If you've got any conscience at all, no matter how secure your faith and confidence in Christ might be, if you've got any conscience at all, forgiven as you might be, but any conscience whatsoever concerning the sin you've had in your life and you know it's time to stand before... what untold comfort if there you stand and Christ shows you that wound and you see your name written there. My name is written, the songwriter says. To see your name written there. Whatever happens in that judgment, my name is written in the very wounds bore by the Judge Himself. Brethren, let's pray. Lord, what would we be able to say in that day? Knowing all the sin that we could even remember, let alone that which at least now escapes our mind. We know that that day we'll love grace as we've never loved it before - the grace of God that came to us and offered us such a great salvation as what we find revealed and even that we'll look at today. Lord, my desire, help us to know how great this salvation is. My desire would be that others that don't know anything about it - they don't rest in Christ now; they haven't seen the greatness of this - Lord, I pray, reveal the wonders of Your Word. I want to pray for our brethren down in Laredo. May the grace of God fall upon them. May great grace be upon our brethren there. We can see their faces. Brothers and sisters that we love and we just pray, I don't know if they're meeting in their new place today, but I pray, Father, be with them. Help them. Build that church down there. Our brethren in Corpus - we can see those brothers and sisters before our eyes as well. We ask You, Lord, oh, may Christ be great there. We ask that. Our brethren that labor, John and Judy and the girls, I pray, Father, I pray that Your hand is on them for good, leading them, steering them, showing them where they should go, what they should do, when they should do it. Lord, we pray, give us an orphanage there. May it teem with young men and women being exposed to the Gospel; being exposed to the light of the truth. We pray, Lord, that You would grant us a harvest in that place. For the (unintelligible), as they labor down there without the Ritchie's with them, we ask You to protect them. Be with them. Give them wisdom. Lead them. Use them. Lord, Trevor and Teresa as they labor over there in Indonesia, I pray for them. Oh Lord, be kind to the (unintelligible) people. Cannibal society as it is, we pray that they would one day be with us, many of them, bowed down before the throne of Christ. Lord, we pray for our brethren here in this city that meet in other places, God, help us. God, be with us. God, allow us all to be light here in San Antonio. We pray, Lord, light. Make us light. I just pray, Lord, make Your salvation great in the eyes of Your people. In Christ's name I pray, Amen. Okay. Hebrews. If you would, turn in your Bibles to chapter 2. Just right here at the beginning. I want to do something really basic, really fundamental, very simple. I'm not going to lose you with profoundness at all. Hebrews 2:1. You just follow with me here. "Therefore, we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard lest we drift away from it." Now, this isn't rocket science, folks. "...Lest we drift away from it." What is the "it" that we don't want to drift away from? What's the "it" at the end of the verse? "...Lest we drift away from it." I mean, just based on this verse alone, what is it? What is "it"? What we have heard. Who said salvation? But you didn't get that from this verse. This verse right here - the "it" is what we have heard. You all see that, right? It's real basic. You know, you may have different translations, but basically see the same thing. But what have we heard? What is the writer of Hebrews assuming has been delivered to our ears? Somebody said the Gospel. Craig said the Gospel. And I would say that's absolutely right. And I would say that we can deduce that. We don't have to just guess. We can come to that conclusion. Let's just read further. Hebrews 2:2. "For..." That's like saying "because." He's going to extend this argument. The "for" tells us he's talking about the same thing. He's not changing subject matter on us. "For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape..." Just retribution is what he has in mind. "How shall we escape (that just retribution) if we neglect such a great salvation?" His assumption here is, clearly, what we have heard is the message of a great salvation. That's therefore what we need to pay more closer attention to and what we don't want to neglect. And if those that heard this word that was delivered by angels - the old covenant, that which was delivered to Moses - if they received just retribution for that then how much more this what we've heard now - this "it" that we don't want to drift away from, this great salvation, how much more will we receive just retribution - how are we doing to escape if we neglect this great salvation? But if we keep reading, Hebrews 2:3 about midway there, "It was declared at first by the Lord." So there's the "it" again - what we've been talking about. It was declared by the Lord. "And it was attested to us by those who heard while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will." And brethren, I mean, it's not very difficult for us to come to some conclusions about what it was that was declared to us by our Lord and by those who followed Him, by the apostles. What was it? We can look all sorts of places, but just a quick reference. Matthew 4:23, "He (Jesus Christ) went throughout