FBCWest 462 | If You Hear His Voice Do not Harden Your Heart
Recorded On: 08/01/2021
August 1, 2021
“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him.
must worship Him in Spirit and truth.”
Praise and Worship
SCRIPTURE READING – 1 Chronicles 16:8 - 12
“Your Love Awakens Me”
Proclamation of the Word
Message by Pastor Joe
“If You Hear His Voice Do not Harden Your Heart”
PRAYER TIME / Time of Reflection
“My Heart Is Yours”
Giving of Selves and Our Offerings
“He Keeps Me Singing”
SPECIAL MUSIC – By Pru Hungate
Continued Praise and Worship
“Won’t Stop Now”
“More Than Worthy”
Acknowledgements and Announcements
Hebrews 3:7 The Holy Spirit speaks through Scripture
Hebrews 3:7 & 8 Today if you hear His voice act and do not harden your heart
Hebrews 3:9 - 11 Consequences of those in the past that did not listen
Hebrews 3:12 Warning not to fall away from God
Hebrews 3:13 Encourage each other not to become hardened
Hebrews 3:14 Hold fast from the beginning until the end
Hebrews 3:15 & 16 The provokers are the ones liberated by
Hebrews 3:17 – 19 The ones who did not enter His rest, the Promise land were those who did not believe
Transcript of Service
My natural tendency is to be a procrastinator.
I want to quit being a procrastinator. I just haven't gotten around to it yet, but I eventually will.
I'm such procrastinator that?
I didn't discover that other people aren't necessarily procrastinators my wife, for instance, is not a natural procrastinator.
And she would frequently ask me, should I do something now or later? And me being a procrastinator, I would always tell her later.
But then after many years of discovering that she was like fidgety and and and had this nervous energy.
I switched my advice so now when she says should I do it now or later? I tell her now.
Because now I don't have to deal with it anymore. And if she wants to do it now, she can do it now. And if she wants to do it later, she can do it later, but but it took me a long time to figure it out.
Procrastination, depending upon what it is.
Can have certain repercussions. So for instance, if you have a yard demo and you want to procrastinate a few days or a week or so in essence, you're going to have to spend more effort.
Mowing the grass 'cause the little higher and it's going to take you more effort to cut it, but.
It's not going to really keep you from procrastinating.
Frequently, whether it's at school or at work, we will have reports that'll be due and we tend to procrastinate, which usually gives us a little more stress and the potential of failure because we don't get it done.
Or we tend to procrastinate and and.
I guess I can speak.
Men generally, but we tend to believe that if a doctor doesn't tell us we're sick, we're not sick. And so if we discovered that we have something that we're not feeling well or there's a lump or something, we procrastinate, not going to the doctor because the doctor then can't tell us that we're sick. And when we finally go, oftentimes if it is something that's a malignant or something that has now metastasized and the the results of our procrastination, is it.
May shorten our lives so there are various things that procrastination will. The result will be maybe just anywhere from little more effort to maybe a short life.
The Scriptures have one thing where it warns us not to procrastinate.
And it's very emphatic in this not to procrastinate, because the results of procrastination may lead to the loss of eternal life.
And therefore that is not something that is just temporary or even a shortening of life, but in essence a devastating result of an internal decision because you waited.
And so the writer of Hebrews is going to warn us.
Against procrastinating when it comes to this, so in verse seven of chapter three, it says, therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, now I want to stop there. The writer is going to quote Scripture. He's going to quote. I believe it's Psalm 96.
So what he's saying here is, in essence, the Bible was written by the Holy Spirit.
It may be if you will self authenticating, but at least the Scripture itself says that the writer is not necessarily.
or the other writers, but it is a Holy Spirit using David or Moses or others to pin the words, and so he's saying the Holy Spirit is telling this, even though you may read it in the Psalms. So the Holy Spirit says today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as when they provoked me, as in the day of trial and the wilderness.
So the the warning here is that when you hear God speak, you are to act today. You are to act immediately. You are not to put it off. You are not to procrastinate because today is when the calling has gone forth. So first let me say this is when you hear his voice.
You don't hear his voice.
Then you can move on.
But if you hear his voice, hearing his voice causes us to have to now make a decision.
Now here's the problem. Most of us keep waiting for God to talk to us as he spoke to Abraham or Moses. He spoke to face to face. He talked to them, their son.
But most of us, at least in my experience, I've not heard God's voice audibly. I've heard his voice through the Scriptures, and I've heard his voice speaking to my spirit.
