By Robert Halsey Pine
“Therefore, we must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. For if the message declared through angels was valid, and every transgression or disobedience received a just penalty, how can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Hebrews 2:1-10 NRSV).
The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is like a huge rock in the middle of the ocean. The gospel rock is our salvation. The ocean currents are the natural world’s pull on us. If we spend all of our time swimming in the surf or floating in our raft, we drift away from the gospel and the Lord. There is nothing out in the vast ocean that can save us. If there is trouble, we must get back to the gospel rock. If we drift too far out from the rock and into the strong ocean currents, we will pay a price. Our safety is on the rock. The ocean’s waters may be enticing, but our true salvation is on the rock.
When I compare life to this metaphor of the gospel rock in the ocean, I can get a better view of the situation that we are all in. We live most of our lives in the surf around the gospel island rock. We live out in the surf because of our sinful nature. Adam moved us off of the island and into the surf when he ate the forbidden fruit from The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It was his disobedience of God in eating the fruit that brought us into sin.
Jesus Christ, the second Adam, has provided us a way out of our sin by His invitation to come back to the island rock, which is covered with the fruit of the gospel. We have become comfortable living in the surf, and we enjoy our journeys out into the deep. We have been offered an opportunity to come back to shore, but we are slow to return because we figure that it will always be there.
We risk everything by allowing ourselves to be moved by the currents in the ocean world. We spend most of our existence trying to get out of troublesome situations that the worldly currents have put us in. We must quickly start swimming to shore.
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.