all Galilee teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the Gospel of the kingdom." So yes, of course, we're looking at the Gospel here. We're looking at a message of very great salvation. I know this is plain. I know this is simple. But I want to show you something. Let's use our imaginations. Come with me for a second. Think, think, think. I love to read church history. And one of the things that will make you appreciate your Bibles is you just read about times in history, or read about countries even now - there are countries that exist on the face of this earth right now, if you're found with the Word of God, it will cost you your life. Still. And throughout history we can see it. There were times in the English speaking world when it was a capital offense to be caught with the Scriptures in your hands. Can you imagine in the days before the printing press when we did not have the multitude of Bibles like we have today? I have read about instances even after the printing press, like in Romania, parts of Eastern Europe, behind the Iron Curtain in the days of Communist regimes and reign, it was not unknown at times in China for a whole church to have one Bible. And you know what they would do? Can you imagine if the only Bible we had was this one? Right here. That I have right in my hand. This is the only Bible. There are no stores that have Bibles. You can't get them. This is it. Well, I can tell you this, we wouldn't keep the Bible whole. We wouldn't keep it like this. You know what we would do? We would carefully take it apart. Why? Because what would happen, and I've read about this, they would actually lend parts of it out. The different people in the church would take it and they would go home to copy it or to study it or to memorize it. Well, let's say we're in a church like that and through the course of years the Bible has been distributed and sent around. Well, at some point, Hebrews 1 got sent over to Scott's house and his dogs ate it. I mean, we're using our imagination here. But you can imagine, in a time when they were like that, something like that could have happened. Imagine that all of a sudden, we're now a generation removed from Scott. The church has this Bible and I'm coming to proclaim it to you and we're starting in Hebrews 2:1 because we don't have Hebrews 1. None of us have ever seen it. We have no clue about what it even says. And here we come to Hebrews 2:1 and we start reading, "Therefore..." Well, that tells us something right away. We're missing something, right? You don't start that way. I mean, can you imagine me saying to Richard, "Therefore, turn off the computer." You're looking for some kind of reason right? Some kind of argumentation? If I say, "Richard, this is sensitive stuff, therefore turn off your computer," then you will all understand it. If I just start out by saying, "Therefore, turn off the computer." You're saying something is missing. There's reasonings; there's argument that's not there. When we start out reading, "Therefore, we must pay much closer attention to this great salvation that we've heard about lest we drift from it." What would we expect went before this? I mean, you would expect - I would expect when something starts with "therefore," that we're missing something that went before it. Well, if we all knew we're missing chapter 1... Think with me here. Just think about this. (Incomplete thought) We don't have Hebrews 1. We know the writer inspired - God is telling us there's this great, I mean, marvelous salvation. And he's obviously just been giving us reasons why we shouldn't drift from it; why we shouldn't neglect it, and why we need to pay much closer attention to it. So, I would expect that he was saying right before this - he was just showing us this magnificent salvation. Now, think with me here. Let's say this afternoon at lunch, you're in here and somebody comes in and they say, "I hear that this church preaches about this great salvation. I want you to tell me about it." Well, think with me. Let your imagination go. We're thinking about such a great salvation. Where would we start? I mean, I would think, this salvation - I'll tell you this, this salvation is great because it's permanent. It's forever. I mean, when I get saved, I'm saved for good. It's eternal life. It's going to go on till the ends and out there into the ages and on and on and on eternally. It's a salvation that saves me forever! That certainly makes it pretty great. God loved me with an everlasting love. I find that God chose me before the very foundations of the world. That makes it great. This isn't just something God does off the cuff in a moment of time. It just happens to catch Him by surprise. He had this planned. The roots, the foundation of this salvation are deep, brethren. They're deep. We look at the cost of it. Wow! It cost His Son His life. We can look at justification. You could imagine that the whole first chapter could have been this whole unraveling of all the glories of justification. (Incomplete thought) Brethren, if there is something that makes this salvation so great, it is the doctrine of justification. It is getting to Judgment Day and saying, "I have committed so many sins I can't remember them all. The weight of it reaches up to the heavens. And because of nothing that I did, He took it all." Brethren, justification is such a glorious Gospel. We could talk about regeneration. It's coming and saying this salvation is so glorious. Why? Because it doesn't just take away my guilt. God comes in there and