And when you hear God speaking to your spirit, then that is the time to take action. That is the time to do what God has prompted you to do or to decide to do so. He says when you hear his voice, where to act immediately.
Because the problem is if we delay.
There's a problem.
Because as the Scripture says, tomorrow is guaranteed to no one.
So a lot of times we think, well, I can make this decision. I'll make it later.
But you don't know if you have later to make the decision.
There was an evangelist who used to preach and he was preaching in Chicago.
And his call kind of similar to mine in the sense of.
I expect you to make a decision by the Holy Spirit without me pressuring you to do so.
Is that I'll find that that works, but So what he would do is say.
Think about it tonight and come tomorrow and make a decision.
Except that one night that he said it.
That evening was the Chicago Fire when many people died.
So we discovered not everybody has tomorrow, so we changed his.
Pop IT strategy by making people make that decision presently.
Satan loves to use delay.
You can decide later.
There you want to have a lot of fun. You want to get all the gusto. You know you don't want to be. All those craggy, depressing, miserable Christians have fun. Then you, after you've lived your life well, According to him.
Then you can.
Ruin your life by becoming a believer.
And he uses delay and he uses the ideas that somehow our life is not as.
Victorious and not as abundant if we follow Christ.
And that's a lie.
Because the abundant life is found in Christ.
Who is walked with Jesus?
Is ever said I wish I'd have waited a day or two.
The complaint most Christians have is I wish I hadn't waited so long.
Because walking with Christ is far more personal. Far more rewarding, far more abundant.
Then not, but the liar says.
You can wait, and so there are those when the Holy Spirit is speaking to them will during an altar called grab onto the Pew because they don't want to go because they're afraid.
Somehow they'll miss out.
Even though you may be alive tomorrow.
The Holy Spirit may not speak to you tomorrow.
And so we are told.
When the Holy Spirit speaks through the Holy Spirit.
He goes on to quote the scripture by saying.
Where your father's tried me by testing me and saw my works for 40 years. Therefore I was angry with this generation and said they always go astray in their heart and they did not know my ways as I swore in my wrath. They shall not enter my rest.
Now those who went there waiting for God to say, OK, God, I know, but God, you need to do X. You need to answer my prayer. You need to do a miracle. You need to do something to prove to me.
Whatever it is, and then I'll follow you.
Here's the problem.
Even if God were to comply, you wouldn't move anyway.
How do I know 'cause he just used this? As an example, I want to remind you.
God made a promise to Abraham.
About coming back to the promised land, he said, it's going to take about 400 plus years, but they're coming back.
And when that time came, he sent Moses.
To deliver them.
And what did Moses do? He showed 10 signs and wonders of God to convince not only his people, but the world that he is God. And so he turned the Nile into blood. He had everything from cattle diseases, to darkness, to boils, and then finally the last.
Was the death of the first born? If you did not have the blood placed on the doorposts and the lentil?
He would take the first born, but if you had the blood on the door post lentil, he would pass over.
And they saw this and they saw that the Egyptians were decimated and his people who believed were spared.
The Egyptians gave them tons of stuff.
And as they left Egypt.
They were led by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night to guide them.
And then he opened up the red seed that they might walk through dry land. Now I know some of you have heard yellow. I've heard it said that it's not the red seats the read seat. So I'm going to talk about the read seat K the read. See if you will. They're giving you this idea that it's like a wetlands.
So let me talk if that's what God did. Let me talk about the miracle there. So here's the miracle.
They're at the red Reed seat, and I believe they're at the Red Sea.
But forsake of argument we're going to go with the the lesser quote unquote miracle.
When you have wet ground that is saturated.
Doesn't matter whether the water is 100 feet high.
Or three feet high.
The ground is saturated. What does the scriptures say that they God LED them on dry ground?
So even in a read, see even in a wetland condition, God LED them through on dry ground.
And then it says after the children of Israel went pass through, when the Egyptian army was pursuing them.
So we got here. There read seat. He drowns an Egyptian army in a wetlands.
So even in the minor of it, just a bunch of wetlands, God shows forth his power.
And then what did they do?
He leads them through.
The wilderness he provides them with manna from heaven. He provides with them with water. He provides them with meat to eat, and he provides them all of these things.
Throughout their entire journey, and it says that through this entire journey of 40 years, their sandals and their shoes don't wear out.
