"Surfeiting" (KJV) or "carousing" (NKJV) means indulging in one's appetites excessively. It could be food or drink or many other things. This world, especially in its advertizing, is pushing the overuse of our appetites all the time. We cannot turn on the television without them pushing automobiles, foods, toys, jewelry, drugs, insurance, appliances, travel, housewares, clothing, tools, movies, and other television programs. Advertizers are constantly and repetitiously urging us, "Do this." "Try this." "Use your time this way." We can feel pressured, "under the gun," stressed from resisting their products, their way of life, and their attitudes.
This is the issue in the book of Hebrews. The people to whom the book was written had not given into immorality, but the author knew that sooner or later the stress of resisting would get to them. Because of the constant pressure to conform to this world, they were becoming apathetic, and apathetic people are in a kind of stupor, blind to the reality of their spiritual condition. And what is the end result? Jesus said what happens is that we forget when we are living—and the day comes upon us unawares.
The thrust of Jesus' exhortation is that we should be continually expecting His return; it should always be a major part of our focus. The exhortations in Hebrews are for us to return our focus to the return of Jesus Christ and prepare ourselves for what is coming in that troubled time. We should not be allowing this world to hammer away at our minds and attitudes—taking up our lives, our time, with things that should not be our concern.
Do we need some of the things that the world hits us with? Yes, we have to live. However, we need to have enough spiritual understanding not to let them wear away at us until they become a major part of our lives. Thus, Jesus is warning us not to allow ourselves to become secure and self-satisfied with this life and the good things that it furnishes—but to jolt ourselves spirituallty awake!
John W. Ritenbaugh
Hebrews: A Message for Today