Unbelief (Hebrews #8)

Text: Hebrews 3:12-19

Unbelief is corrupt (vs 12)

  • an EVIL heart of unbelief…
    • Unbelief is not an objective conclusion as “higher education” pretends.  A person must be taught to turn their back on God (departing from the living God) just as Eve was taught in the Garden of Eden.
    • She was given a perverted perspective on the tree of knowledge of good and evil
    • The Bible calls it an evil eye – it’s a perverted perspective.
    • Unbelief is immoral
    • Immorality is based on having no confidence in what God said.
    • 2 Thessalonians 3:2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.
    • The real motives of unbelief
      • People don’t want to be accountable to God
      • Isaiah 40:27 Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God?
      • John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
    • People are mad at God
    • People are afraid
      • In the evil report brought by the spies in Numbers 13, they were trying to justify their fear.

Unbelief is callous toward God (vss 13-15)

  • harden not your hearts… (vs 15), hardened through the deceitfulness of sin… (vs 13)
    • These Hebrews will have a brief time until the end.  Persecution will be heavy and the temptation to quit will be strong, so Paul says it’s important they build each other up in this time otherwise they will get wore out.
    • Read the accounts of Christians under persecution and find one of the tactics is to cause division among the brethren.  The persecutors will name a brother and close friend and say, “They told me…”
  • Deceitfulness of sin
    • Sin’s approach is deceitful
    • Sin’s objective is deceitful – Sin is death at work.
    • Sin’s identity is deceitful
    • Sin’s argument is deceitful – Just one more.  This is the last time.
    • Sin’s end is deceitful
  • These deceits make you callous and hardened because they allow you to get familiar with sin
    • A callous is an area that is past feeling because of constant friction over time.
    • Stephen scolded Israel’s leadership in Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
  • The admonition is to exhort one another daily as a means of preventing deceit.  Exhorting each other is a means of keeping you sensitive to sin in your life.
    • When people get out of church, it’s easier to just stay out of church.
    • Also, when people continue under Bible preaching, but never move their heart they get hardened over time.

Unbelief is contagious (vs 16)

  • For some, when they had heard (the evil report), did provoke
  • Back to the example Paul has in the spies.  Ten of them brought back an evil report that the congregation in the wilderness found easier to believe than what God said.
  • And it was that bad influence that sealed their destruction: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.
  • So the fear spread through the congregation and they became infected with anger towards God and Moses, Joshua, and Caleb.  Ultimately, the congregation in the wilderness provoked God.
  • One of the first acts of wisdom in Proverbs is separation from foolishness and separation to righteousness.
    • Don’t consent – 1:10 Consent thou not.  Consent is movement towards a position.  Where you are leaning is where you’ll fall.
    • Creates mixed signals to those who watch you.  Genesis 19:1-14 Lot seemed as one that mocked.  Romans 14:16 Let not your good be evil spoken of
    • Don’t cooperate – 1:15 walk not thou in the way with them.  2 Corinthians 6:13-18 – unequally yoked.
  • Judas Iscariot complains about the alabaster box being broken and Jesus being anointed.  Then all the disciples chimed in and said the same thing.  Unbelief spread like a virus.

Unbelief has consequence (vss 17-19)

  • The Israelites that died in the wilderness were the one’s that complained and believed the evil report that there was no way to enter the land because of the people.
  • Did they experience God’s blessings during their lifetime?  Absolutely.  That was the frustration God had with them.  They had been partakers of the miraculous work of God, being fed with manna, walking through the Red Sea on dry ground, but never partook of God’s rest for them in the promised land.
  • What is faithfulness a condition of?  It is a condition of God’s rest.
    • The rest being spoken of for these Hebrews is the physical, visible rest of being planted in their promised land.  Note Hebrews 4:11.
    • The illustration given is the people wandering in the wilderness and whose carcases fell in the wilderness, never obtaining rest.
    • This is not the sabbath rest.  This is not a Gentile believer’s spiritual rest in Jesus Christ unto his soul.
  • Consequences
    • 1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
    • Exhortation from brothers and sisters in Christ is your quarantine from the world.
    • You will share in their destruction – Proverbs 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.