Tozer‘s sixth Hebrews sermon “Therefore…” is a good one. His text is the beginning of Hebrews 2, “Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” I love it when Tozer picks on trivial things and reminds us that this life we Christians live is serious.
We sing these hymns about being concerned and moved. We sing them, but we don’t half mean them. But we ought to mean them, because we ought to give the more earnest heed which means careful attention. We ought to read, we ought to listen, we ought to search, we ought to examine and reexamine, and it ought to be in earnest heed.
We ought to put away levity and flippancy and fun. The curse of everything today is that hit has to be funny. If it isn’t funny, it’s not popular. But there is nothing funny about God seeing His race wander away, and tonight there is nothing funny about His sending His holy Son to be born of a virgin, nothing funny about His persecution and crucifixion, nothing funny about the coming of the Holy Ghost, nothing funny about the judgment and the resurrection of the wicked dead–nothing. And so there is no place for levity or flippancy or fun when we consider the things of God; we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard.
Now, ’tis the more earnest heed and the great labor of the church has always been to get people to . . . give serious attention; it’s been the labor of the church every place. . . . Now a great many pastors and preachers don’t worry about this at all because they don’t expect anything and don’t get it, but if a man of God has a burden on him, the burden of the Holy Spirit, he will want to stir the people to serious attention.
And until serious attention has been given to the claims of Christ, it is for us as if the Bible had never been written. Medicine that sits on the shelf and is not taken never cured anybody. Food that is left in the refrigerator and never eaten never nourished anybody. Heat that is not turned on never warmed anybody. And the Bible itself, though it is nourishment, though it light, though it is warmth, though it is medicine to the soul, it never helps anybody where there is not serious attention given to it. And when we don’t give serious attention, it is as if Christ had not come and died. He might as well not come and died as for us to neglect all that’s meant by His coming and dying.
Later he lists several of the things in the world (some of them legitimate) that can distract believers, such as the arts, food, etc.
All these [pleasures] put together, they . . . simply give pleasant sensations, the same senseation a baby gets by sucking its thumb. And the whole human race . . . we’re a race of grown up thumb-suckers. And we give . . . to getting of pleasant sensations the time we ought to give to the saving of our souls. Peter said, “Save yourselves from this wicked and adulterous generation.” “Peter, why would you say that? The average evangelical won’t like it.” Well, I don’t care what the average evangelic likes.
Peter said, “Save yourselves from this wicked and adulterous generation.” And though we may not be in earnest, I want you to know that God is in dead earnest. God the Father was earnest when he planned and finally accomplished the work of redemption. God the Son was earnest when he sweat bloodly sweat in the Garden of Gethsamene. And God the Holy Ghost is always in earnest when he comes to dwell in . . . the nature of men.