says, "You're going to call My Son Jesus because He's going to save His people from their sin." And He breaks the power of it! Romans 6:14 says that. It will not have dominion. He breaks the dominion of this reigning sin. And the day is coming, brethren, when He will eradicate it altogether and I know that's true because it says when I see Him, I'll be like Him and in Him there is no sin whatsoever. Brethren, we could go through all these things and we could say not only that, but this is a salvation that you can be the chief of sinners; you can have done such things that man can't even comprehend, and you can come before Him and where sin abounds, this grace does much more abound. We can look at that and we can say the most foul, filthy, wretched sinner of the East side can come in here and just like a five year old child who hasn't done all those things, if they but come to faith in Christ, clean as the new fallen snow. Brethren, there are such glories in this Gospel. We could look at all these different things and marvel - just marvel - absolutely free this Gospel is. The righteousness of God which is not by the law. There is a righteousness of God which is now by faith. And it is for everybody. It is so free and it is so for everybody who puts their faith in Jesus Christ. I mean we can just bounce of the walls with this stuff, brethren. Our salvation is great. You think about this. We were talking about Job. He gives; He takes away. But there is an inheritance to be had here. Brethren, joy. Have you heard? Joy. The fact that forevermore there are pleasures to be had and joys to be had for those who rebelled against God and were sinners and deserved nothing but hell. We could go there! We could just talk about the hell that this salvation has delivered us from which we deserved and we know it. Fully deserved. We could talk about sanctification and all of that. I mean, you talk about glory. We are going to shine like the sun in the kingdom of our Father - those of us that have been saved. He actually says we're going to be seated with Him on His throne and we're going to reign with Him. Brethren, this salvation is truly great! It is! But you know what? Those are just some of the things that could be said about this salvation. But that isn't even what the writer of Hebrews does at all! You might have thought he just spent a whole chapter articulating all the glories of salvation. But you know what? We do have Hebrews 1. And when we read it - let's read it. I want you to notice just how much our salvation is not talked about in chapter 1. That's what I want you to see. How much it isn't even there! It's not even on the mind of the writer to be bringing that out and showing us all these wonderful things about this salvation. Which is not what we might expect if we didn't have this first chapter. Listen, "Long ago at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son." There's no direct mention of our salvation there. "...Whom He appointed the heir of all things; through Whom He also created the world." Again, no direct mention of our salvation. "He is the radiance of the glory of God, the exact imprint of His nature..." "Upholds the universe with the word of His power." Again, no mention. "After making purification for sins..." Watch that. Purification for sins. Three words that have to do with our salvation. But that's almost entirely it in the whole chapter. Listen to what he goes on to say. "He sat down at the right hand of the majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name He has inherited is more excellent than theirs." Again, no mention there. "For to which of the angels did God ever say, 'You are My Son; today I have begotten You.' Or again, 'To Him I will be a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son.'" No direct mention at all of our salvation. Again, "When He brings the Firstborn into the world, He says, 'Let all God's angels worship Him.'" No mention of our salvation. Of the angels, he says, "He makes His angels winds, His ministers a flame of fire, but of the Son He says, 'Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness, therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness beyond Your companions, and You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain. They will wear out like a garment, like a robe You will roll them up; like a garment, they will be changed, but You are the same and Your years will have no end." No mention of our salvation here. "And to which of the angels has He ever said, 'Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.' Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?" He uses the word "salvation" there. There's a reference there to our salvation, but that's only in passing. It's an off-handed way. I mean, literally, you have four words if you include that "salvation" right there in that entire chapter that had anything to do directly with our salvation. Anything! And it just strikes me right between the eyes as I was studying this. For the writer of Hebrews to then come to Hebrews 2:1 and say, "Therefore, we must pay much closer attention to this." And not drift from it. Not neglect such a great salvation. For him to say this when he largely hasn't even been describing our great salvation, it shows us, brethren, something infinitely valuable. Absolutely, our salvation is inestimably great. Not just because of what was accomplished in that salvation, but it's such a great salvation primarily because Who accomplished that salvation for us. That's the thing - do you all see