Before you begin, please review blogs on August 18, 22, and September 3rd.
The Warning !!!
7 So, as the Holy Spirit says:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
8 do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion,
during the time of testing in the desert,
9 where your fathers tested and tried me
and for forty years saw what I did.
10 That is why I was angry with that generation,
and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,
and they have not known my ways.’
11 So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”
12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. 15 As has just been said:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion.”
16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.
What God Wants For You
God wants you to really grasp and make a part of you the covenant that will today, and for all eternity, make you a Christ like entirely new creation. He does this, as we will see, through the fulfillment of HIS Eternal Life Covenant With You and ME. The Holy Spirit, whom Jesus sent, is now telling us what Jesus — the ultimate spokesman of God — wants us to hear. Remember, Jesus told us that one of the reasons he sent the Holy Spirit was for the Holy Spirit to say what Jesus, himself, would say if he were still on the earth. And as the Holy Spirit speaks, he gives us God’s warning.
So, what’s the warning? Now that’s a very good question. Because it is here that he tells us the ONE thing that will exempt us from resting in our Creator. He is spelling out, with effective and efficient words, what will keep us from participating in the Eternal Life Covenant in which God deeply desires we participate. WHAT? We can miss out? YES! We can miss out, IF we do like the children of Israel did back in the day as they traveled through the Wilderness of Sin. So what did they do? Perhaps it’s better to ask what they did not do. Let’s look back at the passage and “unpack” it.
If you have read the Bible through, you came to a number of passages where God worked miracles through the man Moses. He actually faced down the powerful Pharaoh of Egypt, (King of Egypt), and he served as God’s instrument for working numerous and truly awesome miracles! These miracles were demonstrated in a way that every man, woman, boy and girl among the Hebrews witnessed them. Because of these miracles, the Israelites were delivered from bondage. They were unshackled from their chains of slavery. Even so, when they journeyed through “Sin” toward the promised land, again and again, they seemed to have amnesia about God’s ability to do what HE promised. Again and again they refused to believe Him. They continued this pattern of believing only what they could see and NOT God for 4 decades. As a matter of fact, God gave them an abundance of grace for those 40 years; yet, just when they were about to enter into the promised land, they refused to even try to go into the land. Why? because they did not believe in God and His Almighty power. God surely, in their minds, was asking them to do the impossible. They simply could NOT believe God. Their consequences for them were that everyone under the age of twenty, besides Joshua and Caleb and their families who did believe God, did NOT enter into God’s rest. The rest of the Israelites died in the wilderness.
What Can We Do About This?
What we can do about this is exactly what the Hebrew writer says we are to do: We can “See to it that none of you has a sinful and unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.” YUP! To NOT believe God is “sinful.” So we are to help each other out by encouraging one another to believe God. We can ask the Holy Spirit to give us a softened heart. We can ask for the gift of faith. We can ask the Lord Jesus to help us overcome any unbelief we may have. We CANNOT allow ourselves to NOT believe what God is promising you and me in this glorious Eternal Life Covenant.
As the Hebrew writer provides us with God’s promises that will give you and me a life of sharing in God’s life forever, believe God’s promises. When he speaks of mysterious things that may not make sense to a natural mind. Still believe God’s promises. When he talks about the blood shed of Jesus that provides for you having complete and utter forgiveness for every sin you commit. Simply take God at HIS word.When the writer tells you that God has made you holy because Jesus sacrificed his body, I know this sounds fantastic, but believe God anyway. As God shares the glories of this covenant, you are going to hear some things that seem strange to your natural ears. Still believe God. For much more is going on than just what you can see with your eyes or hear with your ears. The spiritual aroma may smell peculiar, but you spiritual “smell test” is greater than that which is physical. There is much more to taste than that which you can taste with you physical taste buds. Taste and see that God is good. Believe God! With this covenant you touch the very heart of God that you physical touch cannot comprehend. Again, JUST BELIEVE GOD!
I cannot tell you how important this is to your well being: To believe or not believe? That REALLY IS the question. If you fail to believe, your heart will get harder and harder. You will get colder and colder if you do not warm your faith fire by the flame of the Holy Spirit. I will tell you one thing: If you do believe what God is about to reveal to you in this book of Hebrews, your life will be changed for good in the most positive ways possible! You will be delivered from the wilderness of bondage to sin and death. If you fail to believe, you will have a restless spirit, soul and body. If you do not believe, you cannot enter into God’s Eternal Life Covenant. You cannot enter into God’s “rest.” You CANNOT ever get into the “Promised Land” we call Heaven. Plus, you will always be held accountable for all your sins, and you will still be in bondage to sin and death.
You Are Cordially Invited
So God is giving you an invitation to believe HIM. It’s your choice. Don’t follow the example of the Israelites of long ago. Decide to believe. Trust God. Take God at His Word. God will take care of everything else.
God Bless You.