Sermons & Sunday Schools

The Second Warning: Trust and Obey, Today

Full Transcript:

I like to start with a question because it sometimes kick-starts our thinking.  The question I have for you is what is the most heinous sin anyone can ever commit that has so damning effects to it?  What would you say? Think for a moment and what would you think you would say?  Some may say murder, some may say adultery.  The list can go on, but you know that the most wicked sin that anyone can ever commit before God is the sin of unbelief. Unbelief will damn your soul for all eternity.  This section of scripture is about that. That is the main point. 

The admonition last week was to be prepared to hold fast our confession right until the end.  The need to trust and obey God’s message rather than disobey and turn away from Him is a paramount consideration.  Especially in light of an example we have from the Old Testament that we will look at today:  The demise of the wilderness community who rebelled against God rather than obey His Word under God’s chosen mediator, Moses.

The appeal to believers is not to rebel, not to disbelieve like the wilderness community but rather to obey God, trust God, His promises.  Trust the promises mediated through One greater than Moses, Jesus Christ.  That is where it is bringing us today and that is the focus of this passage of scripture.  The passages before us are intended to counter the propensity all human beings have to deliberate unbelief.  We are wired, because of sin, for unbelief.  We are wired for rebellion because of sin, the fall.  The rebellion is in us.  The admonition for us is: do not follow the disobedience of others.

Do not follow in their steps or their paths.  In the case of these Jewish believers, it was the evil ways of the forefathers who did not heed God’s voice and resolved to do God’s will as declared by His voice.  Look at Hebrews 3:7-9:

7Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, "Today if you hear His voice, 8Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, As in the day of trial in the wilderness, 9Where your fathers tried Me by testing Me, And saw My works for forty years.

  When you hear preaching from God’s Word, you are actually hearing the voice of God.  Of course, that is only if it is true preaching and only if the intended point of the message comes from scripture, God’s Word. Every time I study I pray God “God get me out of the way, so they may hear your voice.  So you Your people may respond to Your voice and not mine. 

The Holy Spirit in verse seven means God Himself.  When you hear the voice of God, it is speaking of the voice of His will, what God wants you to know.  If God has completely and finally spoken through His Son and in His Son, because He has unique supremacy over all things, then we must heed His voice and give absolute trust and obedience to what God says.  That is with having all our questions answered, just trusting God in His Word and character.  If God says to make a left turn, make it and it will be all right because you can trust Him.  As you go along and follow Him, He fills in the blanks; He answers the question from what the rest of the scripture tells us.  That is where God wants to bring us. 

Now if disobedience is in us then we will bear the results of that.  If obedience and trust is not given to Him, then the consequences are bound to be awful.  Hebrews 3:10-11:

10"Therefore I was angry with this generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they did not know My ways’; 11As I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’"

That becomes the very warning, the second warning of Hebrews.  These warnings are very heavy.  They should convict our hearts deeply.  Every single one of us is guilty of this sin, but we do not have to stay there.  Look at the example of these people in the wilderness and do not follow their example, but follow God.  Let us take a look at this before our Hebrews text.  Look at the Old Testament text at the sin of the people a long time ago. 

Look at Exodus 17: 1-7.  I want you to see in this passage that this is a rebellious incident spoken about here by God’s Spirit to His people.  We are asked to give urgent consideration to what is written here in the text.  However, what was their sin? How does unbelief actually look in response to God.  We will pick some things as we read.  Look at verse one of Exodus seventeen:

1Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel journeyed by stages from the wilderness of Sin, according to the command of the Lord, and camped at Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink. 2Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, "Give us water that we may drink." And Moses said to them, "Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?" 3But the people thirsted there for water; and they grumbled against Moses and said, "Why, now, have you brought us up from Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?" 4So Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, "What shall I do to this people? A little more and they will stone me." 5Then the Lord said to Moses, "Pass before the people and take with you some of the elders of Israel; and take in your hand your staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink." And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7He named the place Massah and Meribah because of the quarrel of the sons of Israel, and because they tested the Lord, saying, "Is the Lord among us, or not?"

In that passage of scripture we saw that they quarreled against Moses.  They grumbled against Moses, they tested God and then they finally questioned if God was among them or not.  Are we going to die in the wilderness, what kind of God is this God?  Brethren, that is unbelief.  That is not trusting God.  God can bring water out of a rock.  He knows where the water is, He put it there.  He knows our deepest needs, we should just trust Him.

