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Rebellious Hearts (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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January 19, 2022 6:00 am

Rebellious Hearts (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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January 19, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the letter to the Hebrews

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I don't like that. Not my, the natural man. The spiritual man knows better because the spiritual man knows the day will come when I will enter his courts with thanksgiving in my heart and his gates with praise. I will know that everything is under his control and he always does right. And even sweeter than that, this life will be saved. He will pass away and the one to come has got so much ahead of it.

It cannot be catalogued. I mean that whole thing with the parting of the sea, that was sweet. But it didn't make them believe. That proves just because a miracle takes place, people don't fall down and become believers. Why should we expect miracles? How do they become believers? No.

We reason from the scripture and it's truth. Verse 10, we'll find out that they never passed an opportunity to go astray. Oh, there's an exit. Take it. No, but this is the straight and narrow that leads to the celestial city. Stay here. No, no, there's an exit. It's an off-ramp. My flesh is howling.

I want to satisfy it. Always greener feels somewhere else than in the fields of God's. His pastures aren't as green as somewhere else. Well, I do not know, I do not care, goes the poem, how far it is to anywhere. All I know is that where I am not is always the alluring spot. There's always something on the other horizon, not here where I am.

I worked in steel. There were those slackers that you would say to them sarcastically, they're waiting for the big job. They're saving themselves.

They don't want to do any heavy lifting and hard work. They're saving themselves for the big one. It was mocking them, of course.

Always somewhere else. And then we find that they were, in verse 10, they were never learning. The Jews in the wilderness.

God's ways weren't interesting to them. Now, as Christians, you stay in Christianity long enough and apply yourself, there will be seasons where your interest levels will not be running as fast as you would like them to be. They'll be dragging a little bit. You've got to tug them along. It's part of the fight.

It's your flesh. And then if you continue, you will find out in time that you overcome it. And then the cycle repeats itself later on.

But then you should be ready for it. A journeyman Christian, someone who's seasoned in their trade, that knows what it's like to walk the walk and many of the things that we will encounter. Too many Christians suppose that God is just a genie in the Bible. And you just rub the Bible the right way and poof, he comes out and says, your wish is my command. The problem with that approach is then when you find out that God is God and you're not, and he's not your little flunky genie, that some people become disillusioned with Christianity. They scoff, it doesn't work. I tried that.

It doesn't work. And that is a very silly and dangerous way to live. And Satan hopes that he can get as many Christians disliking God because God would not respond to their prayers as he can get. We don't know why God so often allows this or that. Sometimes we do, many times we don't.

But in both cases, we have to submit. That's what it means to call him Lord. He is master. And if he wants to go south, then south we go. If he wants to go north, then north we go. Whatever direction.

I don't like that. Not my, the natural man. The spiritual man knows better because the spiritual man knows the day will come when I will enter his courts with thanksgiving in my heart and his gates with praise. I will know that everything was under his control and he always does right. And even sweeter than that, this life will pass away. And the one to come has got so much ahead of it.

It cannot be catalogued. So verse 9, we go, he says, where your fathers tested or tempted me and tried me and saw my works forty years. Forty years of miracles.

We'll bullet point just a few of them in a moment. It should have taken them about a month from Sinai to the promised land, even with the large entourage that they had, but not forty years. That forty years was self-inflicted. Brought it upon themselves. And part of that was a democracy. Well, if you're talking human government, that's another thing. But if you're talking with God, we're not to have democratic rule. We have theocratic rule. God rules us. He is our king.

It is a divine monarchy. And if he says, I'm going to give you this land, I want you to go in and take it, then we are to follow that. Those twelve spies that went into the land, they weren't to come back with commentary.

They were to come back and tell Moses what the enemy strong points were so that he could form his battle plans and go take the land. But ten of them decided to come back with commentary. Oh, we can't do this. Too many problems.

Too big. And the people listened to them. They should have stoned them. Old Testament law.

New Testament. We don't do it that way. Sometimes you say unfortunately. But either way, majority rule overruled divine rule.

Yep, that still happens. We have people that say, well, if everybody wants to do it, that's fine if you want to pick which place to go have fish and chips. But when it comes to the work of God as an assembly, then it's different. And so we consider when the majority voted, ten unbelieving spies versus the two faithful ones, they prevailed. Having a majority, a majority of Christians in favor of something does not necessarily make it right. We see it all the time. We see whole denominations voting on sin.

Why did it even come to a vote? Where was Phinehas to lock the doors of that church and drive them out of there? But their insistence to not trust God, that alone was astounding. You couldn't say it was miraculous because God didn't do it, but it was astounding that they would see so much activity of God and then just dismiss it. You are encouraged to build Ebenezer stones, places that you remember what God did for you that nobody else could have done.

Because if you lose sight of his presence and his reality, you are entering into some very risky waters. Here are some of the things they saw. They witnessed ten plagues on Egypt. Ten of them.

Almost a Sesame Street moment, right? You want to see the Count come out and count them. They dismissed them. The parting of the sea for their escape and then the closing of the sea right at that moment on Pharaoh's army.

Egypt has never recovered. What makes a miracle, one facet of a miracle that makes it a miracle is timing. What benefit would it have been to part the sea when no one was there? But at that moment, God, the hand of God, worked on behalf of his people. They saw those daily miracles for forty years. What were the daily miracles? Well, the Shekinah for one. The soles on their shoes not wearing out.

Their clothes not wearing out for two. And there were others, but those are the two outstanding ones. And they dismissed it.

It's commonplace. No other people had the Shekinah over them. But they had their wants and their desires and God wasn't saying, I'm in an unhappy relationship.