that? When the writer says, "Therefore, we must pay much closer attention..." We better not drift from it. How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? The writer's primary argument for paying attention and not drifting and not neglecting does not even flow from breath-taking views of our salvation. But he utterly wants to knock the breath out of us with the glories of the One Who did the saving. That's what he does here. Breath-taking descriptions of the One Who worked out our salvation. Listen to me. Nobody - I mean, nobody - has a great salvation unless they have a great Christ. And you watch, brethren, any religion out there - I don't care what it calls itself - whether it calls itself Baptist or Presbyterian or Methodist or Catholic, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Islam, whatever religion in the world out there - if they don't have a great Christ, they don't have a great salvation. Lay it down, brethren. That's the point here. What the writer of Hebrews shows us is that if you do nothing but simply put your gaze on Christ - I mean, you don't even consider what He did for you - you just set your eyes on Him, you can come to no other conclusion. Whoa! That is a great salvation because that is a great Person. That's what he wants to have happen to us. That's exactly it. Brethren, don't miss this. It's huge. You can come to the conclusion that our salvation is altogether thrilling and altogether impressive and altogether beautiful simply, brethren, focusing on Christ. That's clearly what's happening in chapter 1. Brethren, as I tried to urge you and encourage you before, our Christianity needs to be consumed with meditating on the Person of Christ. It's great, it's glorious, we should be all about thinking about what Christ has done for us and thanking Him for it, but brethren, I'm telling you, what this teaches us is there are places and there are times and much of our life just needs to be devoted to just looking at Who Christ is. Just all about His glory. This is huge! Huge! He shows us that what we have heard - it's unparalleled in its glory! Because that One that sits on that throne is of unparalleled glory. Don't miss it, brethren. Don't miss it. That's why we must pay much closer attention. Brethren, what that means is you need to give primarily most attention to Him, His Person, His beauty. (incomplete thought) You know what? I just get the feeling here what the writer of Hebrews is wanting us to do is look at Christ and just say, "Whoa..." Without a thought - I mean, with very little mention of what He actually did for us. Just look at Him. And come to the conclusion: Whoa... if all He did was glanced at me once and gave me that attention, if He even gave me the time of day, it would be such an unspeakable act of kindness and glory on His part to do that. For Him to even welcome me into His courts one time to stand off in the corner, but when One like Him actually takes me to be His bride, and to bring me right next to Him on His throne, brethren, this writer just wants us to become unglued with this! This is so tremendous! If such a person as this even regarded me at all and I neglected it, it would be a crime of infinite guilt and wickedness. But when such a salvation is offered to mankind by such a One as that, and to neglect it or drift from it, it is a crime that will receive a just retribution. It is a crime you can't even imagine the guilt of. Because the glory of the One Who accomplished this salvation is unspeakable. We can't even fathom. In fact, there are statements made here in Hebrews 1 I can't fathom. I don't even know how to teach these things to you. This is the kind of stuff you have to look at and you have to meditate. You have to use a lot of your life to just ponder and grasp. Isn't that what we find ourselves doing with Christ and with the Trinity and with everything that is deity? We're just grasping. We can't get a firm handle on it. I mean, things are said, they're so out there. They're so high. But to feel the reality of it. Brethren, I know, I know, I know, before I even say this, this example just pales in comparison. But there's something in it that just speaks a reality. In C.S. Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia" there's a place in one of the stories where you have these two talking horses and this young lady. Hwin and Bree, and what was the girl's name? Aravis. And suddenly, Aslan appears. And he is the picture of Christ. And the female horse, Hwin, she's trembling, but she walks over to him and she says, "Sir, I would rather be eaten by you - you are so beautiful - than fed by anybody else." And I think in some little way, that's a picture of what the writer of Hebrews wants us to feel. He wants us to look at Christ and say I would rather lose everything for Him; I would rather suffer a thousand lives for Him, than to feel pleasure anywhere else. I would rather be a servant on His floor buckling His sandals, than to be on a throne in any other kingdom. He wants us to look and say I wouldn't trade that for anything at all! Brethren, do you feel that? I know, brethren, I know that example pales, pales, pales. But there is an intent in this writer that I should look at this Christ, and say I'd rather lose my life for Him than gain it for anything else. I'd rather suffer the loss of everything than suffer losing Him. Brethren, this first chapter is broken up like this: In the beginning, seven wonderful, glorious characteristics or descriptive phrases are used of Christ. I've actually