“Watch out, brothers, so that there won’t be in any of you and unbelieving heart that departs from the living God. But encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception.” (Hebrews 3:12-13)
The people of Israel saw God’s works in Egypt, but they rebelled and “tested” God when the water ran out. The Bible describes this as hardening their hearts against God, and it equates that idea with an unbelieving heart. So, how do people who say they belong to God develop a hardened or unbelieving heart? Simple. It comes from the deception of sin. Think through this.
“Action X” was once thought to be a sin, because the Bible identified it as such. Over a period of time, however, a little at a time people who belong to God begin to engage in “Action X.” They begin to think, “Well, that doesn’t seem so bad. What’s so wrong about that?” They begin to challenge the idea, until eventually more and more people who belong to God engage in “Action X,” so that maybe even a majority of them conclude that it really is OK. They conclude that it is not really sin. When someone then comes along and says, “’Action X’ is a sin,” these folks then rise up and rebuke such talk. What has happened is that their hearts have been hardened by sin’s deception, and they now have an unbelieving heart with regard to that truth.
The call of God is that we watch out for the growth of an unbelieving heart, both in ourselves and in those we call brother or sister in Christ. We are to encourage one another daily while we have the opportunity so that people do not become hardened by sin’s deception.
Lord, If we have been deceived by sin or hardened in any way toward Your truth, please make us aware of that, and lead us to humility and repentance, so we may be true to You. Amen.