Probably one of the most beautiful sailing ships ever built is the USS Constitution.
The 44 gun frigate was initially launched in 1797 and has essentially been active ever since.
“Old Ironsides,” as it’s called, has three masts and is the world’s oldest commissioned war ship afloat.
It originally required 60 men to get her underway. However, if loosed from its moorings, it would simply drift out to sea on its own.
This is the concept that can be seen in chapter 2 of Hebrews.
For those religions and sects that hold to the concept of apostasy among Christians, verse one is often mentioned as a proof text.
So we must hold on carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. Hebrews 2:1
Two words in verse one are nautical terms.
The concept “hold on carefully” is the Greek word prosechein, and it means “to hold a ship to port or to anchor it to the seabed.” The idea “drift away” is the Greek word pararoumen, which means “to float or drift away.”
Symbolism and metaphor are often used in the New Testament to make a point. That’s why it’s vital to do research when reading God’s word, lest the subtle and often more impactful truths be lost.
In chapter 2 verse 1 the author is using symbolism to solidify a thought.
He employs the concept of a ship, something everyone in the first century would have understood, to say, “Don’t be blown off track by wayward teaching.”
If this letter was written to former Jewish priests who had accepted Christ (reference an earlier post Who were the Hebrews?) and desired to return to their old lives, they would be willing to listen to false teaching that might support their longing.
This letter is clear that the readers were under severe persecution and would have yearned to be back in the life they’d had before; one of comfort, prominence and power.
So, the author is saying, “Tie yourselves to the truth and don’t be lost because of false teaching.” The Greek words used within this verse are clear and imply a careless sailor and not a rebellious one.
It takes 60 men to get the Constitution underway, but one man loosening the ropes can allow it to drift out to sea.
This passage does not imply that someone can lose their salvation, just that they can be taken off track from the blessings of walking closely with Christ.
Therefore, understand the warning offered within the second chapter of Hebrews and stay tied to what is true. If someone says what you want to hear, don’t let go of the ropes of your faith – hold fast to what you KNOW is Truth.