Anyone, Christian or non-Christian, who continually ignores the voice of God develops what the Bible calls a hard heart so that he cannot respond to the commands of God and instead is subject to the discipline of God.

In Hebrews 3, the writer warns every one of us about the danger of developing a hard heart. Specifically, he defines a hard heart as one that continually refuses to trust God when tested and obey God when ordered.

The first line of defense against a hard heart is a careful examination of your own heart (Hebrews 3:12).

YOU are responsible for the condition of your heart. Let me give you three symptoms to check the condition of your heart.

1. Is your heart cold? 

Do you continually find yourself unmoved by the music, the preaching, the testimony of others in worship? Are there a thousand other things you would rather do than spend time reading God’s Word or talking with Him in prayer?

2. Is your heart critical?

Do you find yourself constantly criticizing other people instead of dealing with your own faults? Do you find it difficult to overlook or forgive the offenses of others? Do you find yourself sitting through church with a critical spirit -- always critiquing the music, the Sunday School teacher, the preaching instead of asking God to speak to you?

3. Is your heart cynical? 

Are you continually questioning the motives of others, especially those in leadership positions? Do you find yourself consistently joking about the things of God and His church?

You need to honestly evaluate whether you have a heart that is cold, critical, and cynical. If these describe you, you may be in danger of falling away, not from a church or a doctrinal system, but from a person -- the living God.

After we examine our hearts, it’s important to listen to the exhortation of others (Hebrews 3:13).

The word translated “encourage” is better translated “exhort.” It is the word “paraclete.” It means to come alongside another person and lovingly, yet strongly, correct them.

It means that when you see another Christian who is developing a hard heart toward God that instead of neglecting them or criticizing them, you come alongside them and urge them to change. If you are a Christian who has a hard heart and someone else cares enough about you to confront you, you should take their correction as coming from God Himself.

I had not been in the ministry very long when an older Christian where I was serving pointed out to me an area in my life that wasn’t right. She warned me that if I continued in the way I was going I would destroy my ministry and those around me.

My first reaction was anger. Who was she to judge me? But the reason I was really angry was because I knew she was right.

When I conducted her funeral service many years later, I thanked God for a woman who cared enough about me to tell me the truth and prevent me from developing a hard heart.

If you have someone like that in your life, don’t resent them. Listen to them. Otherwise you are in danger of being hardened by what the writer calls the “deceitfulness of sin.” 

I believe that as a Christian you can ignore and disobey the voice of God so long that it becomes an unbreakable pattern in your life. You may come to a point that you want to change and experience God’s blessings but you will be unable to because of a hardened heart.

The most dangerous word in the human language is “tomorrow.” Someone has said: “‘Tomorrow’ is a thief that robs dreamers of their dreams and the gifted of great accomplishment.” 

Our opportune time to begin something is “tomorrow.” God’s opportune time is “today.” Three times in Hebrews 3:7-19, the writer reminds us that the time for obedience is now, not later:

• “TODAY, if you hear his voice...” (Hebrews 3:7)
• “But encourage one another day after day while it is still called TODAY so that none of you will be hardened by sin.” (Hebrews 3:13)
• “TODAY If you Hear His voice do not harden your hearts.” (Hebrews 3:15)

To delay trusting God when tested or obeying God when ordered is to risk developing a hardened heart and falling away from the living God.

Welcome to First Baptist Dallas! Our mission is to transform the world with God's life at a time. We are a church with a legacy that is built on the Bible, and we continue that legacy today. With multiple service times and options, as well as age group Sunday School classes, we have something for everyone. Join us on Sundays in person or online beginning at 9:30am.
Address :
1707 San Jacinto,
TX - 75201
United States.
Tel : 214-969-0111

Stay up to date with First Baptist Dallas. Join our email list.

* indicates required