So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.
The writer of Hebrews warned, “Do not harden your hearts” (3:8). What are the consequences of a hard heart? The writer gave some examples in verses 18-19: “To whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.”
Unbelievers who fail to listen to the voice of God fail to enter God’s eternal rest. But there is also a rest right now, a place of blessing, that God wants us to live in. If we continually harden our hearts against God, then we will not experience that place of rest. So whether we are talking about the place of future blessing (Heaven), or the place right now where we experience all that God wants for us, there can come a time in your life and my life when we so ignore the voice of God that we are not able to enter because of unbelief.
The Israelites were not able to enter the place of blessing because of unbelief. When you harden your heart against God so many times, there comes a point at which you are no longer able to respond to the voice of God. For you, that may refer to salvation. You have heard the voice of God saying you need to be saved. You know you need to trust in Christ. You need to make a profession of faith and trust in Christ today. You know you need to do that, but there are other things that you have been distracted by, so you have taken this warning and put it to the side, thinking, “Someday, I will get to that.” You can do that so many times that you eventually no longer feel that need to trust in Christ.
Or you may be a Christian. God has been speaking to you about a particular area in your life that needs to change. You know you need to make that change, but you think, “I will find a more convenient time. When things settle down, then I will take care of that area of my life.” There will come a time when you are no longer able or even willing to make that necessary change.
The Bible says, “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts” (Hebrews 3:7-8). The most dangerous word in the English dictionary is “tomorrow.” Somebody has said, “Tomorrow is a thief that robs dreamers of their dreams and the gifted of their accomplishments.” We think the opportune time to do something is tomorrow. God says the opportune time is today.
Notice how many times the writer of Hebrews said “today”: “Today if you hear His voice” (3:7). “Encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today’” (3:13). “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts” (3:15). To delay trusting God when you are tested, to delay obeying God when you are ordered, is to risk developing a hard heart and falling away from the living God.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Danger Of Unbelief” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2018.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.