A Question That Cannot Be Answered

Title: A Question That Cannot Be Answered

Bible Book: Hebrews 2 : 3

Author: Denis Lyle

Subject: Salvation; Hopelessness; Procrastination



Hebrews 1:1 - 2:4

Several years ago and American student, who was rather nervous had to take an examination which had two parts, oral and written. He did not mind the written examination, but looked forward to the oral exam with some misgivings. Asking advice of one of his friends, he was told that it would be fatal to show any hesitancy as the examiners would put that down to ignorance. He must give some sort of answer, or if he did not know any answer, try to give the impression that he had a good knowledge of the subject. Entering the examination room, he was asked by one of the oral examiners a difficult question in science related to a sphere of that subject with which he was not at all familiar. Nevertheless, he put on a good face and, not being able to give any answer to the question he said,

“I’m sorry I have covered that ground and know the answer, but have just forgotten it for the moment.”

“What a tragedy,” said the examiner.” Scientists have been searching for an answer to that question for the last two thousand years.”

You see, here was a question in science that could not be answered. Now in the N.T. there are three unanswered questions. The Lord Jesus on one occasion asked the question, “For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”

(Mk 8:36) The apostle Peter asked the question, “what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” And here in (Heb 2:3) there is a question which cannot be answered, “how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?” Many years ago a Welsh minister a man of God beginning his message leaned over the pulpit and said with a solemn air, “Friends I have a question to ask. I cannot answer this question, you cannot answer this question. If an angel from heaven were here the angel could not answer this question, if a demon from hell were here, the demon could not answer this question.” Death like silence reigned over the congregation, every eye was fixed on the preacher. He proceeded the question is this, “How shall we escape …. salvation.” Can you answer it?

“How shall you escape …. salvation,” You see, this question introduces us to:


“How shall we escape …. salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord.” In the opening verse of this book, we read “God …. hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son,”(1:2) My …. Christ is someone who is able to deal with every sin, problem, difficulty that you have. The Lord Jesus can become to you a Saviour, a Sustainer, and a Friend. Now when we talk about Christ, we need to ask who is this glorious person? Well, two things are said about the Lord Jesus in the opening verses of this book. We are brought face to face with:


Jesus Christ is superior to all others. That’s why we urge you to trust Him. The opening chapters of this book seem to have but one goal and that is to give us a grasp of the greatness of Jesus Christ. You see, Christ is greater than the Prophets: (1:1-2) They were spokesmen for God, He is God speaking. He is greater than the Angels: (1:4-14) He has a more excellent name than they and they worship Him. The Lord Jesus is greater than Moses: (3:1-6) Moses was a Servant but Jesus Christ is the Son. Christ is greater than Joshua:

(3:7-4:13) Joshua brought the people of God into a temporary rest, but Christ brings us into the true rest. He is greater than Aaron: (4:14 8:6) His sacrifice is superior to all the sacrifices that were offered in the Old Testament period. (7:27) My …. this salvation is so great because the Christ of this salvation is so great. He is superior to all others. Superior to Mohammed or Confucius, superior to Stalin and the leaders of this world, superior to the Virgin Mary and Prince William. My, none can approach Him nor can come near Him for He is the Incomparable Christ.” There was none other good enough …. and let us in.” And that brings us to:


For the work He accomplished on the Cross is sufficient for you to rest on your soul on. Do you see what the writer says concerning Christ? “When He had by Himself purged our sins sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”(1:3) My …. the work of salvation is complete, finished. The Lord Jesus was buried and He arose from the dead, and returned to heaven and He sat down. Why? Because the work was finished. Do you know something? In the Old Testament Tabernacle there were no chairs, do you know why? Because the work of the Jewish priest was never finished. (7:27) They were offering up sacrifices daily for the sins of the people, “but this man, after He had offered up one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.”(10:12) Some years there was an eccentric evangelist named Alexander Wooton.

A man came to him one day and said rather sarcastically “what must I do to be saved?” Knowing the man was not sincere, Wooton replied, “It’s too late.”

The man became alarmed and said, “No you’ve misunderstood me, what must I do to be saved.” And Wooton replied, “its too late its already been done.” Have you grasp that? Sinner …. you dare not add anything to it, take anything from it, substitute anything for it. There’s one only way of salvation, its faith in the finished, completed work of Christ. Now this question introduces us to (1) but it also speaks of:


“How shall we escape …. salvation?” Now let me explain this word salvation. We are not thinking here about Religion: You see, you can have a dead, cold, lifeless, godless, bloodless, Christ-less religion and know nothing about God’s salvation. Nor are we thinking about Reformation: You can tidy up your life, but what about the past? The Bible says, “God requireth that which is past.” We are not thinking here about Respectability: for you can have that also and still not be saved. No, this word salvation is one of the key words of the Bible. Its means deliverance, preservation.

