“ ‘We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that WE DO NOT DRIFT AWAY.’ Like the other warnings in Hebrews (see 6:4-7; 10:26-29), the context indicates that these believers are warned about LOSING THEIR REWARDS, not salvation, which is an ‘eternal redemption.’ The context calls them ‘those who will inherit salvation’ (1:14) and ‘brothers’ (2:17). The use of ‘we’(2:1) also points to other believers along with the author. Further, to ‘drift away’ is not a figure of speech indicating a LOSS OF SALVATION. Later warnings to the same audience indicate that THE AUTHOR IS SPEAKING OF A LOSS OF ‘MATURITY’ (6:1; cf. 5:13-14)” (Norman Geisler, “Four Views on Eternal Security” by J. Matthew Pinson, general editor. Grand Rapids: ZOndervan, 2002, page 98).
In the above quote, Geisler discusses Hebrews 2:1. But the problem with Geisler’s interpretation is that he does not cover the context of Hebrews 2. Let’s read verses 1 through 4 and discover the context of Hebrews 2:
1 We must therefore pay even more attention to what we have heard, so that we will not drift away. 2 For if the message spoken through angels was legally binding, (A) [a] and every transgression and disobedience received a just punishment, (B) 3 how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was first spoken by the Lord and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him. (C) 4 At the same time, God also testified by signs and wonders, various miracles, and distributions [of gifts] from the Holy Spirit according to His will. (Hebrews 2:1-4, Holman Christian Standard Bible)
The “drifting away” of verse 1 is given context with verse 3: “How will we escape if we NEGLECT such a great SALVATION?”.The word for “neglect” in this passage is the participle “ameleisantes.” The participle is an aorist active participle, stemming from the verb “ameleo” (to neglect).
I think I should take some time here and tell those who don’t know Greek of this verb that is now before us. The verb is “aorist” in that the “aorist” tense in the Greek stands for something that is past. It is a completed action, done in the past. The verb is in the “active” voice because the subject, being “we,” is the subject committing the action. The verb is a “participle,” which means that it involves some use of “ing” attached to it, like “walking,” or “talking,” etc. Because the verb here is in the past tense and the subject is committing it, this verb would properly be translated as “having neglected.” So the first phrase of verse 3 should read, “How will we escape HAVING NEGLECTED such a great salvation?” The verb for “escape” is “ekpheuksometha,” which is a “future middle indicative” verb. Let me take time to explain the designation of this verb.
If a verb is in the “future” tense, the verb will be translated with the words “will be” or “will.” An example of this would be “will run.” The verb before us in the “middle” voice, which means that the person, the “we,” is doing the action (attempting to escape, according to Hebrews 2). The indicative label shows that the verb is stated as a matter of fact (although here, it is used hypothetically to state what would happen IF the believers neglected or abandoned their salvation). The writer says that the believers will not escape once they have neglected their salvation in Christ. There is no escape; and the writer tells us this in verse 2:
2 For if the message spoken through angels was legally binding, (A) [a] and every transgression and disobedience received a just punishment, (B) 3 how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? (Hebrews 2:2, HCSB)
If the Old Testament Law was binding and was enacted with punishment for those who disobeyed, punishment would befall the one who disobeyed the law of Christ, the law of faith.
The end of verse 3 and verse 4 tell us that salvation in Christ is true because its authenticity has been manifested:
It was first spoken by the Lord and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him. (C) 4 At the same time, God also testified by signs and wonders, various miracles, and distributions [of gifts] from the Holy Spirit according to His will.(Hebrews 2:3b-4, HCSB)
The salvation in Christ of which the writer speaks has been demonstrated by signs and miracles, as well as the Spirit’s distribution of gifts, His giving them to the church. These signs prove that the salvation of which the writer speaks is the real thing; and that, for the readers to desert their faith in Christ is to desert the only real “saving” grace they have. Outside of Christ, there is no escaping the coming wrath.
So as we see, this passage is not referring to the loss of rewards; we are clearly told that this passage is referring to “drifting away” from true “salvation” (2:3). Once again, Geisler fails to do his homework on such texts. I honestly don’t see how he could put such a presuppositional spin on a passage like this one.