Hebrews 3:12-13 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.”
The sad reality of this is that we live in a day and age where, even within the gatherings of what is called “church,” “exhorting one another” is now being called evil. And coddling people in their sins is being regarded as good and loving and kind. For to exhort involves a holy urging of oneself and of one another to walk in holiness and in obedience to the Lord and to forsake all idols of this world and all sinful practices. Yet today this is called “being judgmental,” and we are being told to “stay in your own lane.”
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Heb 10:24-25).
This is yet another passage of Scripture encouraging the same, but rarely is it being taught in its full context. Mostly people only teach the first half of verse 25 and they use it as a bully pulpit to shame people into attending institutional “church” services. But the institutional church is not the body of Christ. It is an institution of men, and in America most are partnered with the government and with the world and they are compromising both faith and practice. And they are totally missing the point of our meeting together.
So, if you are one who is exhorting the body of Christ and professers of faith in Christ on a daily basis, and if you are encouraging holiness and godly living, and faithfulness and purity of devotion to the Lord, and obedience to God and the forsaking of sinful practices so that none may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin, and if you live in America, most likely you are not being well received and you may be being exhorted to stop being so negative and to be more uplifting and to say to people what makes them feel good.
Now, I am certainly not encouraging that we all go around being grumpy and negative about everything, but I am saying that there is a reason why the Scriptures teach us to be helping one another and urging one another to live holy lives pleasing to God. And we should not see this as something negative but as something positive and encouraging. For there was a time in my life when I fell back into sin and the body of Christ was happy with me, but as soon as I began following the Lord again, I got rejected.
Especially in today’s modern market-driven “churches” (not the body of Christ) they appear to mostly be being protective of people in their sins while casting aside those who are following the Lord in obedience and who are sharing the truth of the gospel. For the “cheap grace” gospel has largely replaced the true gospel in today’s modern “churches” here in America, so not many are being urged anymore to walk in holiness and in obedience to the Lord and to forsake their sinful practices.
And so the American church, overall, but not including all congregations, has lost its saltiness, and its light is definitely being hid under a bushel. For they are more concerned about not offending the people of the world than they are with not offending Jesus Christ. They are more concerned with attracting the people of the world to their gatherings than they are with leading people to genuine faith in Jesus Christ via them dying with Christ to sin and living to God and to his righteousness.
So, let us not fall into the trap of the worldly institutional market-driven church and its diluted (half-truth) gospel message which makes no demands for repentance, obedience, and submission to Christ as Lord. But let us love one another enough to tell one another the truth of the gospel and to urge one another daily to forsake our sins and to follow Jesus in obedience, even if few are listening, and even if most reject what we are saying. For people’s lives are at stake here, so please tell them the truth.
And that truth is not just that we must be crucified with Christ in death to sin and raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, and that we must now walk in freedom from addiction to sin and in holy living and in obedience to our Lord, but that if we don’t, and if we continue in deliberate and habitual sin, we do not have salvation from sin nor eternal life with God no matter what we have professed with our lips or thought we believed in our hearts. For faith is evidenced by what we do, not by what we feel.
Hebrews 3:14-15 ESV
“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.’”
So, not only must we forsake our sinful practices and now humbly bow to Jesus as Lord and follow him in obedience to his ways, but we must continue in those walks of faith and obedience firm in our faith until the end or we do not have the promise and the hope of salvation from sin and of eternal life with God. For Jesus said that not everyone saying to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but only the one DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven (Matthew 7:21-23; cf. 1 John 2:3-6).
Hebrews 3:16-19 ESV
“For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 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.”
What we can take away from this passage of Scripture is that obedience is faith and faith is obedience, but disobedience is unbelief and unbelief is disobedience. It always has been and it still is in God’s sight. So, we need to understand here that if we claim faith in Jesus Christ yet we continue in deliberate and habitual sin and not in walks of obedience to our Lord, then we do not have the hope of salvation from sin nor of eternal life with God. So, please take this to heart, for your life depends on you knowing and following the truth.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-11; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Eph 2:8-10]
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
Caution: This link may contain ads