entitled my message: "The Sevenfold Glorious Christ." And it's interesting, once you have these seven descriptions, then, see, I don't think seven is by accident. I think it's deliberate. You know why I think that? Because then the writer goes on to give seven Old Testament passages to prove Christ's glory and supremacy. Brethren, you know what the number seven is meant to indicate in Scripture. Perfection. Completeness. I believe that's what we have here. I believe the point of the writer is to exalt the perfect supremacy of Christ. And what I want to do now as I draw everything to conclusion is go through these first seven descriptions and I want you to see them. Hebrews 1:1, "Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son." You know what I found myself wanting to do? Here's Christ. The writer of Hebrews says, I want to prove His supremacy. In fact, one of the things that he does in this first chapter is He proves His supremacy over the angels. And you know how he does it? He does it by basically saying to which one of the angels did He ever say this? Well, you know what? I thought I can do no better than to do what he does. Well, if I'm going to compare Christ to all the other prophets, then I guess I can say this: To which one of the prophets did He ever say what's said in Matthew 17:5? You see, the writer of Hebrews is taking all of his texts from the Old Testament, but guess what? I get to draw from the New Testament. He didn't have that, but I have that. So I can draw from there. And I can say to which one of the prophets did He ever say this? "This is My beloved Son with Whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him." And it's the "beloved Son" and the "listen to Him" that I want you both to see. Why listen to Him? Well, this is the beloved Son. You see, we should listen to the prophets, but to which of them...? God said to Ezekiel, "Son of Man" but which of them did He ever call "My beloved Son"? None of them. And listen, we could almost look at Isaiah as probably the greatest Old Testament prophet. But even he when he saw the Lord, what did he say? "Woe is me. I am undone." Or, "I am lost." "I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips." Brethren, that's the best that one of the prophets could say. But do you know what was said of Christ? Here's the prophet saying "my lips are unclean." What does the Bible say about Christ's lips? And it does. It speaks about them. Psalm 45:2, "You are the most handsome of the sons of men." Don't you love that description of Christ? The most handsome of the sons of men. "Grace is poured upon Your lips. Therefore, God has blessed You forever." Here's this One more handsome than all the sons blessed of God forever because grace is on His lips. Phenomenal. Can you just imagine? Have you ever stood and watched somebody talk? You look over and you see people talking and you just stand and you watch them. You don't really hear what they're saying. Can you imagine just watching from a distance? Like His disciples must have sometimes? You know how it is. I've seen this when I've been in places where John MacArthur has been or where John Piper has been or where Paul Washer's been. And they're speaking and it's like a magnet. People want to go there. Can you imagine with Christ speaking? His disciples - it would have been almost unbearable to not hear Him. I just imagine Him with a leper coming up and His disciples just thinking what could He be saying to him? "I will. Be clean." I mean, pure, smooth as silk, precious as gold, the words just flow out of His mouth. In Luke 4:22, you know what it says about Him? "They marveled at the gracious words that were coming from His mouth." When those officers were sent by the chief priests and the Pharisees to go get Him, you remember what happened. They come back without Him and the Pharisees and chief priests are... "where is He?" (incomplete thought) In other words, they were saying, we never heard anybody talk like this. "No one ever spoke like this man." In other words, they were saying His speaking just astounded us - we couldn't even get ourselves to the place where we could take the guy. We never heard anybody say things like this. Brethren, the reason nobody ever spoke like that is because nobody else was ever like that. God had never come to the earth before. They never had One so full of glory, so full of truth, so much the mouthpiece of God. In one place, Matthew 7:28, "When Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at His teaching." Brethren, they marveled. They were astonished. Let me ask you this. Have you, have I, have we gotten to the place where what Jesus says doesn't astound us anymore? I can remember when I was first saved and opening up the Scriptures and reading, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." The wisdom of Him. To be put in a place where either answer was going to condemn Him and then to give an answer that nobody could answer. You know how many times when He spoke it says people just went quiet? He closed their mouths. (incomplete thought) Isaiah had impurity mixed in there. He had to bow his head in shame, fall on his face. When Jesus spoke, all truth. He said to Pilate, "I came to bear witness of the truth." (incomplete thought) There was a day when Herod was speaking and they said, "It's the voice of a god, not a man." That was an abomination, folks. Herod got eaten by worms and died. That's a bad thing. But you know, if you looked at Christ and you said "the voice of God," that would not be sarcasm. That