Summary: God has ordained faith to open the heavens. Doubt and unbelief close them. This sermon examines an enemy of faith - doubt and unbelief
Enemies of Faith – Doubt and Unbelief
Faith unlocks the storehouse of God but doubt unbelief locks it - are we stuck in doubt and unbelief - not walking in the land of Canaan and promise, where the Spirit of God, in all His blessing, falls and ignites? We have a great many wilderness Christians in our churches - the wilderness is a place of death; a place of unrest; a place of aimlessness; and a place of dissatisfaction. They have never entered into Gods promises because they must enter by faith. Are we unbelieving believers? This sermon addresses the enemy of faith – doubt and unbelief
Faith Comes by Hearing God’s Voice
Romans 10:17 so then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Hebrews 3:7-19 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness, where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, And saw My works forty years. Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, ’They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.’ So I swore in My wrath, ’They shall not enter My rest.’ “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: "Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion." For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
The Book of Hebrews was written to believers who were in a faith crisis – it was written to warn them of the dangers of unbelief and doubt and to encourage them in their faith. In this passage we see God speaking – faith comes by hearing – but not just hearing – hearing what God has to say and according to the scripture God is speaking!
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit Speaks
As the Holy Spirit says –– this passage draws attention to its Author the Holy Spirit - it links up with - Hebrews 1:1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, and Hebrews 2:3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord - In the former it is God, the Father, who "spoke." In Hebrews 2:3, it is the Son - here in Hebrews 3:7 the Speaker is the Spirit; thus, by linking together these three passages we hear all the Persons of the Godhead.
How does God speak? – through various means – reading the word – hearing the word – the inner voice – the prophetic word – the word of circumstances and situations – but all is based upon the inspired written word of God the Bible - As the Holy Spirit says - the tense of the verb used here; it is not "the Holy Spirit said," but "says:" it is an ever-present, continuing living message to God’s people in each succeeding generation. "Whatever was given by inspiration from the Holy Ghost, and is recorded in the Scripture is for the use of the Church today” "he that has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches" Revelation chapters 2 and 3
When does God speak? Today - "Today" signifies the present time, and it includes a continuance of it. It is not to be limited to twenty-four hours; instead, this term covers a present interval which consists of many days or years. Hebrews 3:13 says exhort one another daily, while it is called Today. In Hebrews 13:8 it says Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.
What does God speak? His voice - The "voice" of God is the declaration of His will, which demands our obedience. His will is made known in His Word, which is a living Word, by which the voice of God is now uttered.
The Response to His Voice
If you will hear To "hear" God’s voice signifies, to diligently ponder, to readily receive, and to heed or obey it. Hearing then implies an action that follows the hearing.