Let’s look at another passage before we move on, Numbers 14.  The same incident, this what he is talking about in Hebrews 3.  Numbers 14:1-4:

1Then all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. 2All the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron; and the whole congregation said to them, "Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! 3Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?" 4So they said to one another, "Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt."

Skip down to verse 11:

11The Lord said to Moses, "How long will this people spurn Me? And how long will they not believe in Me, despite all the signs which I have performed in their midst?

They refused to acknowledge the awesome deliverance of God from Egypt to the wilderness.  He parted the Red Sea for them.  He allowed them to walk across the Red Sea on dry land allowed the waters to consume the Egyptian army.  He delivered them.  The also refused to acknowledge God’s constant presence with them while in the wilderness.  He gave them the law like no other nations.  He put His Shekinah Glory, the presence of God, right in the middle when Moses built the tabernacle. 

God was among them like no other nations. He blessed them there, He forgave their sin there.  God did not allow their shoes to wear out, He fed them with manna from Heaven.  He promised them that He will lead them to a land much greater than what they knew in Egypt.  The land of Canaan, a land of milk and honey, blessing.  A land they were going to go in and defeat all the enemies, given to them by God.  A promised land.  All those things God did and more.  Those were just a few things.  They saw every single day the presence of God, the power of God and the supply of God.  Even in that, they concluded that God was not good and was not gracious.  Look at Numbers 13:21-23:

21but indeed, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord. 22Surely all the men who have seen My glory and My signs which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice, 23shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who spurned Me see it.

It is clear in scripture and even in Numbers 20, it is clear that they did not quarrel with Moses. Of course they did, but when they quarrel with God’s appointed leader, who are they quarreling with? They are quarreling with God Himself.  In Numbers 20:13:

13Those were the waters of Meribah, because the sons of Israel contended with the Lord, and He proved Himself holy among them.

Was it not the prophet Isaiah who said, “Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker? An Earthen vessel among the vessels of Earth.  Will the clay say to the potter what are you doing?” Brethren, that is their sin. 

Every time you complain, grumble or think in your heart that you are getting the short end of the stick.  Being a believer, and you know Christ, and you know the riches of the word of God and the greatness of salvation, yet you continue on, that is a neon sign that says unbelief. Do not go there. Do not allow yourself to go there. The Spirit of God and the Word of God is given to us so we do not have to go there.

Turn back to Hebrews 3.  Notice the judgment that follows their unbelief recorded in Hebrews 3:11.  Here is the judgment. This sin of unbelief that is seen in grumbling, complaining, questioning God, spurning God, testing God and not listening to His voice.  Doing all these things will bring the judgment of God. 

The Word of God says that God swore. If you know about swearing in the Old Testament, when you do it you have to carry out what you say.  If God swears He absolutely means what He says.  He is bound by it because of who He is.  Look at verse eleven:

11As I swore in My wrath,’They shall not enter My rest.’"

He is quoting from the Septuagint, The Old Testament translation in Greek.  He is reading from that translation, which of course shows the Sinai wilderness community.  In Psalms 95, it is recognized as the Psalm of ascent.  What that means is that they sung as the Pilgrims went to Jerusalem about three times a year for the different feasts, they would sing this Psalm as they went to Jerusalem in the caravans.  Although this Psalm begins with praise to the Creator and to the King, it shifts with a warning with the worshipers to not harden their hearts and therefore forfeit their opportunity and not enter God’s place of rest; Namely when they went to Jerusalem, it was the temple sanctuary. 

They were allowed in as they brought their sacrifices and approached God in the correct manner according to how God said to approach Him and they entered in.  It was to be a place of blessing.  This warning is connected there.  Reading Psalms 95 in the Septuagint:

7For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.Today, if you would hear His voice, 8Do not harden your hearts, as at Or place of strife Meribah, As in the day of Or temptation Massah in the wilderness, 9"When your fathers tested Me,They tried Me, though they had seen My work. 10"For forty years I loathed that generation,And said they are a people who err in their heart,And they do not know My ways. 11"Therefore I swore in My anger,Truly they shall not enter into My rest."

