BIBLE READING: HEBREWS 4
2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
The “gospel” is PERSONAL. It was given “unto us”. The “gospel” is PREACHED. That is how we received it and that is how everyone receives it. It may or may not be from a pastor behind a pulpit, but somehow for us to learn the gospel it is shared with us by a person. By a person that wrote a book, a person talking on the radio, by a mom or dad that raised us in the truth, etc. The gospel is literally handed down. So, it is our job to “hand out” the gospel.
The Gospel was PUBLISHED throughout the area. This verse says that it was preached “as well unto them”. The Gospel is no respecter of persons. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is available to change everyone’s life. Whoever you are, whatever you are, wherever you are from, salvation is available to you. Unfortunately however, in this passage the Gospel was preached, but it was not PROFITABLE. “The word preached did not profit them”. Why?
An interesting phrase here in verse two, gives us some valuable insight. Although God’s Word was preached, and although they heard it, they did not exercise faith in the Word that they heard. Let me point out this phrase once again. “The word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. A verse comes to my mind:
* Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Faith comes into our lives when we hear the Word of God and then decide to believe it. That is called faith. And that is what makes the difference. That means as many times as you sit in an auditorium and listen to your pastor preach on a Sunday morning, if you don’t mix some faith with what you have heard, it will profit you nothing. As you look at the structure of the church from the book of Acts, the pastor is to study and pray and spend time with the Lord and take God’s Word and preach it. The pastor is to bring the preaching of the Word. The listener is to bring with them some faith. When you take God’s Word that was preached by the preacher and mix it with faith in the listener, then we have church!