ANYONE CAN DRIFT
November 1, 2015
Hebrews 3:7-19 ESV: 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. Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.’ As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’” Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 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. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.
THE EXODUS GENERATION
- Saw God respond to their cry, to their prayers, as they were slaves in Egypt
- Saw God perform signs and wonders through Moses before Pharaoh and all his servants, and before all the people of Egypt
- Saw God lead them out of the hands of the most powerful ruler in the world.
- The walked through the divided the Red Sea on dry land.
- They saw Pharaoh's army cast into the depths like a stone into mighty waters.
- They were led through the desert by a pillar of cloud by day, and by a pillar of fire in the night to light their way.
- They saw God come down on Mount Sinai and they feared for their lives. God spoke with them from heaven, gave them true laws and good commands.
- God provided for them a miraculous provision of bread from heaven for their hunger
- God brought water out of a rock for their thirst (Moses named the place “Testing and Quarreling/Rebellion”).
- For forty years God sustained them in the desert, they lacked nothing
- Their clothes did not wear out, their feet did not swell
- And yet, they refused to trust Him, they rebelled against Him, and appointed a leader to lead them back to Egypt!
They quarreled with God, they tested Him, and they rebelled against Him, refusing to trust Him…all the while… They thought they were being good Jews
The author of Hebrews reminds us again that no one is immune from drifting away from their confidence and boasting in Christ, and gives us strategies for growing our faith.
ANYONE CAN DRIFT
If the Exodus generation could drift, anyone can drift!
BECAUSE WE RECOGNIZE THAT ANY OF US COULD DRIFT WE...
...Assess Our Hearts
...We Press Each Other Toward Our Greatest Good
Self-deception is hard to self-diagnose
- We need each other
- Not just to “encourage” – exhort, appeal, press them
- Today = Regularly, ongoing, consistently
- Toward our greatest good
- Because we love them (as we love ourselves)
Cocktail Party vs. Dinner Party
...We Use The Measure The Author Gives Us—Confidence in Christ
We are not drifting, we are not neglecting our great salvation, “we are his house” IF…
…we hold fast our confidence and our boasting (v.6)
…we hold our original confidence firm… (v.14)
TO THE END
Why use confidence?
- Why not obedience?
- Why not worship?
- Why not prayer?
- Why not tithing?
Confidence is Key
- Trust Jesus
- Trust who He is
- Trust what He has done
- Trust what He continues to do
Their actions were good, their hearts were evil
WHAT DO WE DO?
- Recognize we’re all vulnerable
- Examine your heart – pray Psalm 139
- It’s a Dinner Party, not a Cocktail Party – Let people in
- Re-read Hebrews 1-3
- Think Long Term – Today, Everyday, To The End!
- Heir of all things
- The Radiance of God’s glory
- The exact imprint of God
- Upholds the universe
- Made purification for sins
- His throne is forever
- Laid the foundation of the earth
- Laid the foundation of the heavens
- Will remain forever
- God Almighty
- A human being
- Tasted death so we would not have to
- The Founder of our salvation
- Our perfect High Priest
- Destroyer of the power of the devil
- Deliverer of those who were afraid of death
- Maker of propitiation for us
- Our help in all circumstances
LIFE GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
- How would you summarize the big idea of 3:1-6?
- Verse 7 begins with “Therefore”, what does that tell us?
- Why does the author of Hebrews attribute this quote from Psalm 95 to the “Holy Spirit” instead of the human author?
- How would you summarize the quote from Psalm 95 (vs. 7-11)?
- Why was the unbelief of the Exodus generation so shocking?
- What two things does the author tell the readers to do in light of vs. 7-11?
- What was the “original confidence” these Hebrew believers had?
- What consequence is given for failing to believe God/trust God in v. 18-19?
HOW DOES IT APPLY?
- Given what you’ve seen and experienced of God, is drifting away from your original confidence a possibility for you?
- How do you guard against that drifting?
- What is the role of the church/other believers in helping you guard against drifting away?
- What is your role with other believers in helping them not drift away? What does that look like?
- Are there any fears associated with helping other believers not drift away from their original confidence in Jesus?