“Will You Profit from Others Experience?”
“Learn from the Mistakes of Others. You Can’t Live Long Enough to Make Them All Yourself”
Quote from Eleanor Roosevelt
WE can learn from the mistakes of others or we can learn from making our own mistakes; regardless what is important is not where we learn but whether we learn at all. Ask most younger siblings- they learned what to do and what not do based on how their older siblings were encouraged and disciplined.
Hebrews 3:7-19 New King James Version (NKJV)
7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice, 8 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, 9 Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, And saw My works forty years. 10 Therefore I was angry with that generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they have not known My ways.’ 11 So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ” 12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but [a]exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, 15 while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” 16 For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? 17 Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
The Holy Spirit says- Along with other NT writers, the writer of Hebrews regards Scripture in the ultimate and truest sense as the words of the Holy Spirit rather than the words of a mere human.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 New King James Version (NKJV)
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration (breathed) of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for [a]instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
When we read the Bible, we should not think we are reading merely the opinions of Matthew, Paul, Peter, John; we are reading the very words of the Holy Spirit revealing who God is, the nature of His salvation and what His will is for the church and for our lives.
Today if you will hear His voice- the writer refers to the disobedience of Israel in the wilderness after their exodus from Egypt as a warning for believers under the new covenant. The Hebrew believers would know only all too well the tragedy of the Exodus generation.
Psalm 95:7-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
7 For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture, And the sheep [a]of His hand. Today, if you will hear His voice: 8 “Do not harden your hearts, as in the [b]rebellion, As in the day of [c]trial in the wilderness, 9 When your fathers tested Me; They tried Me, though they saw My work.
10 For forty years I was [d]grieved with that generation, And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts, And they do not know My ways.’ 11 So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ”
Because of Israel’s unbelief in the promises of God, their constant disobedience, failure to resist sin and hardness of heart, they were barred from entering the promised land. Likewise, the Spirit says, “TODAY” while there is still breath in you, this is a RIGHT NOW word; you must realize that you too may fail to enter God’s rest in heaven because of unbelief, disobedience and allowing your heart to grow cold and hard. This is an active and present word- not a one-time confession from a past belief.
Do not harden your hearts- The Holy Spirit speaks to us concerning the rebellion and disobedient generation. If we ignore His voice, our hearts will grow increasingly hard and unyielding until we are no longer sensitive to the Word of God or the desires of the Holy Spirit. Commitment to truth and righteous living will no longer be a priority, but we will more and more seek pleasure in the ways of the world rather than the ways of God. The Holy Spirit warns us that God will not go on pleading with us indefinitely if we harden our hearts in rebellion. There is a point of no return.
Hebrews 10:26-27 New King James Version (NKJV)
26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.
Take heed in departing from the living God- At regular intervals in this letter, the author warns the readers about the dangers of falling away from the faith.
Exhort one another daily- Exhortation is an urgent appeal, earnest admonition or solemn warning to follow God’s prescribed course of redemption. Many were failing to admonish each other to continue in the faith.
They should not enter into His rest- The real possibility of the believer missing God’s promised rest is illustrated by the Exodus generation of Israelites who failed to enter the promised land
Numbers 14:29 New King James Version (NKJV)
29 The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above.
Two things are pointed out to us by the Spirit:
(1) the Israelites experienced the redemptive power of God, seen God’s mighty works, and yet were disobedient because they would not believe God’s promises or heed His warnings. Therefore, they were destroyed in the wilderness and failed to enter the promised land.
(2) The Israelites glorious initial experience with God did not guarantee their safe arrival in Canaan. By failing to persevere in faith, they disobeyed God, forfeited their destiny and inheritance as the children of promise, and abandoned their only source of security: “the living God”
What does this mean to you?
Take control of your confession
The Hebrew believers were highly persecuted and discouraged. From the tone of the letter, some were on the verge of forsaking their faith in Christ because of this persecution. This is a right now word. Today the Holy Spirit is speaking and warning against the great apostasy that has already begun. There has been and will continue to be a great falling away from the faith. WE are seeing a mass falling away from the Bible and the truth of God’s Word, Biblical tenets that have withstood thousands of centuries are being slaughtered. We do not know the day nor the hour, but do you recognize the season?
Matthew 24:32-33 New King James Version (NKJV)
32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that [a]it is near—at the doors!
Salvation is not a one-time confession, but rather a daily confession of our mouth and actions that acknowledge Jesus as Lord. I believe in assurance of salvation- but not based on a past loyalty, but a daily loyalty to Him. It is a daily seeking of His face and a daily crucifying of the flesh. It is not a static belief “IN GOD” but to believe God and to take Him at His Word.