The deduction that we make from this past event is that disobedience and distrust of Israel excluded them from the blessing of God that they might have enjoyed had they been obedient.  So unbelief robs us of what God has for us.  Stay away from that sin.  For the entire 40 years, under the faithful Moses, the people’s hearts were hard, unyielding and bitter against God because of the hardships of the wilderness. 

They tempted and tried out God.  They tried Him out while they were debating whether or not they should accept Him or not.  Whether they should say “Is this God going to be our God or not?” or “Should we have Him as our God?”   They would compare Him to the other Gods in the other nations and they liked what was going on in the other nations because those people were sinful and these people (Israelites) in unbelief were also sinful and desired what the other nations had and not what God was giving them.

In fact, when the Lord says, “You will be excluded from My rest”, He means His own rest.  The place where He lives and makes Himself known to His people.  Where if you do not believe Him, you will not enter.  That was the judgment.  They were excluded from God.  Can anything be more horrible than that? I do not think so. 

It does not have to be your story.  Your story can be belief, faith and obedience.  Wanting to hear God’s voice and putting it into practice.  Let us look at God’s evaluation of where sin originates.  Sin originates inside our hearts, minds, emotions and wills.  Look at Hebrews 3:10:

10"Therefore I was angry with this generation,And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart,And they did not know My ways’;

God being angry means that He was disgusted and grieved.  There are two reasons why:  The first reason is that the Israelites always stray in the heart.  The whole manner of their life is disobedience.  Everyday, month, year for 40 years they disobeyed.  They may have gone through the motions, but God sees the heart.

We can be great actors and fool a lot of people around us.  However, we cannot fool God when it comes to our hearts.  Do we really believe God or not? He knows that.  The Israelites were constantly getting it wrong in the seed of their feelings, minds and wills.  They wander into error like planets out of their orbit.  They are always looking somewhere else for satisfaction instead of looking to God.  That is what unbelief is.  Always looking back to Egypt.

They remembered the accommodations, forgetting the bitter bondage, of Egypt and what lusts and passions they could fulfill.  Their hearts often judged sin and rebellion as better for them than faith, submission and obedience to a good, holy and compassionate God.  There is always a sense of hopelessness with people like this.  They liked the ways of sin and if one likes the ways of sin they will dislike the ways of God.

They always stray in their heart.  They always take the wrong path in their heart and thinking about what they really want in their heart.  Going to church and reading the bible is on the surface but what is really going on in your heart?  That is what God knows.  That is what you have to weed out.  That is what the Spirit of God wants to weed out of you and drive out of you.  When you see this sin go as far as you can from it.

The second reason for God’s disgust can be shown in the second part of verse ten.

And they did not know My ways’;

They knew God’s ways intellectually, but refused to know them as their own.  They refused to know them as to walk in them.  They did not really want to do it and that is why they resisted the visible leader Moses.  They rebelled, complained and grumbled against him because that is what was happening in their hearts.  If we see these things in our own lives, it shows that we do not trust God.  We want something else other than what God has for us.  We will never know what God has for us because of unbelief.

The application to the demise of the people in the wilderness is the warning.  Do not repeat their sinful patterns.  This sin has already being identified as a sin that is damning.  How can we avoid grieving God in this way? That is the question that comes up in Hebrews 3:12-19. 

First notice an exhortation to avoid this evil.  Understand that unbelief is evil.  Understand it as the supreme level of evil.  Look at Hebrews 3:!2:

12Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.

Several translations have reworded the beginning of this verse with the words “See to it”.  It all shows that in the Hebrew congregation that is being tested about their belief in Jesus Christ as the High Priest, Apostle and Supreme One over all things, their faith is being tested.  The sin of unbelief is evil.  See to it that you watch out for one another and if the sin of unbelief is seen, go to them, identify the sin to them and watch out for each other so that there will exist no unbelief amongst the congregation. 

It is such a damning, deadly and cancerous sin that will take over everything. In verse 12 where it says:

‘evil, unbelieving heart”

The word heart means center and source of inner life.  The trouble with unbelief is that it is always in the heart, will, mind, emotions desires and passions of the people.  A Harsh scriptural truth is that the greatest wickedness that exists is unbelief. It is a special evil.  That is why the scripture tells us to take care so there be no evil, unbelieving heart.