would not be mockery. That would not be sacrilege. That is true. That's the glory of Christ. How about this? Hebrews 1:2, "Whom He appointed the heir of all things." Now, brethren, it's not absolutely certain but it's definitely possible that if you look down at verse 5, there is a quote from Psalm 2 where it says, "You are My Son, today I have begotten You." Well, Psalm 2 is definitely in the writer's mind when he wrote that Christ is heir of all things. And it's very possible he said that because he was thinking about what it says in Psalm 2 right after it says that. What does it say? "You are My Son; today I have begotten You. Ask of Me and I will make the nations Your heritage." That's what the ESV says. Every other translation I saw says "inheritance." That's the word. That's what it means. The ESV translates it that way almost everywhere. Excuse me. Let me ask you this. Here's the Father saying to the Son, "Ask of Me and I will give You the inheritance..." Who gets the inheritance? The heir. Who's the heir? Christ. "...And the ends of the earth Your possession." Brethren, just imagine this. Let it take hold. Daniel 7:13, "I saw in the night visions, and behold with the clouds of heaven, there came one like a Son of Man." Can you imagine? The clouds of heaven. And here comes One in His glory. He's like the Son of Man. "He came to the Ancient of Days." He came to His Father. "And was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away and His kingdom one that shall not be destroyed." Brethren, the Son of Man. He is the heir. Do you recognize what that means? The Father holds nothing back. Nothing at all. All is for Christ. Ephesians 1:22, "God put all things under Christ's feet." Gave Him as Head over all things to the church. This is what we see. How about Psalm 72? "May He have dominion from sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth. May the desert tribes bow down before Him and His enemies lick the dust. May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands render Him tribute. May the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts. May all the kings fall down before Him; all nations serve Him." Brethren, you know how we've heard that all things work together for good to those that love God; to those that are called according to His purpose. Do you know what Scripture also tells us? All things work together to serve Christ. Even if it's His enemies licking the dust. You know what that does? That makes Jesus relevant, right? If we say this: Literally everything, Christ has inherited. It's all for Him. Even His enemies. Even that which is wicked, that which is dark, that which is stained. Brethren, even if it's a vessel of wrath that does nothing but exalts His wrath, it is for Him and it serves Him. That is huge! You know what that means? That means that we all - you and me - we belong to Him. That makes Him relevant. I mean, if you go out of here today and you say "well, that doesn't really matter," you're not connecting with truth. Right? You need to go out of here after reading things like that and say "I'm His. And I'm serving His ends. And I'm going to bring glory to Him one way or another. And it may be licking dust, but I'm for Him." Brethren, that's what that text says. People are either bowing down and serving Him or they're licking the dust and serving Him. It's relevant to everything. Literally everything. To you. To me. We need to realize this is the Christ we have to reckon with. He owns us. He has us. We have been offered to Him by the Father as an inheritance. And we are going to serve His purposes. And brethren, it behooves every one of us to bow before Him. My friend, don't serve Him by licking dust as one of His enemies. Right now, He calls you. Do you remember how it says there? I'm so convinced that the writer of Hebrews has Psalm 2 in mind because listen to what it says. "Ask of Me and I will make the nations Your inheritance and the ends of the earth Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron." What's He going to break with a rod of iron? What's been given to Him as an inheritance. He's going to come to what He's inherited. He's going to take a rod of iron and bang! He hits it. "...And dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." You say, "He is?" (incomplete thought) My son is my heir and I come bring to him some treasured family relic and I give it to him and he just takes out a rod and smashes it. But I'll tell you this, it doesn't meet the disapproval of the Father at all. There's a conclusion to that. "Therefore, O kings, (and every one of us), be wise, be warned, O rulers of the earth, serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son lest He be angry and you perish in the way, for His wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all those who take refuge in Him." Oh brethren, this stuff is so wonderful and fearful. "Kiss the Son." "Blessed are all those who take refuge..." in the Heir. Him Who is the Heir of all things. This has to do with your life. You can't get away. I don't care who you are here today. Whether you're a Christian or you're not a Christian, you're just visiting, you're old, you're young, you're male, you're female - you can't get away from this. You have something to do with Christ because He owns you. Then it goes on to say this, "Through Whom also He created the world." Well, who created the world? Who is the "he" in v. 2? It's not the Son. It's the Father. The "he" is God Who creates. Do you all see that? "Through Whom..." The "whom" is