They Always Go Astray in Their Heart

Hebrews 3:5-11 ESV

“Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.

“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.”’”

We can’t just make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ and now we are bound for heaven regardless of how we live our lives on this earth. How we live matters for eternity. We must walk the walk, not just talk it. We must give our lives to Jesus Christ as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, and we must no longer be conformed to the ways of this sinful world. For Jesus called us to be his holy people, separate from the world, because we are now being conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ.

For when we believe in Jesus Christ with genuine God-given faith, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Our old self is crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. Therefore we are to not let sin reign in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions, for sin shall have no more dominion over us.

But not everyone believes that. Not everyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ believes that he must die to sin, not just once but daily, and that he must now walk in holiness and in righteousness, in obedience to the Lord. Many professers of faith in Jesus Christ have bought into a cheapened and diluted gospel message which grants them liberty to keep on in deliberate and habitual sin while guaranteeing them heaven as their eternal destiny. But that is a lie from hell, and hell is where it will take you.

Many professing Christians, at least here in America, take God lightly. They do not believe all that the Scriptures teach regarding how our lifestyles will impact our eternal security. And so they live rather casual lives, doing what they want to do without regard for what God wants of them. There is not much of a distinction between Christian and non-Christian these days. Few seem to really stand out as sold out to Jesus Christ and on fire for him, living holy and pure lives for the glory of God.

Many are following after the lusts of the flesh instead of after the Lord. Many are habitually engaged in sexual immorality, living in a dream world instead of in reality. They are not much different from God’s people of old who were idolaters and who indulged in sexual immorality and who put Christ to the test and who grumbled against God and who died in the wilderness, and who did not get to enter God’s eternal rest because of their unbelief, i.e. because of their disobedience (see 1 Corinthians 10:1-22; Hebrews 3:1-19).

So, we need to take God and his word seriously. All throughout the New Testament we are warned that if sin is what we practice, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, that we will not inherit eternal life with God, regardless of what faith we profess with our lips. Many people are going to stand before God on the day of judgment claiming that they did such and such in his name and he is going to say, “I never knew you! Depart from me you workers of lawlessness” (Matthew 7:21-23). So, please take this to heart.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

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.

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