Its being delivered from life’s infection (Acts 2:40) Its being delivered from lostness (Lk 19:10) from sin (Matt 1:21) and from hell. (Rom 5:9) Do you know anything about it? Are you saved? Do you see how this salvation is described here? Not “the great,” or “a great,” but “so great.” Now why is God’s salvation so great? Because of:


You see, when you and I think about Creation, that cost God a word.” He spake and it was done.” But Salvation cost Him the Word, the Lord Jesus. For when God wanted to save sinners He had to come into the world Himself. He had to take upon Himself a human body, live a perfect sinless life in that body for 33 years, and then bear in that body our sins and suffer on a cross everything we would have to suffer if we died without Him and went to hell. This very chapter says, “Jesus tasted death for every man.”(2:9) You see, it’s an easy thing to be saved. Don’t stumble at the simplicity of salvation, God says, “Look unto me all ye ends of the earth.”(Is 45:22) Its so simple, but we do not always remember how much happened before it became so easy. The Incarnation of the Lord Jesus, the Lord of glory taking a perfect body, the Condescension of Christ, the Humiliation as men who He had created cried, “we will not have this man to rule over us.”The Crucifixion, the Agony of Calvary, the precious Blood outpoured for us at the Cross, that death that satisfied the claims of a righteous throne and opened a way back to God. My …. do you ever stop to think of the price that was paid for you? That you might enjoy this “so great salvation.”(a)


For the writer goes on in this very chapter to speak of those who have been liberated (2:15) those who are God’s children (2:13) those who in the midst of the trials and perplexities of life can know the ministry of Christ. (2:18) Tell me, are these blessings yours? Do you know forgiveness of sins? (Acts 13:38-39) Have you eternal life? (1 Jn 5:11) Joy? (1 Pet 1:8) Peace?

(Rom 5:1) Grace? (2 Cor 12:9) Do you have an assurance within your heart that if you die, it will mean for you, “the house of the Lord forever?”


“How shall we escape if we neglect ….,”Did you know that there are three words that describe the attitude of every person in this place to God’s salvation?

The first word is Reject: this refers to a conscious deliberate refusal to receive what is being offered to us. Is that your attitude this ….? Does Christ have to say to you, “ye will not come to Me that ye might have life.”

(Jn 5:40) The second word is Accept: it means to hear, to believe, to trust Christ and be saved. (Jn 1:12) The third word is Neglect: Is this what you’re doing? Now neglect is something which is:


The word “neglect,” in our text is found in the parable of the marriage of the King’s son. The story is told how the king spread a feast in his honour and invited certain guests who ungraciously “made light,” of the invitation.  (Matt 22:5) Yes, they made of the Kings invitation and one went to his farm and another to his business. My …. is that what you have been doing with God’s salvation? Having you been making light of it? Are you careless, negligent about your immortal soul? The traveller when dying of thirst in the desert does not neglect the gushing spring which bubbling at his feet offers life and refreshment. The prisoner does not hug his cell and draw back from the liberty offered to him and yet so many of you are “making light of,” paying no attention to God’s so great salvation. Some years ago great evangelistic meetings were being held by Reuben Torrey the great American evangelist in the drill hall in Plymouth, England. One night a man waited behind not to get right with the Lord, but to “make light of the message and the messenger.” Torrey warned him solemnly of the penalty for such an attitude.

But with derision in his voice the man turned on his heel shouting, “I will be back again to make nonsense of your gospel.” To which the Doctor replied, “No you won’t.” Exactly five minutes later the man dropped dead on the footpath and had to be carried back into the drill hall to await an ambulance. My …. are you like that? Are you making light of heaven, and hell? Are you making light of the Bible and the things of God?


Did you ever think how hard it is for you to perish? Do you know what God has done? The Lord has set barriers on the road to hell. I wonder have you had the privilege of having godly parents? Do you know something? They are a barrier to prevent you from going to hell. Perhaps its been the barrier of a faithful S.S. teacher, or a burdened pastor. Of course the greatest barrier is the cross itself. Now in one sense its hard for you to perish, yet in another sense its so easy, very easy, simply neglect. My …. simple neglect has dammed thousands. You see, neglect is something (a) (b)


What do you have to do to be lost? Nothing - just neglect so great salvation. Vance Havner once said that many are lost because in youth they are too young, in manhood they are too busy, in maturity they are too worried, when aged they are old, when sick they are too ill, when dead they are too late. My …. in any realm of life neglect is dangerous. The business man dare not neglect his business, the student dare not neglect his studies, the doctor dare not neglect his patients, the farmer dare not neglect his crops, how dangerous such neglect would be, but what about you? Are you neglecting your most precious possession, your soul?