Christ. Through Christ, God creates the world. Through God Who is the Son, God Who is the Father creates the world. How does that happen? Brethren, don't you see that constantly what the writer of Hebrews and God in all of the Scriptures is constantly trying to stretch us. Stretch. Stretch your mind. Because God is so absolutely beyond our minds, but He tries to give us thoughts that we have to try to get our hands on and get into our minds. How does one do it, but He does it by another? I mean, I could understand, you know I call you by my cell phone. Did I call you? Did the cell phone? I did it through that. Brethren, our examples never stack up. But the best I can do with all this is go to God's Word at look at it. Listen, back in Proverbs 8, what you have is apparently Solomon takes wisdom - the wisdom of God - and he turns it into a person. You say why would he do that? Well, maybe because Jesus one time said, "you go into those Scriptures thinking you have eternal life, but they speak about Me." Have you ever read that Jesus is the wisdom of God? Scripture tells us that in 1 Corinthians 1. So when I come to Proverbs 8 and I begin to read this way: Now look, just listen. Listen. Try to just take some glory from this. I'm trying to come up with biblical descriptions of how the Father does the creating, and yet He does the creating in such a way that the Son does the creating. "The Lord possessed Me at the beginning of His work. The first of His acts of old. Ages ago, I was set up at the first, before the beginning of the earth. Where there were no depths, I was brought forth." You say, I was brought forth? But this is the idea. Jesus proceeds from the Father. Jesus was begotten by the Father. How do we explain that? How is Christ proceeding from? Emanating from? Being begotten by the Father? "Brought forth when there were no springs abounding with water, before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth. Before He had made the earth with its fields or the first of the dust of the world when He established the heavens, I was there. When He drew a circle on the face of the deep; when He made firm the skies above; when He established the fountains of the deep; when He assigned to the sea its limits so that the waters might not transgress His command; when He marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside Him like a master workman." This one speaking says, "I was the master workman." Well, wait. But it just said that the One that possessed Him at the beginning of His work is the One that was actually making firm the skies above. So why is the One speaking, the One with the Lord, why is He saying He's the master workman? Because He is. He says, "I was daily His delight, rejoicing before Him always, rejoicing in His inhabited world and delighting in the children of men." Again, you can argue with me whether you think that's Christ or not, but don't we have to try to reach and stretch and let the Bible try to put this together for us in our minds? What a Person! I mean, brethren, what the writer of Hebrews is wanting us to do - he wants us to see that there was this plain looking, very unassuming Jewish carpenter. And he wants you to look at Him and say, "Wow... He created the worlds." The worlds. That means the ages. This present age. All of the universe. All of time. All of space. All of everything. This One - He came into the world. And when He walked down the street there were no blasts of archangel trumpets. There was no great applause. And the writer of Hebrews is saying: but He demanded it. When He entered those gates of glory, there was. There was such a celebration. There was such a reception when those gates lifted up and admitted Him in, brethren. Beloved, our salvation is very great becaues our Savior is great like this. How about this one? "The radiance of God's glory." Hebrews 1:3, "He is the radiance of the glory of God, the exact imprint of His nature." What do you think of when you think of radiance? I think of light. I think of brilliant, bright shining, amazing light. You know how it is when it's all overcast? Like if it was all cloudy - we don't get many days like that here in Texas - but when it's just cloudy all day long. In Michigan where I grew up there were too many days like that. But you know what it's like when it's cloudy? You don't really see where the light's coming from. You see that everything is sort of lit, but you don't see where it's coming from. Not like last night when I was standing out front of my house and this great big cloud, this thunderhead was pluming up, and the rays of light were piercing through there and you could see them stretching across the sky. Not like an overcast day, but like that. That's how I envision radiance where you can see these beams of light and they're streaming out. Like when the sun pierces across these mighty clouds. Beams of light. Like 10,000 bolts of lightning. You know how a bolt of lightning just lights up everything at night, where you have that intensity of light just emanating, shining rays. And it comes and you draw it back to its source and the source is One Who is sitting on a throne. Brethren, emanating brightness. Now look, I know God is everywhere. But I know that there are places He manifests Himself and I know God is not everything, and there are things that are dark. And He shines into them. Piercing, dazzling, shimmering. He shines into that darkness. There is none in Him. You look towards the center and it's blinding. There's no darkness there at all. That's what Scripture