Hebrews 5:11-14 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Heb 5:11–14.
Many copies of scripture title this portion of the Book of Hebrews as “Warning Against Apostasy.” There have been several prominent “Christian” leaders, entertainers, and influencers publicly renouncing their faith in Jesus, in the last few years. The author of Hebrews clearly speaks to why these people turn so easily from the truth. They simply refuse to grow up.
They make it very clear that they cannot bring themselves to believe that the God of the Christian Scriptures will send “good” people to hell for their sins. They have never come to the the realization that God judges everyone based on actions. That truth is found in Jesus’ own words as He states in Matthew 10:34-39.
Matthew 10:34-36 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Mt 10:34–36.
Jesus Clearly speaks of conflict within households. He never speak of bringing peace. Jesus continues to by defining why there will be this conflict.
Matthew 10:37-39 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Mt 10:37–39.
Those who have fallen away are simply defined as those who love their fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters more than Him. They simply found the taking of the cross too much to bear. They liked the simplicity of the milk and found the meat to tough to consume.
They refused to be weaned. As the author of Hebrews says, “11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.
You will say that many of these who had fallen away were authors, speaks, teacher, pastors of large churches, and influenced many in the name of Jesus. We must remember what Jesus said in Luke 13, when answering the question “Lord, will those who are saved be few?”
Luke 13:24-27 “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Lk 13:24–27.
It doesn’t matter what their positions were. They are “workers of evil.” They sought an easy Gospel, and found that the cross too much for them to bear.
So, when the author of Hebrews says that they are dull of hearing, he is addressing their refusal to understand the Gospel. He expected them to be teachers, but they have to have the same basic principle taught to them over and over again. I find it amazing how surveys conducted about the spiritual condition of the church show a steady decline in the biblical literacy, and yet the leadership within the church refuse to change their teaching methods.
I proclaimed Jesus as the LORD of my life, when I was 14. Soon after, I was introduced to the concept of culture and tradition over Scripture. I learned of how racist some churches are, and how they ensure that only those who comply with their cultural and traditional ways of doing things get their support.
This became apparent when I confessed God’s call on my life to go into ministry. The pastor said, “Well, He didn’t tell me!” I was told later that his reaction was because he did not think that I was born again, due to my having brought black people in to the church.
That is an example of a church that refuses to grow up. It has grown dull in hearing, stuck in its culture and tradition, and, also, refuses to be weaned. The author of Hebrews states it best, ” 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”
It has become evident that the church has lost much of its ability to discern write from wrong. Many in the upper-echelon of the Christian church have stopped fighting the evil that has become more prevalent in recent years. The falling away of many of these leaders is a clear indication of that.
They sought to shape and mold the Gospel to fit society. They found that the Gospel is not something man can bend to his will. God stands as the sovereign of His creation, and removes all obstacles.
Romans8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ro 8:31.
It is my prayer that you move from the milk of the Word to the meat. Be sober-minded, and grow up in the Gospel. It is only by growing can one be trained to properly discern good from evil.