HARDENED BY DECEIT
"HARDENED BY SIN"
INTRODUCTION – If you had to watch someone, day after day, involve themselves in behaviors that you KNEW to be dangerous, would you act? What if this person’s behavior consistently got worse or more dangerous to themselves or someone else?
· Think about someone with an addiction to drugs or alcohol.
· These people do not start as addicts, and yet they ended there.
· But imagine the process from “harmless experimenting”, to a devastating end.
· Imagine all the pain that is caused and endured BEFORE that end.
The same is true with people we watch slip into sinful situations.
· Think about watching a Christian losing their faith, it should be just as hard for us to watch.
o As they drift further and further away from God.
· Now, imagine this Christian was a close relative or close friend.
Amazingly, some people might actually question whether the person was saved to begin with.
· In my studies on Calvinism, they would believe these people were not saved.
· If we reason this way, these people never hear what they truly need to hear.
· The actual situation is much different and needs a different approach.
While it is very possible a person was never saved, it is even more possible that the problem is apostasy (Hebrews 3:12-14).
· Apostasy- the abandonment or renunciation of a religious or political belief. · A believer can become an unbeliever, thereby losing any salvation afforded the believer.
The text we will look at today, shows that apostacy starts when the heart is deceived from sin, and if not corrected, hardened by its consequences.
We should all pay close attention, so that we may heed the signs of being “Hardened by Sin.”
I. THE DANGER OF SIN CREEPING IN (Hebrews 3:12)-
A. The World will sell the “Season of Sin” (Hebrews 11:25).
1.Temptations of Sin can make promises of pleasure.
a) As scripture reads, this pleasure is always fleeting.
b) If not checked, the effects of Sin are soon evident (Proverbs 5:8-14).
2.Temptations of Sin can make promises of riches.
a) Riches of this world are deceitful (Matthew 13:22).
b) Riches are called “uncertain” at best (1 Tim. 6:17).
c) Those who are tricked by the temptation of riches are being trapped (1 Tim. 6:9).
B. The World will enslave you in Sin
1.A person becomes a slave to what drives him (Romans 6:16).
a) This is exactly what being an addict is like, a slave to the addiction.
b) Scripture shows us, as does life, that this is true for everyone, especially Christians.
c) Their ending is always tragedy.
2.A person becomes a slave to what overwhelms him.
a) Without Christ, the will and ability to do good fails (Romans 7:14-15).
b) We then become slaves to Sin.
II. THE DANGER OF SIN SETTING IN (Hebrews 3:12)-
A. Our Sin will Blind us.
1.We need to think of those who have tried to do what was right in their own eyes.
a) They all became deceived and stay separated from God (Eph. 4:18-19).
b) Because they could not see what was right.
2.We need to remember that Christians are not immune.
a) They slip into and a trap and are overwhelmed.
b) Now though, the problem is worse than ever (2 Peter 2:20-21).
B. Our Sin will Harden us.
1. We touch on this (Eph. 4:19), but those who are walking according to their own desires are:
a) Past feeling.
b) Given in to unmoral behavior.
c) Consumed by our own desires.
2.Those who are saved, are not exempted.
a) They begin to ignore rebukes.
b) Leading to a heart of unbelief and separating from God.
3.In both cases, they make it difficult for others to reach out to them as long as they:
a) Continue Sinning willfully.
b) Continue crucifying Christ anew (Hebrews 6:4-6).
CONCLUSION- At times it might seem like it is an impossible task to break through the hard hearts of loved ones that have been deceived by sin.
· But know this, we must never the power of the Gospel of Christ!
· Up until this moment we have looked primarily at Hebrews 3:12, but if we stay there, we will neglect ourselves, others and God’s kingdom.
(Closing scripture – Eccl. 4:9-10)—
We must remember that we are not alone in this fight!
We must remember to stay on guard, otherwise we too will be “Hardened by Sin.”