Unbelief tends to make the heart evil.  An evil heart has a tendency to turn away from the living God and there is where we find destruction.  They turn from a great, awesome, dreadful God that can punish and avenge their sin for all eternity.  To not believe Him and not believe in Christ leads to God’s plan will always lead people away. 

Anytime a believer backslides, whether gradual or total, behind the sin is unbelief.  Behind it is a dissatisfaction of whether or not God’s voice has communicated to you.  Apostasy from the profession of the gospel is in mind.  Remember in Luke in the parable of the sower? The Word showed that those on rocky soil who hear and receive the Word with joy but have no firm roots believe for a while.  However, in time of temptations they fall away. 

It is one thing to not believe in Moses, but to not believe in Jesus Christ is another.  Those who rejected Moses had a chance, but those who rejected Christ have no chance.  Is this not a sad commentary? Often repeated today on how people hear message on God’s deliverance but dismiss it as if it does not really apply to them.  What is being expressed is just unbelief: You can believe that if you want to, but I won’t believe that.

If you remember in Acts 7, several things were given to show that when someone gets on the path of unbelief several things happen.  It shows that people on the path of unbelief will turn their affections towards the world and what the world has to offer.  They will celebrate what their own hands can create instead of the true and living God.  It shows in Acts 7:39-41:

39Our fathers were unwilling to be obedient to him, but repudiated him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt, 40saying to Aaron, ‘Make for us gods who will go before us; for this Moses who led us out of the land of Egypt-we do not know what happened to him.’ 41At that time they made a calf and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and were rejoicing in the works of their hands.

People will turn their affections to the world and to their own creations of gods.  However, they want to create and design their god is what they will worship.  They can control, love and do what they want with that god, because there is no standard and no conviction.  Humans will idolize wisdom from some human source.  People follow gurus, priests, talk show hosts and anything else the culture tells us to worship but no the true and living God.

The second that someone turns to a path of disbelief, God will turn from them.  He will turn away and give them up to their own twisted desires.  In Acts 7:42-43:

42But God turned away and delivered them up to serve the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, ‘It was not to Me that you offered victims and sacrifices forty years in the wilderness, was it, O house of Israel? 43You also took along the tabernacle of Moloch and the star of the god Rompha, the images which you made to worship. I also will remove you beyond Babylon.’

In other words, God gives them up to themselves.  God is saying that if they want to live and worship those gods, then He will give them up to worship those gods.  However, they will be destroyed and not enter into God’s rest.

This sin is a very evil sin.  It is a wicked sin that not only brings the wrath of God, but it leads people away from God’s voice, righteousness, blessing and salvation.  It leads that way and heaps destruction as it goes along.  Looking outside of God’s plan for deliverance and blessing always leads to further bondage, not freedom.

Some may say that they understand that unbelief leads away from following the path of the Lord and may not want to hear the message anymore, but what needs to be done about it?  What preventative medicine can the scripture subscribe? In Hebrews 3:13, it gives a useful way to prevent this evil within the congregation and our hearts:

13But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

The preventative medicine is to encourage one another and to do it regularly.  Encourage each other to continue in the faith towards God and not fall into judgment by turning away from the full and perfect provision for sin through His Son, Jesus Christ, the High Priest. 

Salvation is not only a present experience but also a future gift. We may go through difficult times and trouble.  Our faith may be tested.  However, God gave us a promise of a future gift and the Spirit is the down payment on what is to come.  We are to encourage one another.  Also looking at this verse, we see that daily encouragement prevents the hardening of the heart.

If it seems fitting to obey God’s voice, to understand, choose, and resolve to do God’s will means to beware of what will hinder you in that endeavor.  In Hebrews 12:1 it says:

1Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

In the reading from Hebrews 3, the author is saying “Today, while it is called today” Right now, do not let it go.  Watch for this particular sin in your heart and the congregation. This is so we do not get pulled away by the deceitfulness of sin.  Avoid sin’s tricks.

The way sin works is through deceit.  It presents something that is enticing and desirable to your passions and lusts.  To the things we want and make us human.  It is placed and dangled before us. It could be the thought: Money can solve all my problems, with enough of it to solve my problems. Pleasure, I want it when I am young. The world is doing it and they look happy. 

