Summary: Deciding to listen to Jesus and believe in Him is not a one time decision, but one that we must continually make.
THE DANGER OF UNBELIEF Hebrews 3
Deciding to listen to Jesus and believe in Him is not a one time decision, but one that we must continually make. Often our faith is endangered when the circumstances of life become bitter. It is at times like these that we must keep our faith strong, else we will fall into the danger zone of unbelief.
Israel was enslaved in Egypt for 400 years when God sent Moses to deliver them. God’s Power enjoyed a Spectacular display at this time:
*Walking Across Red Sea on Dry Land
*Manna, Quail, Water
*Red Sea Collapsing on Egyptians
*Cloud by day
*Fire by night
God’s presence could not have been stronger among them. Yet they continued to struggle with unbelief on the journey. (Exodus 17:1-7)
Because of their unbelief, the entire generation of Israelites would perish while wandering in the desert, except for Joshua and Caleb.
If they had such experiences with God and struggled to believe, is it any wonder that we struggle as well … and that the same kinds of things may interfere with our faith journey?
1. DANGER SIGNS OF UNBELIEF
A. A Misdirected Heart A Heart that Turns Away From God (12)
B. A Hardened Conscience … Hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (13). Guard against the tricks of sin – they can cause your heart to be hardened.How is a heart hardened to the will of God? Neglect of spiritual matters. Continual violation of the conscience. Preoccupation with the world. Failure to grow. 1 Timothy 4:2 “… whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.”
C. A Stubborn Will - A Will that is Stubbornly devoted to sin (8, 13, 15)
D. A Rebellious spirit set on Disobedience (17-18)
2. HOW TO KEEP YOUR FAITH STRONG
A. Fix your thoughts on Jesus (1). An Apostle – one sent to express God’s will and God’s love to humans. A High Priest – one who makes sacrifice for our sins. Faithful Son – demonstrating God’s life for us to learn from.
B. Listen to God Speak! (7) Romans 10:17 “… faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
C. Encourage one another daily (13) “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today…”
D. Hold on to your confidence (14). We hold on to the confident assurance you had when you first started your heavenly journey! John 20:29 “…Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
E. God’s promise still stands (4:1)
Conclusion: Combine faith with the message (4:2)! Israel did not combine what they knew about God with their faith. They had every opportunity, yet they continued to show a lack of faith. They knew God’s power and promise, but did not trust Him.
Unbelief is a major issue that even Christians struggle with. (4:1a) Believing in and trusting His promises is vital to the Christian’s perseverance.
In our text there is an emphasis on ‘today’! (3:7, 13, 15) 2 Corinthians 6:2 “…I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”
Today is when those who are outside of Christ to name his name and be immersed for forgiveness. Today is when we all must demonstrate trust in the Lord in our lives.