tells us. And Paul would say it's an unapproachable light. In other words, when you take all that God is, brethren, even in glory, it's unapproachable. We will never see God for all - we will never see the entire brightness. Because we will never be beyond created. And His uncreated fullness can never be seen by us. We will never fully grasp God. We will never fully come to that. It's unapproachable. There's a brightness that transcends everything. It's so intense a brightness that is literally God Himself. I mean, can you imagine? Just pure God. Even after we've been there through eons of ages, we will only know some of what God is. Brethren, brethren! Grasp this with me. Do you remember how Jesus defined eternal life? "This is eternal life, that they might know You (the Father, God) and Who else? Jesus Christ Whom He has sent. Know. That we might come to know. I want you to think about this. John tells us God is light. The writer of Hebrews tells us Jesus Christ is the radiance of that light. Now you tell me this. Here's God pulling us into eternity to know light and the radiance of light. Brethren, this is the glory. This is eternity. It's God pulling us deeper and deeper and deeper into the light that we might come to know it more and more and more fully, further and further and further into that light. Brethren, you think about it. We as Christians are going to shine like the sun in the kingdom of our Father. We are going to have such glorified bodies. We are going to be created as the bride of Christ. To be able to exist somewhere in His manifest presence, and as He manifests Himself more and more and more, we are actually going to be beings created to endure more and more - never all - but fuller and fuller, deeper and deeper He is going to draw us into that light. Brethren, when it talks about the unsearchable riches of Christ, it doesn't say that for nothing. Can you even get this? I can't. The exact imprint of God's nature. I mean, the Son is the exact representation of everything that is true of God's being. That doesn't mean God the Son is the same person as God the Father, but it means that when you see the Son, you see what He is, what He is like, He is everything that the Father is. Brethren, when you see Him weeping over Jerusalem, you see the heart of God. When you see Him lay His hand on that leper, oh brethren, that is God's heart - a heart to heal, a heart to save, a heart to help. Brethren, it says He upholds the universe by the word of His power. Brethren, think about it right now. All this cinder and block and sheetrock and the rebar inside of it, it is all right now upheld by the word of His power. He upholds it. Your heartbeat. He upholds it. Again, I was saying before, because He's the heir of all things, He's relevant to everything. Brethren, because He upholds everything by the word of His power He's relevant to everything. If He just said "stop" by the word of His power, He stopped thinking things into existence, speaking them, upholding them, if He stops that for a second, we go out of existence. Literally, He holds us. It's amazing, brethren, can you remember those days of your wickedness? When you were just hell bent on wicked things? To do evil. And He upheld you. Oh brethren, but now He has revealed Himself to us as One Who upholds us but will also take us to Himself if we but call upon Him. Brethren, purification - then He sat down. I'm not going to deal with purification this week because I'm diving into it next week. But listen, Jesus didn't just sit down anywhere. He sat down on a throne. And I was just thinking, brethren, He is high and He is lifted up. And He is seated not in any low place. He's seated on the highest throne of all. And I looked at Him - last night I was out in the field, and I was just contemplating all these pictures of Christ. Brethren, if there isn't any place for a Christian who hungers, thirsts to be righteous, to please God, but you fall... you know that you aren't what you want to be. You aren't what you were by any stretch, but you're striving and it feels like so often there's these weights of sin. Just weight. And I was thinking about this Christ. And I thought if there is anybody to come and help us - I was thinking, call His name Jesus. He's going to save His people from their sin. If this is such the kind of Jesus that we have, One like this, One that is that great, One that is that powerful and enthroned, everything committed to Him, One Who is this radiance, One Who is this exact imprint, One Who is speaking the Word - if we have such a salvation based on such a One as this, brethren, we need to be saved still! This is ongoing! We need to be saved from our enemies. We need to be saved from sin. We need to be saved from its power. We need to persevere and make it to the end. And we do that by Him. But in that picture, is there not full reason to believe and trust and to hold firm and fast your confidence that this One can do it? We're not dealing with a novice here. We're not dealing with a lightweight. We're dealing with this Christ Who transcends all. King of kings seated on a throne, inherited everything. He owns it. He creates it. He upholds it. And you come to Him and you say is there any possibility You might help me and save me from my sin? Of course! That's exactly what the writer wants us to think. Remember this whole book is about holding fast, firmly, fast to your confidence. Next week, we look at purification for sins. Brethren, just swim in these truths. Swim in them. Lose yourself in them.