The author predicates asking, "For if . . . every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape?" (Heb 2:2-3). It is a cause and effect. God told Moses, "'When you enter the land . . . when you eat of the food of the land, you shall lift up an offering to the Lord'" (Nu 15:19). "But when you unwittingly fail" (:22) you "shall offer one bull for a burnt offering . . . with its grain offering and its drink offering . . . and one male goat for a sin offering" (:24). This was to illustrate "how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?" (Heb 2:3). To escape is to avoid the consequences. "If the righteous will be rewarded in the earth, how much more the wicked and the sinner!" (Pr 11:31). Salvation means that "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1Ti 1:15) and "having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life" (Ro 5:10). The Lord is "not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance" (2Pe 3:9). The result of not escaping is to perish. It is an either-or proposition. Unfortunately "the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing" (1Co 1:18). But the author of Hebrews is addressing "those who are sanctified . . . [and Jesus] is not ashamed to call them brethren" (Heb 2:11) because they are "holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling" (3:1). They are referred to in the same way in Hebrews 3:12, 10:19 and 13:22. Therefore believers are being addressed with the question "how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?" (2:3). The cross is "to us who are being saved . . . the power of God" (1Co 1:18). Why had Israel "turned away in continual apostasy? They hold fast to deceit, they refuse to return" (Jer 8:5). Peter advised to "repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away" (Ac 3:19) and Jesus preached "'repent and believe in the gospel'" (Mk 1:15).