Posted by: missionventureministries | February 20, 2020

TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS – Hebrews 3:12-15

See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. (Hebrews 3:12-14) 

These verses are a solemn and timely warning. All around us we see men, women, teenagers and children who are being “hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” Three times in this one chapter God pleads with men, “harden not your hearts.” 

Unbelief is a sin that hardens the heart. When Satan tempted Eve in the garden, he got her to disbelieve the word of God: “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1). He was saying, “You do not really believe that, do you?” If people really believed God, they would not practice sin, because they would know that they will face His severe judgment. By not believing in God and His Word, people do as they please and unbelief becomes the root of all sins and hardens hearts against God’s standards of holiness. 

The will is the power by which the mind makes choices and acts to carry them out. At first, a person engages in some forbidden pleasure because they want to, but if they keep it up, they soon find out that they have no strength to resist it. Once a thought or act becomes a habit, if not stopped it becomes a necessity. Bear in mind, you reap what you sow sooner and more abundantly than you think. 

‘See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.’ (v. 12) 

Here we are warned against the sin of unbelief into which the Israelites fell, which resulted in their turning away from the living God, and he warns his readers that this is exactly what they will be doing is reject the truth of salvation and faith in Jesus Christ and turn away from the living God. 

‘But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.’ (v. 13) 

Sin’s deceitfulness is that it cannot deliver what it promises. It deludes a person into thinking he can “have it all.” It promises pleasure, contentment, fulfillment, and life, but what it delivers in those areas is fleeting, which leads to its addictive quality. Pleasure is never enough to produce the desired contentment and fulfillment; and sinners are forced into greater perversions until it kills them.

Sin offers rationalizations and justifications to a deceived and sinful mind; however, sin’s drug-like quality always demands more because what formerly satisfied no longer does. The person in its grip gradually becomes its slave, and along the way, their heart becomes hardened as well. 

In this verse hardened is translated from the Greek word for a callus and should be of great warning. A callus forms around the palms of hands and on fingers from constant hard use; and suggests the meaning of impenetrable, insensitive, blind, or un-teachable. A hardened attitude is not a sudden abnormality but a habitual state of mind that shows itself in inflexibility of thinking and insensitivity of conscience; and will eventually make repentance impossible. Thus to avoid this terrible sin of unbelief, we must recognize how evil it really is. 

We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. (v.14) 

Jesus commanded the His true disciples to share the Gospel to the end of the earth. Unfortunately some people, upon hearing the gospel and recognizing their spiritual need, delay in taking action. 

This is the most dangerous type of sin equating to procrastination because life is short, and we do not know what will happen tomorrow (James 4:13-14). The Bible urges us to get right with God today and not to harden our heart, because Jesus could return at any time when we do not expect Him (Luke 12:40). 

Our Lord illustrated the importance of being prepared for His coming. In the parable of the ten virgins who were awaiting the arrival of the bridegroom and the commencement of the wedding feast, five of the virgins were prepared for His arrival. The other five did not attempt to prepare until it was too late, and they were left behind.  And when they finally were ready and asked for the door to be opened Jesus said:  ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you’ (Matthew 25:12). 

One reason they were unprepared may have been that they only halfheartedly believed and therefore procrastinated and missed out on the most important day of their life. “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour” (Matthew 25:1-13). 

So in the matter of our spiritual life, we dare not procrastinate because it is a sinful and bad habit that can have eternal consequences as we see by the parable Jesus told of the ten virgins. 

Remember, the Lord is gracious and compassionate; slow to anger and rich in love (Psalm 145:8); and that, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). 

Therefore, take this opportunity, this very minute, to make things right with God. Don’t risk losing this moment when your heart is open to obey Him; and please don’t assume you’ll have another opportunity to do so. 

Keep this in mind, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts…” (Hebrews 3:15); because, “now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).

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