Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Turn Away

Greek Word Pronunciation: apo-STRE-pho
Strong’s Number: 654
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 695
Key Verse: “… much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven …”
-- Hebrews 12:25

Approximately 18 words in the New Testament have the basic idea “to turn.” Two words will be focused on here that can be considered synonyms. The first is ektrepo, translated as “turn aside.” This compound verb is comprised of ek, meaning “out” or “away,” and trepo, meaning “to turn.” Paul used this word in 1 Timothy: (1:6) refers to men who “have turned aside to fruitless discussion”; (5:15) for those who “have already turned aside to follow Satan”; and (6:20) where Paul tells Timothy he should be “avoiding worldly and empty chatter.” Hebrews uses this word in a medical way, in Hebrews 12:13 of weak Christians who may “not be put out of joint.” Christians are to do everything to avoid aggravating the weakness of a fellow-Christian.

The other word is apostrepho, and it is generally translated as “turn away.” It is a compound of apo, meaning “from” or “back again” and strepho, also meaning “to turn.” Acts 3:26 speaks of God sending Jesus to “bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.” As Jesus on earth sought to turn away people from their sins, so He does still. In Titus 1:14, Paul refers to men “who turn away from the truth.” The teachers of Jewish fables and carnal ordinances profess to know and serve God, yet their immoral lives are a denial of Him. Both words, ektrepho and apostrepho, are found in 2 Timothy 4:4 about people who “will turn away (apostrepho) their ears from the truth and will turn aside (ektrepo) to myths.” These are people who will actively turn away from the solid truths of the Gospel, not being able to bear hearing them. As a result, they will find themselves being turned aside to idle, useless, and, unprofitable things. This is to be considered a just judgment upon them, that God gives them up to a reprobate mind, void of sense and judgment.

HEBREWS 12:25 speaks of “those did not escape when they refused Him Who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him Who warns from heaven.” Just as the people of Israel did not escape God’s punishment, consider how terrible is the danger of eternal punishment to those who reject Christ who speaks from heaven.

No comments: