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Listen, Look, and Stop

When you are in danger of drifting spiritually, you must listen to God's Word, look at the signs which confirm that message, and then stop to assess whether or not you're drifting.

From the editor

Doubts, a "dark night of the soul," a feeling of divine absence, isolation (either voluntary or involuntary), disappointment, disillusionment, cynicism—all things that we encounter in the Christian life, all things that can tempt us to wander from the Lord. So how do we deal with such feelings, such temptations? In the featured sermon below, Arthurs says we approach it all just as we do when we look to cross railroad tracks: we stop, we look, we listen. Actually, the text in focus reverses the actions (listen, look, and stop), but you get the point. Here's a good example of a sermon that pushes listeners (whether young or old in the faith) to take an honest assessment of their spiritual health and general closeness with the Father.

Introduction

When you come to a railroad crossing, what are you supposed to do? Stop, look, and listen. And why are we supposed to stop, look, and listen? So, we won't get smashed! We need to find out if a train is coming—if there is danger ahead. Our passage, Hebrews 2:1-4, tells us to do the same thing. It tells us to stop, look, and listen when we come to a dangerous place. Of course, the danger described in the passage is not the danger of an oncoming train. It is the danger of slipping away from Jesus—the danger of slowly falling away so that one day you wake up to discover you are no longer a Christian. The first verse of our passage refers to this process as "drifting away."

Maybe you have been swimming in the ocean before—splashing, riding the waves, having a good time—when you look up and realize that you've drifted from your starting place. You look up and down the beach, but you don't recognize anyone. You see no landmarks. You can't find the ...

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Jeffrey Arthurs, Ph.D., is the Professor of Preaching and Communication & Chair, Division of Practical Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

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Sermon Outline:

Introduction

Hebrews 2:1?4 is a warning not to drift from the faith. It counsels us to be careful—to examine ourselves to see where we stand so that we will not drift from the Lord.

I. Listen.

II. Look.

III. Stop.

Conclusion

How can we avoid becoming spiritual casualties? How can we persevere to the end? How can we stop drifting? Listen, look, and then stop.