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Sermon Notes 6/25/23: The Danger of Unbelief an examination of Hebrews 3:7-19

The Danger of Unbelief

The book of Hebrews is filled with encouragement and warnings

The last time we look at Hebrews the writers showed the greatness of Jesus in comparison to Moses

Moses is most likely one of the greatest servants of God in the Old Testament

But Jesus is greater

But after examining the greatness of Jesus against Moses, he now gives a warning

Examining the history of Israel under the leadership of Moses shows us there are lessons to be learned

They say that if you fail to study history you are bound to repeat it

The word unbelief represents two Greek words that mean disobedience and distrust

When one acts or operates in unbelief what they are doing is rejecting the word of God and instead they are embracing the lie of the enemy

Jesus said we cannot serve two masters and our lives will either be based on the truth of God’s word or the lies of the enemy

But the writer of Hebrews begins his next section looking at the history of Israel and their failure in the wilderness

Hebrews 3:7-11

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 wilderness, 9 where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did. 10 That is why I was angry with that generation; 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.’ ”


1.A warning is given

This portion of scripture is from Psalm 95

The warning is very clear: Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion

Though these words were written concerning Israel in the past, they still stand today

The believers at this time were considering abandoning Christ

To abandon Christ requires one to harden their hearts to the voice of the Holy Spirit

We cannot lose our salvation, it is a gift

But we can choose to reject the gift

To receive the gift requires faith

The Israelites spent 40 years in the wilderness on a journey that should have taken 11 days

They’re continually complaining and rebellion caused them to wander in the wilderness

Their ultimate rebellion that is found in Numbers 13 and 14 caused that generation to die in the wilderness

They didn’t enter the promise land

The only two from that generation that entered the promise land were Caleb and Joshua

Because when they spied out the land they were the only ones who believed

They trusted the Lord while the other ten spies infected that generation with unbelief like a cancer

They clamored to return to Egypt and stone Moses

But their failure should be a warning to every believer in Christ.

Does God get angry?

The answer is yes

What caused Him to be angry with that generation?

Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways

Psalm 86:15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

God put up with that generation for forty years

He continually provided and they continually complained

One of the greatest signs of unbelief is complaining

For if we truly trust God we live in a place of thanksgiving and praise

But ultimately that generation had hearts that continually went astray from the Lord

2. The solution to guard against Unbelief

Hebrews 3:12-15

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 indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. 15 As has just been said:

“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”


The answer given of how to guard against unbelief is fellowship with other believers

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.

We are called to encourage one another

This can only take place as the body of Christ comes together

Encouraging one another will guard us from being hardened by sin’s deceitfulness

Why do people throw in the towel?

Why do they abandon faith in Christ in the face of opposition?

Often when people become isolated they become easy targets of the enemy

When we are in fellowship the Lord can speak through another believer into our lives

We cannot only encourage one another, we can pray for one another

Very Important: We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.

If we are to share in Christ, we must hold firm to the faith we have in Christ

If we abandon faith in Christ, we abandon salvation

Again salvation is a gift

Received by faith alone and it cannot be earned

But when faith is abandoned, we are without hope

3. How the generation of the past applies to us today

Hebrews 3:16-19

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 perished in the wilderness? 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.

Three questions are asked/Three answers giving

Question 1 Who were they who heard and rebelled?

Answer: Those Moses led out of Egypt

The Israelites being led out of a Egypt is a picture of us being led out of the dominion of darkness of Satan by Jesus Christ

Before we come to Christ we are in bondage and slavery to the devil even though we don’t know it

The devil is a cruel slave master

But Jesus comes and sets us free by His blood

The Israelites finally came out of bondage when the blood of the Lamb was placed on the door post and the death angel came through Egypt

They were saved by the blood of the Lamb and we are saved by the blood of the lamb

Question 2: And with whom was he angry for forty years?

Answer 2: those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness

What was their sin?

It was simply unbelief

They hardened their hearts against the word of the Lord

God rose up Moses as their leader and deliverer

God empowered him to do signs and wonders

But no matter how God demonstrated His faithfulness, they continually doubted and complained

As followers of Jesus we have a choice on a daily basis

We can choose to surrender to the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit

We can heed the voice of the Holy Spirit and live in obedience

Or we can choose to rebel and live for our selfish sinful nature

Obedience isn’t optional as a Christian

Either Jesus is Lord or He isn’t

He cannot simply be Savior without being Lord

That isn’t biblical Christianity

When we come to Jesus we choose to give up all for the sake of His kingdom

Matthew 16:24-27

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life[f] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

We must be willing to give up everything

Question 3 whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest

Answer 3 those who disobeyed, 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief

They were not able to enter because of unbelief

Unbelief again is a combination of disobedience and distrust

When we live in disobedience we begin to reject the word of the Lord and begin to embrace the lie of the enemy

Our trust is no longer in what God tells us but what the enemy is telling us

It goes back to the Garden of Eden

God has given us His word

His word is true

It is unshakable

Jesus Christ is the sure foundation

Matthew 7:24-27

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

To build our lives on Christ is to build our lives on a sure foundation

But to reject the word of God because of unbelief is to build our life on sand and in the end it leads to destruction

To abandon Christ is to abandon everything

If we have Jesus but nothing else, we have everything

But if we have everything but do not have Jesus, we have nothing

There is a true danger in unbelief and may we daily build our lives on the word of God

May we encourage one another

May we pray for one another

May we stay in fellowship and grow together in Jesus



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