In C.S. Lewis’ Silver Chair (Book 7 of the Chronicles of Narnia series), Jill and Eustace are called back to the land of Narnia to rescue the lost Prince Rilian, son of King Caspian, who was kidnapped by the Emerald Witch and is being held prisoner in an underground lair.
The pair are told by Aslan they must search for King Caspian's missing son, Prince Rilian. Together with Puddleglum the Marshwiggle, they must travel north across the mountains, dodge giants, and journey down into the earth itself to rescue Rilian from the mysterious evil that holds him bound there.
In preparing the children for this job in Narnia, the Great Lion Aslan gives Jill four signs to memorize and to follow meticulously. The directions Aslan gives Jill are clear and emphatic and the whole scene recalls the directions which God gave to the people of Israel after Moses returned from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments (Deuteronomy 11:8-28). Then follows this warning:
“But, first, remember, remember, remember the signs. Say them to yourself when you wake in the morning and when you lie down at night, and when you wake in the middle of the night. And whatever strange things may happen to you, let nothing turn your mind from following the signs. And secondly, I give you a warning. Here on the mountain I have spoken to you clearly: I will not often do so down in Narnia. Here on the mountain, the air is clear and your mind is clear; as you drop down into Narnia, the air will thicken. Take great care it does not confuse your mind. And the signs you have learned here will not look at all as you expect them to look, when you meet them there. That is why it is so important to know them by heart and pay no attention to appearances. Remember the sign and believe the signs. Nothing else matters.” (p.36)
Jill and Eustace don’t remember the signs, of course, at least not perfectly, and like yours and mine would, their heads get all muddled once down on the road and in the thick air away from the mountaintop and its clear view.
In our passage this week from Hebrews 2:1-4, the writer issues the first of five grave warnings in his book: “How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?” (2:3a). In this section the writer has rehearsed the judgment that those under the old covenant had fallen. How much more, he continues, will be the judgment of those who neglect the message given by God’s own Son.
What does it mean to neglect or drift away from the message of salvation? What does that look like? What does the warning mean? What does it mean to ‘believe’ this message? How does this relate to the perseverance of the saints? Or the eternal security of the believer? Does this mean I can lose my salvation? You don’t want to miss our discussion on these questions. See you Sunday.
By His Grace,