Today I’ll talk for a little while about a heart of unbelief:

Let me say before we began that the writer here is not writing this epistle to lost people, these believing Hebrews were in danger of trying to slip back under the law of Moses, or so they thought.

And then some people try to explain away the “problem” of losing your salvation by claiming that these readers were not truly born again, but were only professors of the Christian faith.

But the writer, whom I believe to be Paul called them,” Holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling (3:1).

He told them that they had a High Priest in heaven (4:14), which he would not have written if they were lost. And according to 6:4 they had been made partakers of the Holy Spirit

At the heart of every problem is a problem of the heart

The writer is contrasting the Old Testament system of law with the New Testament ministry of grace.

He is making it clear that the Jewish religious system was temporary and that it could not bring in the eternal “better things” that are found in Jesus Christ. Eternal is a third word that is important to the message of Hebrews.

Christ is the “author of eternal salvation” (5:9). Through His death, He “obtained eternal redemption” (9:12) and He shares with believers “the promise of eternal inheritance” (9:15).

The word better is used 13 times in this book of Hebrews, as the writer shows the superiority of Jesus Christ and His salvation over the Hebrew system of religion.

Listen as I read today’s text;

Hebrews 3:7-19

7Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, 8Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

9When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. 10Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.

And let me say that we that are saved today don’t fully know His ways at this time either, not like we will one day.

11So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) 12Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; 15While it is said, “To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.” Reference- Ps. 95

16For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.

17But with whom was He grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?

18And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

In these verses we find a warning directed to the unbelieving, and the judgment is that of missing God’s rest. Not losing ones salvation.

So the wilderness wanderings represent to us today: the experiences of believers who will not claim their spiritual inheritances in Christ, who doubt God’s Word and live in restless unbelief.

The writer mentioned two different “rests” found in Old Testament history: (1) God’s Sabbath rest, when He ceased from His Creation activities Gen. 2:2) (2) Israel’s rest in Canaan ( Deut. 12:9; Josh. 21:43-45).

But the writer saw in these “rests” illustrations of the spiritual experiences of believers today.

The Sabbath rest is a picture of our rest in Christ through salvation (Heb. 4:3, and see Matt. 11:28).

The Canaan rest is a picture of our present rest as we claim our inheritance in Christ (Heb. 4:11-13; the first is the rest of salvation; the second is the rest of submission.

It’s true that God was with these Hebrew believers at the time this epistle was written to them, as He was with Israel; but they didn’t enjoy the fullness of God’s blessing. They are “out of Egypt” but they are not yet “in Canaan.” Let me say that Canaan is not a picture of heaven, but it’s a picture of saved peoples journey while we’re here on this earth. We have battles here, as they did then, but God was always with His people.

The importance of this warning and the danger of disobeying are pointed out in two ways.

First of all, we read in v.1, “as the Holy Ghost saith”, the word “ saith,” is in the present tense. And The Holy Spirit is still speaking today!

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