The book of Hebrews has quite a few warnings about ‘paying attention’ and not to ‘ignore salvation’ and ‘failing to reach God’s promised rest’, and a few times repeats the line, “Do not harden your hearts!”
The author of Hebrews, after everything he says in chapters 1-5, kind of pauses and says, “About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing” (ESV). He then goes on in chapter 6 to say, “Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.”
He lists six things that he considers to be elementary teachings:
- Repentance from acts that lead to death
- Faith in God
- Instruction about baptisms
- The laying on of hands
- The resurrection of the dead
- Eternal judgment
I’ve realised, in reading this, that I might not even have the elementary teachings down! Some of those things are still confusing…. Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven to a master entrusting resources to his servants, each according to his own ability (Mat 25:14). I suppose I shouldn’t assume to be entrusted with a whole lot more until I’ve been proven faithful with what’s already been entrusted to me. If my experience of God tastes like baby food, I probably shouldn’t blame God. That’s what you feed babies.
“On this topic we have much to say and it is difficult to explain, since you have become sluggish in hearing. For though you should in fact be teachers by this time, you need someone to teach you the beginning elements of God’s utterances. You have gone back to needing milk, not solid food. For everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced in the message of righteousness, because he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, whose perceptions are trained by practice to discern both good and evil” (5:12-14 NET).
I wish I knew what else the author of Hebrews wanted to say to them. He was getting into some really interesting stuff.