When I lived in Mutare, some friends of mine were forced to abandon their house and move out. It had been built on a swampy area and overtime, the weak foundation began to shift and cracks started developing in the walls. It became so bad that the entire structure had to be demolished and rebuilt from scratch.
It was a costly experience, but I think they were some of the fortunate ones. Quite recently, at least 49 people, including children, were killed in Nairobi, Kenya, and dozens more injured when a six story building they were living in collapsed after some heavy rains. The causes for this tragedy were soon revealed – the building had been hurriedly constructed in 3 months, and in fact, it had been condemned as unsuitable and was supposed to have been torn down. So when the foundation and structure was tested by the elements of the weather, it could not hold up, and simply came crashing down.
The same dangers are a reality for believers when it comes to our faith. A weak foundation will result in the most tragic experience that a Christian can ever experience, that of falling away from Jesus Christ.
Our passage this morning warned Hebrew Christians of the serious danger they were facing, and we will do well to listen carefully. Even though they had been Christians for a long time, they had stopped growing in their faith. They had started well with a strong foundation, but had failed to build on it, and now, in the face of the serious challenges they were encountering, it was quite possible that they would abandon Christ and fall away from the faith.
Just as they were being troubled by problems from every side, we too are presently facing an increasing number of all kinds of suffering politically, economically, and even on the religious front. And if we do not build up our understanding of the entire gospel and build up our faith, we are in grave danger of falling away from the faith.
So then the first message of our passage today is one we should take seriously