A sixty four year old woman, whose decomposed body was found in her dilapidated home in Houston Texas, recently was discovered frozen to death for five months.

She was forgotten all winter and spring by her neighbours and her family members. Neighbours described her as someone who “didn’t have anything to do with anybody, and nobody had anything to do with her.” This incident occurred after her children had grown up and moved away, and also after her husbands death. She had two children, one of whom lived about 10 miles from his mother’s house, but he neglected her and the result? She perished ! Do you recall the month of March 1987? When the “Herald of Free Enterprise,” set out across the English Channel? But so many were lost. Why? A door had not been properly shut. The result? People perished. My …. do you realise that if you neglect God’s so great salvation you’ll perish in hell? Do you recognise that if you despise Christ you’ll be lost for all eternity? “How shall we escape …. salvation?” This question speaks of:


“How shall we escape ….? The word, “how,” means “how is it possible?” “Escape,” means “to flee out from,” How is it possible to flee out from the city of destruction if you neglect so great salvation? Here is:


If you neglect God’s provision for your soul’s salvation, how will you escape the consequences of such neglect?

You neglect the Omniscience of God, what wisdom will bring you to heaven them? You neglect the Omnipotence of God, what power will bring you to heaven then? You neglect the Omnipresence of God what presence and person will bring you to heaven

then? This is the problem, can you solve it? If under the old economy (Num 15:30 Deut 4:3 Acts 7:38 53)

those who broke the law were punished, how shall we under the new covenant with all its greater privileges escape if we neglect so great salvation? My …. did that Israelite escape who refused to sprinkle the blood the blood of the lamb on the doorposts? Did that man who gathered sticks on the Sabbath Day escape?

(Num 15:32) Did Moses and Aaron escape even though they were the leaders of the people? (Deut 4:3)

No one escaped.” Every transgression ….,” (2:2) How then shall we escape? Escape what? The wrath of God, (John 3:36) condemnation, (Jn 3:18) the damnation of hell. (Matt 23:33)

Alfred Gibbs tells how some years ago a friend of his while walking the streets of Johannesburg, South Africa happened to glance downward and saw a piece of paper on which were written in large letters “£5000-00 reward.” Moved by curiosity to say nothing of his desire to possess such a sum of money he stooped down and picked up this piece of paper. It turned out to be a four page gospel tract and on the opening page he read,

“£5000-00 will be paid to the person or person who can answer the following question, “how shall we escape.” Needless to say the reward remains unclaimed to this day. (a) Moreover, here is:


Is that what you have been doing? Have you been trying to obliterate from your mind all thought of God, Christ, eternity?  My …. will you face up this problem this …., how will you escape? By your wealth, it counts for nothing at the Judgement Bar. By your good deeds, those deeds have been weighed in the balance and found wanting. How then shall you escape? My …. there’s only way to get to heaven and Jesus is the only way.

If God has provided salvation and you neglect it, how will you escape? If God sent His Son to die on the Cross for sinners and you despise Christ how will you escape? If there is one name given among men whereby we must saved and you’re not depending on that name, how will you escape? If there’s only one way to the Father and heaven and you’re not on the way how will you escape? As the citizens of a little suburb in Paris looked out of their doors one morning they were astonished to see a young lady pacing backwards and forwards on top of a six story building.

Their astonishment turned to alarm when they discovered that she was sleep walking unconscious of her peril. She seemed to be dreaming about an approaching festive day and she was humming a lively song. Time and again she would draw near to the edge of the building, and time and again she would draw back, always smiling. Suddenly her eye was attracted by a light in the opposite house, she awoke instantly, there was a piercing cry, a heavy fall and all was over.

Some of you in this are not conscious of your danger and if you continue neglecting God’s salvation, one day you’ll be aroused suddenly by a light that bursts in upon you from another world only to discover that escape from hell will be impossible. No escape, no excuse, no exemption from the place where the fire is never quenched. (Mk 9:18) “How shall …. escape,” This will you not take the sinners place, pray the sinners prayer and trust the sinners Saviour.

Posted in


Scroll to Top