We can get pulled and lured in by this imagery that can only lead to destruction.  It leads to entering into sinful relationships that cause young women and men to be in bondage their whole life because their lives are so entangled with this hope that this will be something to give them pleasure and fulfill all their desires.  They get pulled in and reap the results of sin.

The derivative of the word deceit is to draw someone out of the right way.  It leads to another way that will lead to wandering from God’s message and God’s messenger.  The sin intended is the sin that lives in us by nature. When we want to do good, sin is still present in us.  It is present in every one of us.  It always looks somewhere else for satisfaction and fulfillment instead of God.  Instead of through the Lord Jesus Christ.  People conclude that God doesn’t understand us, God cannot help them or He does not care.  All of these assumptions are lies.  If one is a believer, it is known that they are not true. It is known that what God says comes to pass.  We should heed and practice the exhortation for avoiding wandering away from God because believers enter a partnership like no other.  In Hebrews 3:14, it says:

14For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end,

This shows that the audience are believers.  The author is speaking to Jewish believers who have come to Christ and to those who are partakers of Christ. However,  who is responsible for maintaining one’s partnership with the Son? Is it the believer? Our faith in God? Is it God who secures the believer? What we find in this passage of scripture is that the evidence will lead to an inference.  The author is not referring to bouts of unbelief in the believer’s life, he is talking about a set, firm and established unbelief that is not changing. 

We can all be rescued from bouts of unbelief, because there is evidence that shows that we are partners with Christ.  Firstly, endurance through temptation is evidence of a vital connection to Christ.  If one has gone through a test and troubles in their life and still follows Christ, then one knows the truth and doesn’t want to go back to their past life. 

That is evidence that Christ is holding us and that there is a vital connection with Christ. One author said “Holding fast, their assurance will reveal the reality they have already come to share in Christ by continuing in the faith.”  They demonstrate the work of Christ has already begun and will certainly be accomplished in them.

A second thing is the nature of Christ’s High Priestly work means that having started on the path of faith that believers can and must continue to the end.  In other words, they can continue, not by human ability or effort, but by sustaining grace and by the intercession of the faithful and merciful High Priest.  Also, by the power of God working in them, God keeps us.  Jesus Christ, as High Priest, intercedes for us that we remain faithful.

In Hebrews 4:14-16:

14Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.  16Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

When we get to a place of weakness and unbelief, God will help us to continue through our trial, tribulation and temptation and keep us standing.  When the battle is over, you will be standing.  However, we must believe it.  If we do not believe it, it will end up being about us and not what God has done. 

We go to all these other sources instead of going to God on our faces in prayer saying “God help me, You understand my situation.  Help my unbelief.  Help me when I get to a point when life leaves me for dead and I do not have the hope to go on.  Strengthen and bolster my faith right there.  Do not let me turn away from You. Hold me”

Our part is prayer to our High Priest and he answers us and holds us.  We persevere in our Christian faith right to the end. We will go to His place of rest. In Hebrews chapter three, we go back to the subject of hearing God’s voice.  He gets personal in verse 15:

  15while it is said,"Today if you hear His voice,Do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me." 

Are we listening? Do we hear God’s voice? When we do hear God’s voice, when is the right time to act? Does it give us any indicator in scripture of when we should act.  The word says “Today”.  Right now, give God the trust and obedience we must have.  Give it to Him while we still have a chance.  Give Him the submission.  We should give it to Him before our days come to a close and we close our eyes and experience death.  No one knows when that will be.

The time to listen to God’s voice and serve Him is now, right now. The best days to serve Him are right now.  When my father died, it was a surprise to everyone.  He was so fit.  Seventy-nine years old and fit, healthy.  I don’t remember him taking an aspirin or saying that he had a headache, but God said it is time and took him, just like that.  My father did not have March seventh as the next day, because March sixth was his last day.  God knew that but my father did not.

The point is that despite what time it is, are you serving God today? Are you serving Him right now? If you do not listen, just exist and do not respond to God’s voice, then the inevitable result of not responding is a hard heart.  In the text it says, “Today if you hear His voice, do NOT harden your hearts.” The expression “Do not harden” shows the inability of anything to receive the impression of what is applied to it. 

