Please turn to Hebrews 3:7-19. In Hebrews 3:1-6, the author of Hebrews compared Moses and Jesus. Specifically, he complimented Moses for his faithfulness to the Lord and his service to the children of Israel in the Old Testament; however, he also commented that Jesus is superior to Moses because Jesus is faithful over God's house as His Son. So the first part of chapter speaks of the superiority of Jesus even over Moses. Now this is very significant because members of this congregation were being tempted to leave Christianity and go back into Judaism. As part of his pastoral counsel to the Hebrews, the author offers four important exhortations to them for living the Christian life. First, in verse 7, he encourages them to heed the Bible. Then, in verses 7-9, he tells them to heed the warnings of the Bible. Next, in verses 12 and 15-19, he exhorts them to heed the danger of unbelief. Finally, in verse 13, he tells them to heed the call to encourage one another.    

I. Heed the Bible.

In Hebrews 3:7, the author of Hebrews says, “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today, if you hear his voice…” In that partial sentence, we see the first words that the author of Hebrews has for us in the living of the Christian life. And it is this — “Heed the Bible, and even the Old Testament, if you want to live the Christian life.” Notice that he is about to quote Psalm 95 in Hebrews 3:7-11. He introduces that quotation from the Psalm, from the Old Testament, with these words, “As the Holy Spirit says…” So this is not just the psalmist writing something about the history of Israel that has nothing to do with Christians; it is the Holy Spirit speaking to Christians as well in Psalm 95:7-11. By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, these words are for believers so that they can know how to live the Christian life. Paul delivers the same message in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 when he says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” Paul is emphasizing that Old Testament Scriptures are not dusty history texts that are boring and irrelevant for believers. Instead, he is proclaiming that those Scriptures were inspired by the Holy Spirit so that we would know how to live the Christian life. And so we learn here that the author of Hebrews wants us to heed the Bible, and even and especially the Old Testament, if we want to live the Christian life correctly.

II. Heed the Bible’s Warnings.

In Hebrews 3:7-9, the author says, “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years.” Here, the author of Hebrews says, “There is a warning for you, Christian, in the unbelief and the rebellion of Israel in the wilderness. And so, if you are going to live the Christian life, you need to heed the warnings of the Bible, not as a discouragement but as an encouragement to you to live the Christian life.” What is the author of Hebrews trying to do in these warnings? Well, his purpose is to warn those who are considering turning their backs on Jesus and trying to find their hope somewhere else. This congregation has some people in it who have come out of Judaism and their Jewish contemporaries and friends were saying to them, “Look, you can have everything you are looking for in Judaism as long as you will turn your back on Jesus and come back to Judaism.” And the preacher here in Hebrews is preaching a message and he is saying, “Do not turn your back on Jesus!” He is warning them by saying, “If you turn your back on Jesus, you will be just like the children of Israel in the wilderness who turned their backs on God. They got out in the wilderness and it got hard and they turned their backs on God and they looked back to Egypt, to their bondage, to their slavery, to their sin.” Ultimately, the author is saying to the Hebrews and to us, “If you turn your back on Jesus, you are turning your back on the one person who can help you. If you turn your back on Him there is no hope anywhere else.”

III. Heed the Danger of Unbelief.

In Hebrews 3:12 and verses 15-19, the author of Hebrews is warning his readers to heed the danger of unbelief. The author of Hebrews is saying the root sin that led the children of Israel into disobedience and rebellion and ultimately destruction in the wilderness was the sin of unbelief. They stopped believing God. They stopped believing His promises. They stopped believing His providence. They stopped believing His good news. In other words, they lost faith. The battle to believe is very much at the heart of the Christian life because unbelief is a master sin that leads to all kinds of other sin and ultimately to death. As glorious and dramatic as some of our conversions are, when we just come completely out of darkness and into His marvelous light, there are trials in the Christian life that can be just as dramatic, where we are forced to ask ourselves some important questions such as, “What do I really believe? Who do I really trust? What really matters to me? Where is my faith? Where is my hope? Where is my treasure?” And the author of Hebrews is saying, “When you get to those points in the Christian life, do not stop believing. Continue to believe God's promises. Believe His power. Believe His providence. Believe His Gospel, because we walk by faith and not by sight.”

IV. Heed the Call to Encourage One Another to Believe.

In Hebrews 3:13, the author says, “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” He is encouraging his readers to heed the call to encourage one another. There are hard places in our lives that we have to deal with, and when we are there, there is a temptation to stop believing and to fall. And that is why we always need to be exhorting one another, “Don't stop believing. Don't stop running. Keep believing on Jesus. Don't fall away.” That is what the author of Hebrews is saying we need to do with one another because the Christian life sometimes is a wilderness. May God help us to firmly believe His covenant promises and help us to encourage one another daily as believers in Jesus Christ.