rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it will blossom profusely and rejoice with rejoicing and shout joy.” Isaiah 35. Man has a destiny, it was marred by sin but it has been recovered by the promised Messiah.