So great a salvation.

We have been given a great salvation.  However, it can be neglected.  Which means what to the believer?  Let’s search this out.

“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. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?” (Hebrews 2:1-4)

First, why is this salvation so great?  We will find the answer in the previous chapter.

Salvation begins not with us but the incomparable majesty of the Son.  The glory of the Son far beyond the Old Testament prophets and high above the angels.  Jesus is the only begotten of God, meaning one of a kind.  He is uncreated and eternal present before the creation of the world.  And, He is the one who sits at the right hand of Heavenly Father.  

It is Jesus that has purged us from our sins.  We see this referenced in chapter one and a deeper dive in the second chapter begins to open this more fully.  They center on the truth that Christ became flesh, dwelt among, died for our sins, and rose victorious.  Christ became as one of us to die and cleanse us thoroughly from our sins.

What does it mean to neglect?

It is a moral and spiritual command that we pay attention to what God has said.  Our response is a matter of ultimate blessing or loss.   As the Hebrew writer will explain, we need to be more careful than those at Mt. Sinai who heard the words of God through the angels and the holy man Moses, for we have the Son of God!  They listened to the word but did not mix it with faith.  That is not our path.

How prone we are to “neglect?”  It is so easy to treat the things of God as if they were unimportant, to become occupied without comforts and the affairs of this life.  We wouldn’t want to offend others who have their own believers. We don’t intend to deny the faith – we are just taking it a bit easy and being a bit reasonable.  The writer warns us that such an attitude leads to eternal loss. We shall not escape.

Give a more earnest thing to the things we have heard.

We must wholly commit to learning the Word of God.  We do this through personal and congregational study.  However, it is more than gaining knowledge.  The believer needs to proceed further into the application of the Word.  The sincerity of faith will move us past intellectually discussions and empty feelings.  We must seek to live after God as he taught us to in the Scripture.

Camp Meeting Time! 5 Reasons for going to Camp Meeting.

Last month, I posted a blog that shared the top responses of why people go to youth camp (check it out here and my reasons here).  This month is our annual camp meeting.  I love camp meeting personally. In 2017, I wrote on how to pray and get involved (click here and find the 2018 schedule here).

This time around, I am sharing the 5 top reasons shared for going to camp.  In order of least to most:

Staying at Camp

Why do we go camping in any form, really?  To get away from it all.  Several responses noted that staying in the dorms and campers was a highlight of their year.  There is no better safe space than a sacred space like the Church campgrounds.

The Food

Yeah, this is a typical activity for us.  Where Christians meet, Christians eat.  There is actually some scriptural background to this thought in that Jesus ate his regular meals is the same pattern He shared the Last Supper.  But, I that’s not what I’m writing about.  Instead, the food at Church camp is fantastic.  And, my favorite dish is the ribs that they make.  Yum!

Physical and Emotional Healing

These comments focused on the truth that getting away from discouraging environment allows for spiritual healing.  The atmosphere at camp is transformational and healing.  Not only have I seen broken lives healed, but I have also seen broken bodies healed at camp.

Seeing People Saved

The greatest type of healing is when a person receives salvation.  Camp meetings have always been evangelistically geared.  This reason and the next were mentioned by every person.

The Services

In some form or fashion, the services or at least parts of the worship gatherings were brought up.  The preaching, singing, and everything else in between was central to each respondent.    I have to agree.  There is nothing like camp meeting services.  Believers from different churches and even denominations gathering together to worship Jesus Christ through word, testimony, song, and more.  Nothing can beat it.

Reasons for going to Youth Camp

It’s beginning to look a lot like camp meeting time!  A few years ago I wrote a blog sharing my reasons for going to youth camp as a teen (check it out here).  Now I am going to share the reasons others have given to me in an informal survey.  The following list is a general summary of the responses received.  Check out these eight reasons for going to youth camp.

8. Staying in the Cabins

Oh yes, the cabins.  When I think of the cabins, I think of my years of supervising the camps, and the thing about the cabins was the smells.  Anyways, the responses that talked about getting to stay in the cabins loved the rustic feeling of getting to feel like they were camping.

7. Healing

I love these responses.  Several responses talked about the spiritual and mental healing they received while at camp.  The camp that our church supports, Peace Valley, really has earned its name.

6. Activities

The games, crafts, and Bible lessons really struck many as a favorite reason for going to camp.  This is an area that takes a lot of planning and preparation.  When you hear these types of comments, it is very encouraging.

5. Saved

These responses were either about the person being saved at a youth camp or the joy of seeing others come to faith in Jesus Christ while at camp.  I can attest to this, my fondest memory of youth happened when around 70 youth and adults came to Christ in faith during an evening service at a youth camp in Morehead, Ky.

4. Worship

Several talked about the worship, which includes statements about the services and music/singing.  I know the personal impact it made on me to play in the worship bands.  The responses noted how they love the full groups that come together at camp and how the young people are able to share their gifts in music and voice.

3. Get away

Let’s face it, going to youth camp is a great getaway.  In the responses and other conversations, so many people enjoy a week or two disconnected from the spiritual darkness encountered in the world.

2. Learn

I love that this response was mentioned so frequently.  Teaching and preaching were given as a huge reason for going to youth camp.  Again, I know that camp meeting preaching was very formative in my own experience.

1. Fellowship

The number one reason given for going to youth was fellowship.  I grouped this with those that mentioned a love for the feeling of belonging.  The camaraderie that develops between the youth from the beginning to the end of camp is fantastic to watch.  The relationships formed at youth last and make a significant impact in their walk with Christ.  It is encouraging to our youth to fellowship with other young believers from different churches.  They light up when they know there are others following Jesus just like them.

I hope this article encourages you and the youth are your local church to get ready for camp.  Feel free to share it with your kids and let us know how it has helped you.