Exhort One Another Daily

Hebrews 3:7-11 ESV

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
on the day of testing in the wilderness,
where your fathers put me to the test
and saw my works for forty years.
Therefore I was provoked with that generation,
and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart;
they have not known my ways.’
As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest.’”

So, what did the Israelites do in the wilderness that was so displeasing to God? Generally speaking they ignored God’s commandments and they deliberately did what was evil in God’s sight. Some of them were idolaters who reveled in sensual pleasures. Some of them indulged in sexual immorality. And some of them put Christ to the test and/or they were grumblers (1 Co 10:6-12).

It wasn’t that they didn’t know that they were doing wrong, and it wasn’t that they didn’t know that they would be punished for the wrongdoing, but they did what their evil hearts desired because that is what they wanted to do, and probably because they didn’t really believe that God would destroy them, but many of them he did destroy, indeed.

And many people today who claim to be children of God and believers in Jesus Christ are following in their footsteps. They are those who are idolaters, who revel in sensual pleasures, who also indulge in sexual immorality deliberately and habitually. And they grumble against those who might confront them with such behavior and who call them to repentance.

And they put Christ to the test in the same way the Israelites did in the wilderness, for they know the commands of God, and they know what the Scriptures teach with regard to those who ignore God’s commands and who deliberately and habitually keep on in their sinful practices. And yet they continue, right in God’s face, thinking that God won’t punish them.

So, they convince themselves that God’s commandments to love the Lord their God with all their heart and with all their soul and with all their mind, and to love their neighbors as they love themselves, do not include “do not lie,” “do not commit adultery,” “do not steal,” etc. But they do! For, all the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments (Matt 22:36-40).

For, to love God is to obey him, and to love God is to not deliberately and habitually sin against him. As well, to love our neighbors as ourselves means we will not deliberately and habitually sin against them, but we will do to them and for them what is for their good (good in the sight of God). For this word “love” means to prefer what God prefers which is what is holy, righteous, just, morally pure, honest, kind, and faithful, etc.

So, if you think that you are loving God but you are not obeying him, then you are thinking wrongly. For, if you say that you know God but you do not keep his commandments (New Covenant), the Bible says you are a liar, and the truth is not in you (1 Jn 2:3-6; cf. 1 Jn 1:5-9).

Now, this is not saying we must be absolutely perfect at this. What the word teaches is if we make sin our practice, then we don’t know God. But if righteousness is what we practice, then we are righteous as God is righteous. And since this righteousness comes from God, it will align with God’s will and purpose for our lives (1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 6:1-23).

So, what happens to you if you continue in deliberate and habitual sin against the Lord, and if you do not repent (turn the opposite direction and walk in obedience to the Lord)? You will die in your sins because you refused to die with Christ to your sins. And you will not inherit eternal life with God, but you will face the wrath of God (Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; 2 Co 5:10).

Hebrews 3:12-19 ESV

“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said,

‘Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.’

…And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.”

In today’s church culture, at least here in America, this “exhorting one another every day,” so that none of us may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin, is excluded, not included. It is taboo. It is outlawed. For, it offends people. So, instead, the law they teach is “stay in your own lane,” which means to not get in anyone’s face about the way they live.

Someone just reminded me of this the day before yesterday, but not in these same exact words. But he said that it is okay to confess our own sins, i.e. to admit that we sinned, but that we are not supposed to point out other people’s sins. My response to him was, “What does the Bible say that we should do?” And this Scripture was definitely in my mind.

So, the vast majority of today’s market-driven church here in America is teaching a cheap grace gospel which makes no requirements for repentance, obedience, or submission to Christ as Lord. And then added to that they demonize those who are still teaching the true gospel of salvation, who are still talking about sin and who are still calling people to repentance.

And then they convince their adherents that it is wrong to confront anyone with his sin, and that it is wrong to call him to repentance and to obedience to the Lord. So, if we are out there sharing the truth of the gospel, and we are calling sin what it is, and we are pointing out the wrongness of habitual and deliberate sin, then we are considered to be doing wrong.

But if we truly love God, and we are called according to his purpose, we will be proclaiming the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light. We will be exposing the wrongness of sin and the punishment of sin, and we will be calling people to repentance because we love them and we care where they end up spending eternity.

So, yes, we will not be well liked or received, but we will be shunned and rejected or just flat out ignored, and sad to say this rejection and this shunning is going to come most likely from the church, from those who profess faith in Jesus Christ but who are still regularly engaging in sinful practices. But we are not to let this discourage or dishearten us.

The Lord Jesus never said it would be an easy road following him. He said it would be hard. He said we would be treated as he was. He promised us rejection and persecution, and that even our family members would be the ones to turn against us, as his brothers did him. His family even thought he was crazy, and they wanted to put him away.

So, continue in sharing the truth of the gospel, for many people today are being led astray to a cheap grace gospel which is promising them heaven but which is leaving them still bound in their sin and headed for hell. So, keep teaching the truth, even if you are hated and rejected in return. And keep exhorting the body of Christ every day so that none of them might be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness and fall away from the Lord.

For, if you walk in disobedience to the Lord, you are not believing in Jesus Christ, no matter what your lips profess. God sees disobedience (in practice) equal with unbelief, and he sees obedience (in practice) as equal with faith. If you do not obey the Lord, but you continue in sinful practices, the Scriptures teach that you will die in your sin. You will not have eternal life with God (Rom 6 & 8; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8).

This song is an encouragement to those who are persevering in faith and who are obeying the Lord in exhorting the body of Christ daily:

Breath Of Heaven (Mary’s Song)

Songwriters: Amy Lee Grant / Chris Eaton

I have traveled many moonless nights
Cold and weary with a babe inside
And I wonder what I’ve done
Holy father you have come
And chosen me now to carry your son

I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now
Be with me now

Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy
Breath of heaven

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