Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.
Some years ago, on the Monday after Thanksgiving, which happened to correspond to my birthday, I flew to Nashville for an important meeting. I went to the rental car window to pick up my car. I pulled out the credit card and my driver’s license, and the attendant told me that my driver’s license had expired on my birthday. I apologized and assured her that I would take care of business as soon as I got back to Dallas. That was not what she wanted to hear. She said, “I’m sorry, Dr. Jeffress, but without a valid driver’s license we cannot rent you the car.” I was mad at myself because I had received the notice reminding me to renew my license, I had put it on my desk, but I had failed to act on it. I walked away disappointed, but at least I had a great sermon illustration I could use.
Five years later, on the same Monday after Thanksgiving and my birthday, I went once again to Nashville. Once again I went to the rental car agency, and once again I pulled out my driver’s license, and yes, once again it had expired on my birthday. Why did I ignore the DPS warnings? I had developed a hard heart toward warnings from the DPS. You see, having ignored the warning the first time made it easier for me to ignore that warning the second time. It is one thing to ignore a warning from the DPS. It is another thing to ignore the warnings of Almighty God. The Bible says those who ignore God’s warnings are in danger of developing a hard heart and experiencing God’s divine discipline, denied rewards, and, for some, eternal death.
Hebrews 3:7-18 talks about the danger of unbelief. This letter was written to a group of Jews who had converted to Christianity, yet because of persecution they were in danger of giving up their faith in Christ and going back into Judaism. The writer warned against the danger of exchanging their faith in Christ for any other system of belief. In Hebrews 3:6, he explained that you are a part of God’s household if you continue in your faith. If you turn away from your faith in Christ, it is not that you lose your salvation; it simply proves you were never saved to begin with. And that sets up the warning that begins in verse 7. This is the second of several instances in which the writer of the letter stopped what he was writing and issued a very practical warning to those of us who are reading this letter. In this warning, the writer of Hebrews talked about the danger of falling away from God.
As we look at the passage this week, we are going to do four things. First of all, we are going to define what a hard heart is that causes a person to fall away from God. Second, we are going to look at two illustrations in the Old Testament of how you develop a hard heart. Third, we are going to look at the two remedies for a hard heart. And finally, we are going to talk about the consequences of a hard heart.
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.