Now I know that for we Americans that would help matter because we change our shoes about every three weeks before they wear out anyway. But for them for 40 years, they stretched around in the wilderness and it didn't wear out.
So after all these times, you think that children are visual. Believe God. No, they griped and complained.
And said, let's go back to Egypt. Gods brought us, weren't there graves in Egypt and they even made a golden calf and they worshipped. They did all of these things while they seen that God had done his wonders and signs in Egypt that he walked with them in the wilderness that he led them that he provided for them that he cared for them, and they were always saying there was another God. Another thing, let's go back.
So don't tell me you're going to believe more because God does more.
It's one of the things that irritates me in the current Christian culture. It's, I'll believe for it. I'll believe you God, when you do X no. No, I don't stop. I believe for it I believe God.
He doesn't. He doesn't do it, he's God.
So don't get caught in the trap thinking well if God will just do X, then I'll believe.
'cause even if God did X, you still wouldn't believe.
Here's a classic example. People who don't believe well, if there's a God may strike me down dead.
He struck me down. Therefore there is no God.
No, he's merciful.
'cause if I'd have been God I would have.
And the six people around you. Just because you were hanging out with them.
So praise God, I'm not God.
So so today if you hear his voice.
That's the call to action, not the miracles. Not the wonders, not the signs. Yes, God will do these things to confirm who he is and what he's saying, but he's already confirmed who he is and what he's saying, because the word of God, the Holy Spirit, has spoken. You want to know what God is saying? Read the scriptures.
Take care, brethren.
That there not be.
In any one of you, an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.
So he warns us again he's warning the brother now he's not warning per say.
He's warning his Hebrew brethren.
Not to fall away from God.
Because they have this.
Rationale that we have to follow the law we have to do these things. What do you mean faith?
What are you talking about? Faith and he's going to show that faith is what is essential. So he's saying, take care just because you are called the children of God just because your call that people have gone do not necessarily make you the people of God.
So make sure that you don't fall away just as those who wandered in the wilderness God delivered.
But they died there.
They didn't go to the promised land.
Had to wait.
The people I feel sorry for was Joshua and Caleb.
'cause they had to wander around with those people for 40 years in order to get into the promised land.
Sometimes you're waiting for God to do something, and he's going. I'm going to do it. You just gotta wait for a bunch of riffraff to fall off. And then I'll bless you.
So they still had to be 40 years in that hot.
But encourage one another day after day as it is, as long as it is still called today, so that none of you will harden.
By the deceitfulness of sin.
So we are called.
You and me are called to encourage and warn each other.
To keep on keeping on.
Some of the people that you think are most strong in the faith sometimes have a weak time.
Sometimes it I can't take another step and that's when you're to go. Come on, you can't.
The Holy Spirit will strengthen you.
I'll support you one side and I'll find somebody else that support the other side and will take another step and another step and another step until you're strong enough and walked some more on your own because there will become a time when I will need strengthened and encouragement.
Because let's face it, we're all subject to the temptations of of this life.
We've all been.
In contact with the Evil One who wants us to fail, who wants us to be discouraged? And so this writer is telling us we are to encourage one another.
As long as it's called the day.
Because there is going to be a time when the children of Israel will go into the promised land.
And those who don't.
So that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. And again, is exactly right. Deceitfulness, and we think that somehow, if we live that particular life, it'll somehow be more rewarding, more fulfilling, more fun.
And it's a lie.
For we have become partakers of Christ.
If we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, when I stop there, so we, he saying, our particular right we are participating. We are part of who he is in his ministry. We are that. But he says, we are that when we complete the task.
It's not those who begin, but those who end. It's not the people who left Egypt, who entered the promised land. It was those who entered the promised land.
He's saying to be sure we are believers.
We finish the course, but Paul talks about I've run the race set before me. I have completed my course and a lot of times we think, well that means his ministry know his whole life. He's completed his life and he has been faithful to the Lord throughout the. From the time that Jesus called him until he breathed his last and that is what God has called us and to be faithful to him from the moment that he's called us until we breathe our last.
Partakers of Christ. If we hold fast, the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, while it is said today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked me.
For who provoked him?
When they had heard.
Andy, not those not, did not. All those who came out of Egypt led by this Moses and with whom he was angry for 40 years.
There was a time.
When God was so angry with this group of people.
That he was going to wipe them all out.
Anyone going to start over with Moses?
