Spiritually Hardened – Hebrew 3:13

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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We once mentored a young man who was intelligent, articulate, and demonstrated a zeal for the things of the Lord. We provided him with teaching materials, teaching opportunities, many discussions in the Scriptures, and even took him to a national Bible conference. Then he began to dabble in sinful practices, eventually plunging into a variety of sins. While doing so, his interest in spiritual things first waned, until he completely fell away from the things of the Lord. When we tried to salvage him spiritually, it was already too late because his heart had been hardened by the practice of sin.

Like warning lights flashing on a railroad crossing bar, Hebrews 3:12-13 warns: “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” It is noteworthy that this verse describes sin as being deceitful. The world, the flesh, and the devil all try to convince every heart, even in believers, that one will be better off living in sin. This deceit whispers in our hearts things like: “everyone else is doing it,” “you won’t get caught,” “it will make you happier,” “you deserve it,” and “it will be worth it.” But none of these are true. While one may experience “…the pleasures of sin for a season” (Hebrews 11:25), there will always be a high cost to sin. The practice of sin leaves one feeling empty, guilty, ashamed, and spiritually hardened, if persisted in. The deceitfulness of sin lures people without revealing to them that some sins lead to addiction, bankruptcy, or physical ruin. The deceitfulness of any sin robs the participant of spiritual peace, joy, satisfaction, and tenderness toward the Lord. The practice of sin replaces all of these good things with a spiritual hardness that wears on the soul and can often be seen on the face of those who walk apart from the Lord. The writer of Hebrews was instructing these Jewish believers to regularly band together, not only for worship, but also for exhorting one another to resist both the deceitfulness of sin and departing from walking “with the living God.”

Dear believer, are you struggling with the deceitfulness of sin? Has your heart begun to be hardened to the importance of a close walk with the Lord and the standards of God’s Word? Turn back to the Lord and away from your besetting sin.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."