Hebrews 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
In verse 11 God offered a rest to the nation of Israel. Almost an entire generation failed to enter into that rest because of unbelief. Now in verse 12 God directed the writer of Hebrews to warn against the evil of unbelief. It is an evil thing to reject God. The writer refers to the readers as brethren. As we noted already, the immediate recipients here are Jews. The writer is a Jew and he is writing to brethren. We noted in verse 7 the attention is turned to those who are unsaved; those who have not accepted God’s truth as their truth.
In spite of all that has already been said about the fact that Jesus Christ is the only Saviour, many did not believe in Him at that time, and the same is still true today. He is greater than the angels and He alone can save. In spite of the truth of Who Jesus Christ is, there was still that danger of many not believing the truth. That was the danger in the days of Moses. In spite of all that God had done to prove that He was the true God, almost an entire generation died in the wilderness.
We know as well that during the days that Jesus Christ was on this earth, many of the Jews rejected Him. They saw His miracles. They heard His teaching. They witnessed His power over devils. He proved He was the Messiah, and yet they rejected Him. Now in our text, there was still that danger of not believing the truth.
Every generation must choose to accept God and His salvation or reject it. Every person is born a lost sinner and must personally decide to either accept or reject God. The Bible shows us that godly parents are not guaranteed to have godly children. The Bible also shows us that a child born into an ungodly family can be saved. God’s will is for all to be saved and He gives every person a conscience with which they can know there is a God and they can also know they need to know this true God.
That is still a very real danger today. There are many who want to believe in a Jesus. They have in their minds, the kind of Jesus they want to believe in. They will gravitate to a religious group that will agree with their views, or at least do not have a firm position on Who Jesus is and thus there is room to believe what a person wants to believe.
The Bible is very clear Who Jesus is. God will not accept any deviation from this fact. If Jesus Christ is not the Creator and the Sustainer of Creation, then that person has a false Christ. If Jesus Christ cannot provide salvation by Himself, then that person has a false Christ.
The Bible is very clear that those who are saved, have been given eternal life.
John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
This is one verse of many that clearly teach that the person who is saved cannot lose their salvation. There are many who would argue that this is not true, but you have to make God a liar to deny that His gift of salvation is tied to eternal life.
Thus in our text, God is not warning of the danger of someone losing their salvation. He is warning of those who like certain aspects of Christianity, but they do not want to accept Biblical Christianity. We have mentioned before a popular group in New Testament times known as Judaizers. They accepted the historical fact of Jesus Christ. They rejected the truth that salvation is by grace alone. They insisted that human works were required to be saved.
Unbelief keeps a person from the truth. Unbelief causes a person to depart from the living God. There are many religions today that fit this description. They like certain aspects of Christianity, but not Biblical Christianity.
Verse 13 commands true Christians to exhort others daily of the importance of the truth. A true church will constantly keep the importance of Biblical salvation before those who attend. It is never wise to assume a person is saved. It is never wise to just accept a person’s own words which might claim they are Christians. There needs to be a Biblical testimony of salvation. In certain parts of the world the news will talk of “Christians” versus Muslims, or some other group. Most of the time the word “Christian” there refers to those who are not part of the other group. Most of them are Catholics. There is no such a thing as a Catholic Christian.
A true church will teach sound doctrine. Sound doctrine includes the importance and necessity of Biblical salvation. It teaches God’s truth on salvation and how to grow as a true saint after salvation. That is the difference between a true church and what we have talked about many times as New Evangelicalism. If everybody is going to heaven anyway, then what are we doing? If it does not matter how a person lives as long as they claim to love Jesus, then why did Jesus Christ leave heaven’s glory to take upon Himself the form of a servant and endure the suffering of the cross? If holiness is not important then what is important? Of course the ungodly claim that “love” is what is important. They do not understand what true love is, but they demand that we love others.
We see in verse 13 that sin is deceitful. There are many examples of this in the Bible. Achan stole from the Lord but he justified his actions. When he was caught he explained why he did what he did. He tried hard to cover up what he did but God did not accept that.
The person living in sin, does not see it as sin. He believes everyone has their own beliefs and as long as others do not infringe on his beliefs, he will leave them alone. AA works to give drunks a place to find comfort among other drunks. Some of them learn how to remain sober, but they will not come to know God’s peace and forgiveness through AA. They will learn self-help methods of trying to win in the struggle with a very destructive poison.
In verse 14 we see that those who are saved, will continue on in following Jesus Christ.
I John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
A person who claims to be saved, but then rejects the truth they once claimed to believe simply proves they never believed the truth in their hearts. They gave mental ascent to it for whatever reason, but it was never burned into their heart by God. True Christians do not keep themselves saved. They are saved by God and they continue on with God. He provides eternal life. The Christian proves he or she is saved by continuing to walk with God. Those who forsake the truth, never had the truth in their hearts.
Verse 15 again reminds us of listening to the convicting work of the Holy Spirit to day. It is never wise to put off this important matter for another day.
The Bible shows us that it is a very dangerous thing to harden your heart against the truth. As God shows us in this passage, many people died in the wilderness because they refused to trust in God’s provision for salvation. They rejected the true God and they could not enjoy His blessings because of that.
Today is another opportunity God has given us to listen to Him and follow Him to a true church. You need God’s truth. Jesus Christ established the true local church. Don’t fall for the devil’s knock-off of the truth. Let God direct you to a true church where you can be challenged and fed the truth. Those who are involved in sin will be under conviction in a true church. The solution to that is to humbly submit to God in repentance and be saved. Then walk with Him according to His Word. As we see in our text, you will not change God’s mind. You will not argue your position before Him. He has declared the truth. You will either accept His way and be blessed or you will fight against His way and miss out on His blessings.