Now I want to we all think of God as that one who's kind of a grandfatherly figure and and whatever we do is OK. And you know, as long as we repent sometimes it'll be cool and you know, after all he loves us and he's he's permissive. It's fine, scripture says God. With solar anger, he wanted to wipe them out.
And start over with Moses.
being a priest, if you will, although he technically was not said God remember your word?
That you had promised Abraham, who is now called Abraham, that you'd bring your people to the promised land.
And while I would agree with you, you ought to take these people out. The world will say you're not able to do so.
So put up with these terrible people so that you would receive glory.
And sorry, relents.
And let's the next generation enter into.
The promised land.
Is not happy about sin.
He has wrath.
And that is why the sacrifice of Jesus is so significant because.
Though we are sinners.
Jesus makes us righteous, though we are sinners.
Jesus reconciled us to God so that we are at peace with him.
And was not with those who sinned, whose body fell in the wilderness. Now whom did he swear that he would? They would not enter his rest, but to those who are disobedient.
There were two people.
From that generation who got to enter his rest, not even Moses got to enter into the rest.
Like all of us.
Had had his.
With this off student people.
And when God had told him to speak to the rock to get water instead of speaking it, he struck it a second time.
Now we are told that that rock was Jesus.
Now you might say, well, how can Jesus be a rock? Maybe that it's just symbolic, but God takes this symbolisms seriously. 'cause he said Jesus was to be struck once.
Any God said you did not honor my word, you did not take it serious. You can't enter the promised land. Although he did get one break, he got to go up on a mountain and see it from a distance.
Because they were all dis obedient, even Moses.
The great thing about going on a religious retreat on a church retreat is that usually we're there for the purpose of getting closer to God. And so since most of us are all of us are there, it's easier to get closer to God.
But then when we come home, there's a bunch of Christian idiots and non Christian idiots, and they're easier to become disobedient because just tired of these people.
Those are the times that we need to be aware and to encourage one another.
So we see.
That they were not all able to enter.
They were given after 50 days the law.
It doesn't say because the 40 years that they wandered in the wilderness, they didn't follow the law.
It says they didn't enter because of this belief.
We too often think that we can get away with things.
His God wouldn't do there.
the rider here is trying to.
For us to understand.
That we are on a journey.
That in essence, if we are Christ, we have left Egypt, we have left *******. We have less slavery and we are on this path to what we call heaven, the promised land.
As we travel from that place to that place.
Did you honor your father and mother, though you should?
did you not steal or you shouldn't?
It's not that you shouldn't cover it, though you shouldn't.
Do you believe that Jesus is the son of God, that he died and rose again and that he is your Lord?
Causes us to enter into the promised land.
And the writer here is encouraging us to enter that rest to be.
travel that journey from slavery to rest.
And to encourage one another.
As long as it's called today, so then not only just me enters that rest, but you and you and you and you and people who are watching this on.
But enter that rest and that we would encourage them.
Is not a matter.
To be delayed.
It's about your eternal destiny.
The writer here is saying warns us.
Not to put it off.
Warns us to assist one another to complete the journey.
And warns us.
It's not the do's and the don'ts.
But it's belief.
So I encourage you today.
If you don't know who he is.
That you would respond to him.
That if you've taken a moment to just sit down on your journey and say I can't take another step.
To say God strengthen me.
That I might continue on the journey.
Or if you're one who is still strong and moving that you say, Lord, help me to look to my right into my lift and be one who is an encourager to be a Barnabas, to be a son and daughter of encouragement. Who says, come on?
One last old story, I'll I'll tell.
Many, many years ago my son was trying out.
Yeah, junior guards, lifeguard junior lifeguards, and in order to be that he had to swim a certain distance in a under a certain time.
And if you're not used to swimming, it's kind of like if you're not used to running a lot, you have a tendency to kind of as you get tired to kind of focus in.
And so I'll use running 'cause most of you probably aren't if you're running and you start looking down, you'll wander.
Because you've taken your eyes down instead of looking at the price well, when you're swimming, you gotta go back and forth and back and forth. It's it's harder to see the destination, and so I started seeing him tiring and he started whatever and the and the more place you gotta swim longer, it's going to take.
So I started calling Joe.
Joe, he heard my voice. He started swimming more straight.
Straight and I kept calling and he heard.
And he completed the course and under the time that was required.
I didn't swim the laps for him, I just encouraged him. I gave him a voice to be able to know to be anchored in what he needed to do.
That's what we need to do to be that voice to one another says.
You're wasting effort.
The road straight.
And all God's people said.