Psalm 106:24-25, 33 New King James Version (NKJV)
24 Then they despised the pleasant land; They did not believe His word, 25 But complained in their tents, And did not heed the voice of the Lord. 33 Because they rebelled against His Spirit, So that he spoke rashly with his lips.
The Spirit declares that belief and obedience are inseparable. You cannot say you believe in Jesus, but you disobey His Word and His authority. Heaven is His kingdom where He rules and reigns, you will not do as you please in His kingdom, so why would you think it is ok now? This is a false theology perpetuated in some Christian circles- that you can say a prayer, live as you want and inherit eternal life. You have an assurance of salvation, if you continue to daily seek Him, follow Him to know Him and love HimimHim
The Exodus generation believed in God, but did not believe Him and so they were disobedient.
John 3:36 English Standard Version (ESV)
36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
Take God at His Word.
This means all His promises and all His warnings. Read your Bible daily. Today, the Holy Spirit is speaking. Believe God’s Word. Obey His Word. Repent of your self-reliance and self-preservation.
When you read something in Scripture, whether or not you like it- believe it.
Stop trying to reason away why it doesn’t apply to you
Don’t twist and manipulate Scripture to try to make it say what you want it to say
Allow others to correct you- “exhort one another”. People get comfortable in their complacency. I remember a time when I started dating someone I knew was not for me. I missed church regularly. A young lady from the youth group I used to help with, called me up and began to ask where I had been. I made excuse after excuse and told her I was “good with God”. I reasoned this in my mind because I still prayed everyday and spoke in tongues. God was well pleased with me, so I thought. I was believing my own lies and listening to the voice of deception- falling into a path that led me compromise things I had consecrated to the Lord. I hadn’t had a drink of alcohol in four years- I compromised.
“Today if you will hear His voice”. Be aware of your constant surroundings. To heed something is to listen to it, pay careful attention to it, or otherwise observe or acknowledge it in some way—and often to take action on it.
1 Corinthians 10:12 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
I am assured that as I walk in the Spirit and obey His Word, looking always to Jesus and forsaking a life of sin and rebellion that He is with me and He will never fail me or forsake me. I trust Him to bring me through the fire and into eternal life. Yet, the Spirit says, “TAKE HEED lest you fall”. Take God at His warning to be aware of those things that have the opportunity to trip you up. Our human will and stubborn determination to have our own way is a strong force.
Matthew 24:4 4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.
Mark 4:24 Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given.
Mark 13:33 33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.
1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.
Colossians 4:17 And say to Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.”
Mark 13:23 But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand.
Take care of your heart.
“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but [a]exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”
Do you know your heart? Do you know what causes you to stumble? The Holy Spirit is the great discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. We must yield to His work in our heart and allow Him to reveal those things that have the capability of causing us to stumble.
Luke 16:15 New King James Version (NKJV)
15 And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
Psalm 4:4 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
4 Be angry [or stand in awe] and sin not; commune with your own hearts upon your beds and be silent (sorry for the things you say in your hearts). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
Psalm 139:23-24 New King James Version (NKJV)
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.
Some of these heart issues include:
Pride- pride is exalting your thoughts and ways above what the Lord instructs. It is an “I can do what I want mentality”. The above Scripture speaks of “exhort one another daily”- this is not just an encouragement, but also includes warnings and correction. How we respond to correction reveals if there is pride in us. If you defend, deflect or deny your actions that do not line up with Scripture, it is possible that there is pride in your heart.
Jealousy/Envy- resentful dislike of someone because they have something you do not, “Must be nice”
Covetousness- wanting what does not belong to you
Lust- a strong desire for something
Strife- seeking power or position
All of these heart issues need to be dealt with. Some things can be eradicated immediately, but some take a lifetime of battling against. If your heart is not dealt with- these things will turn into willful, sinful actions. Willful, continual sin causes the hardening of the heart.
Take your temperature
Is your love cold or hot?
Matthew 24:11-13 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
“Love” (ἀγάπη) here is “agape” in its general and comprehensive sense, as having God as its chief object and man in subordination thereto.
Look around you- lawlessness is abounding. This means agape love, the love that Christians are to have not just towards God, but one another is growing cold.
There is a natural result of the condition of things implied in the time of “lawlessness.” The tendency of all such times, as seen in the histories of famines, and pestilences, and revolutions, is to intensify selfishness, both in the more excusable form of self-preservation, and in the darker form of self-boasting. The spirit of worldliness and self-seeking that lawlessness produces develops a timid and lukewarm faith that not only loosens our dependence on God and trust in His Providential care, but encourage internal church dissensions and selfish ambitions destroying brotherly love; and the tendency to “forsake the assembling of themselves together” among the Hebrew Christians, we have, perhaps, one instance of the love waxing cold.
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