It is like wax that has gone hard and cannot receive the impression of a seal that is pressed into it.  It is like cement that has set and can no longer be shaped and moved by the trough.  It is like when God’s great salvation, commands, promises and warnings are presented to your soul to be obeyed through the Holy Spirit and His voice is unheeded and  His will is undone.  In scripture, that person is said to resist the Holy Spirit.  If any person continues to resist the Holy Spirit will be damned in their unbelief.  It is a hard message but the warning that God wants us to hear.  We need hard warnings to keep us moving and examining ourselves.  To bring us to where we are encouraging one another to continue on in the faith.

One day, we may feel like we cannot continue but a believer may come along and encourage us to continue on, hold us up.  They may talk with us, pray with us, search the scriptures with us and encourage us.  This same person may need encouragement in the future and we will encourage them as they did for us.

This is how this section of scripture ends.  With rhetorical questions and the  questions.  In Hebrews 16:3, these scriptures are designed for believers not to repeat the recorded mistakes.  The first one is that the people of that area were offered a promise from God, hardened their hearts and rebelled against God. The verse says:

16For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses?

Secondly, their deliberate disobedience in verse 17.  They distrusted and angered God, it says.

17And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?

They did not make it to the Promised Land.  Thirdly, God swore that these rebels will never enter into a place of rest that He promised, verse 18:

18And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient?

Brethren, they never entered into the place of rest that He promised.  Joshua, Caleb and those who were under 20 years old and did not rebel against the Lord entered in.  The bottom line is why did they not enter the place of promise, blessing and enjoyment? Where they can really reap the benefits of following God’s voice and obeying Him? Going into the land and feeling completely blessed? What is the bottom line?

In verse 19, we see that they were not able to enter in because of unbelief.

19So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.

It is the most damning sin ever.  Some people can be great people.  Honest, moral and religious, but do not really believe and God knows it in their heart.  They will die as good people, people will have great words to say about them and in God’s judgment they have not believed and will be under God’s wrath forever.

Brethren, trust is necessary, we must believe that God’s word is true and that all of God’s word is true.  Obedience is necessary.  Obedience makes trust a reality.  It is the practical part of believing.  Another thing to consider is that grace will run out.  To the offer of God, there is a limit.  That limit is the duration of life.  We never know when the limit will be reached. We cannot be sure that there will be a tomorrow for any one of us.

Trust in the Lord before it is too late.  First believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. If you believe, then trust Him for the rest of your days.  Before the efforts of grace are exhausted because someday they will  be.  Someday, God will say, “That is enough”.    No more gospel preaching, it will come to an end and be done.  Let us together endeavor to encourage each other to continue on with the Lord and watch out for each other if we see someone being led away from the Lord by the deceitfulness of the sin of unbelief.  Let us catch it and pray that it does not happen.  Let us rescue people as the Lord gives us strength to do so.  Hard but so needed for us and every generation.  The second warning, let us not go there. 

Let us pray.  Lord, thank you this morning for the word of God.  Even though it contains hard things, You, by your providence and will, put it here for us and I am thanking you for it.  Lord I have seen in my own life, pictures of unbelief, complaining and grumbling in my heart.  I pray Lord that You forgive me and keep me from this evil sin.  Keep me from this sin that leads me away from you Lord.

 I pray, Holy Spirit, that You give us all the strength, to identify this particular sin, confess it, and put it away from us and watch for it.  This is so we do not get hooked by it and led astray by it.  Enable us to be encouragers and be aware of each other’s’ lives and watch out for each other.  I pray this for us, Lord.  Keep us from this sin.

Lord, I pray that we will learn to trust You and love You.  Love Your voice when the word of God is spoken. Love to obey it and go out on the limb , in faith, because we know that we can trust You and Your will for us to act.  I pray for all the good things that You are going to bestow upon us and what you have already bestowed upon us. All that You will in the days to come.  Ultimately in the kingdom of God, we are going to receive the full blessing and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We look forward to that. 

We ask you to bless us and keep us faithful.  Hold us up , as our High Priest, intercede for us so we do not throw in the towel, we continue to march right until the end and be faithful in our profession. Holding fast to our Lord Jesus Christ and all He has done for us knowing that in Christ we have eternal salvation. We give you glory and praise for all that you have and will do.  I pray it in Jesus’ name.  Amen.