An Evil Heart of Unbelief Heb. 3:12 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Heb 3:12 says, Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you and evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. It says an evil heart… before the flood “every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually,” [Gen 6:5]. After the flood, “for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth,” [Gen 8:21]. Jeremiah said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” [Jer 17:9]. Jesus said, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts , covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within and defile the man,” [Mk 7:21-23].
So, we are already starting with hearts that are wicked. But what really compounds the problem is unbelief. The Lord wrote certain things in the Bible for us to believe that affect our hearts. When we fail to believe them then notice what happens… we depart from the living God. He doesn’t depart from us, not unless there has been continual rejection and a hardness of heart. We depart from him. And we do it by unbelief. Unbelief is manifested in:
Unbelief in Creation – when we fail to believe that God made the heaven and the earth then we fail to believe that it is his and that everything here is for his pleasure. A fellow with whom I was visiting the other day asked, “What’s the benefit in pleasing him?” When we conclude that God didn’t make the universe and all that it contains then we conclude that we can do anything with the earth and the heavens that we want. Man comes to the place where he believes that he is in control of what happens to God’s creation and tries to regulate others accordingly. What scientists with have done with genetic modification may have benefited you personally but in time these modifications are going to lead to no good. This is a very destructive philosophy that causes men to depart from the living God. This is God’s creation and try as you may to preserve it, God will eventually destroy it with fire.
Unbelief in the God of the Bible – many men believe that there are gods but they are gods of their own understanding and making. They are man-made gods made in man’s image resulting in different religions, various superstitions, and self-righteousness. Men do not all worship the same god. The God of the Bible stands alone [Is 44:8]. When you reject the God of the Bible, in essence, you get to be your own god [Gen 3:6]. Isaiah showed that idolaters are really deceived because they make a god out of a stock and then roast a meal with the leftover tree [Is 44:14-20]. Modern day idolaters in America go to churches adorned with statues. Unbelief in the God of the Bible destroyed Pharaoh. Unbelief in the God of the Bible causes you to depart from the living God.
Unbelief in the Bible – you can read the words in the Bible but they don’t work effectually until you believe them [1 Thes 2:13]. You are blind without belief in these words. Jesus Christ upbraided his disciples after his resurrection for being fools and slow of heart to believe [Lk 24] because they were looking right at him and didn’t know who he was. Sin dominates your life if you don’t believe the Bible and causes you to depart from the living God. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” The deception of sin [Heb 3:13] that causes you to depart from the living God derives from unbelief in the Bible
Unbelief in Judgment – because of unbelief, men live like they don’t have any accountability to God. They believe that “it’s all down here.” You just live your life the best way you know how and then you die. This isn’t how Jesus put it at all. He said, “… the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day,” [Jn 12:48]. Heb 9:27 says, “… it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Of Christians, Paul said, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it by good or bad,” [2 Cor 5:10]. When you don’t believe in the judgment, you become your own judge and soon depart from the living God.
Unbelief in Salvation – men have a hard time believing the simplicity of salvation in Jesus Christ [2 Cor 11:3]. There is no other way to get to God than through the Lord Jesus Christ [Jn 14:6]. He became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him [2 Cor 5:21]. He has already taken away your sins, you simply need to receive him and thereby receive his righteousness and his eternal life. If you say, “Well, I just don’t believe that.” Then you wind up in hell. Either your name is in the book of life [Rev 20:14] because you have called upon the name of the Lord [Rom 10:13] or it’s not. And if it isn’t in there then you will spend eternity in the lake of fire.
Conclusion: you may have departed from the living God through your unbelief. Today, you have the opportunity through belief in the words of God and belief in Jesus Christ to return to him. Do not leave here without receiving Jesus Christ. And if you have strayed away from the Lord because of unbelief, get back in your Bible and believe what you are reading and return to the living God.