I've got a job I don't like. And those became, those things became gremlins that gobbled up their belief. As it was in the days of Jesus with the religious elite who refused to submit to what they were looking at because they had other things to do. And God was interfering with those other things. Verse 10, Hebrews 3, therefore, because of what he just said, I was angry with that generation and said, they always go astray in their heart.

They have not known my ways. Lesson, rebellion against God causes anger of God. Stay away from it.

Rebellion can make someone feel very strong. You know, I quit. I got you. Try to, try to, the whole company's going down now. I quit. And we feel the sense of surge of power. Not every time, but oftentimes there's something like that we do. I'll take my business elsewhere.

I'm leaving this church. You know, we assert ourselves. It feels so good sometimes to the flesh, right out, right up to the point that God says, oh, that was a dud. That did not go off the way I intended it to. I wanted you to stand your ground and not retreat, but your flesh prevailed. Every dud in scripture is just so. Having come to a place where they delighted in doing the opposite of what God wanted. It was Cain.

It was a simple request. Bring the blood sacrifices. Commemorate what has happened to mankind. Sin and all of its horror. There was Korah, who took it upon himself to go against the divine appointment. You imagine God saying, okay, everybody, I'm going to materialize in front of you and you know I'm God. And Moses, you come up. Moses, this is Moses. He's going to be my leader. And someone's standing up and saying, I'll never submit to him.

I don't care what you say. I'd do better than him. That's what Korah did. And then it was Absalom. Who attacks their own father? Absalom does.

And where did he die? Between heaven and earth, dangling, skewed by Joab. Joab was the one man you did not want chasing you. And Joab chased Absalom and he got him.

Not directly. He was told, hey, Absalom's caught in the trees by his long, luxurious hair. And Joab couldn't wait to get there.

No questions, no conversation, just the skew. Duds, each one of those has such potential. Absalom, the crown prince, he could have been in Solomon's place.

A dud. Korah was one of the Elivites in the priesthood. He could have been such a, made such contributions to support Moses. Instead the ground opened up and swallowed him. Then Cain, of course, went and killed his own brother because he didn't like his church.

Well, that's the commentary of that statement. He says they go astray. That is, they roam. How many Christians tire of God's words and ways and they just stray? Sometimes they change churches. God never said, do this. But they said, do it. So they do it. And they're always wondering why they're never being used by the Lord. Because they're never listening to him.

They roam from field to field. Ruth, I like making this illustration from Ruth. Naomi's wisdom, when she found out that Boaz was being kind to her, she said to Ruth, Naomi said to Ruth, make sure you're not found in any other field.

You better know your place and stay there until God takes the next step. And that is exactly what Ruth did. Ruth had so many wonderful things about her. So did Naomi. In my early Christian walk, I didn't like Naomi. Oh, I'm back and I'm sorrowful now.

Well, she went through some brutal experiences and with maturity and wisdom. Well, that makes it sound like I'm admitting that at one point I didn't know something. So let's just forget I said that. Verse 11. So I swore in my wrath, they shall not enter my rest. Oh, man, who wants God to say that? You see, this expression of divine commitment against evil, this is something big to the Jews because swearing was big to them. Jesus said, don't go swearing by the temple of the Lord or its altar. Don't say, you know, just say yes or no, because they were so big onto this.

That was like their nuclear option. Don't make me swear. We Christians, we don't swear. We say yes or no. Jesus even said, listen, more than that, Satan is working.

He's in that. He says, whatever more is of Satan. So we just let our yes be yes and our no be no.

We just have to train ourselves that the other person doesn't like it to have luck. Well, here God says, I am telling you in a language you won't soon forget. So here the writer to Hebrews is saying, back then, when they came out of Egypt, God was so disappointed with them that he said, I am drawing a line here that I will not erase and no one else can. They will not go into the promised land. For 40 years they're judged.

And he's telling these Jews now, he's saying, don't you make the same mistake. Don't you go on to, you know, say you cannot enter into what God has given to you because you like something else. So they shall not enter my rest. Rest in this case was the promised land. Rest for us is heaven and rest it will be.

I spend, I plan to take the first third of eternity just relaxing. I don't know what I'll be. I mean, who knows? I just don't want, you know, rookie classes, you know. Okay, I'm glad you're all here today and I want to go over some of the things that we're not supposed to do while you're up here. I don't want to, I just want to know it.

Just God impart it. And do you, does anybody like those sessions where you're the green guy? And some other Christian, so how long you been up here? You just got here?

I've been here like 600 years. So anyway, all right, back to this. It won't be that way. That's projecting from this life to that one and it's not. Well, the people who had trusted God to bring them out of Egypt didn't trust God to bring them into the promised land.

That doesn't make any sense. Egypt was such a greater enemy than the Canaanites. And yet God did it for them as he, right on word. Well, these Jews here, he's saying the same thing. God brought you into Christianity because you knew it was true. You could see it in your own scriptures. You had the Holy Spirit minister in your heart and now you don't believe him enough to remain with him. You want to go back. Peter, taking up the Old Testament, attracted to the forceful language.

So you're like a dog returning to vomit. Whoa, who forgets that kind of an insult or fact? Well, the time came when they could not enter the promised land.

What happened? A bunch of them got their muscles and the swords together and they decided they were going to go in anyway. And that ended in disaster because their brand of disobedience was without surrender to God. There is a disobedience that is out of weakness.

We all know that. But then there is one that is born of rebellion. I am against God.

I am not going to do what he says. And that's what Job meant. Who has hardened himself against God and prospered?

No one. And so the generation that conquered the land, that second generation that went into the promised land did so because they submitted to God. And they were very particular about this. So much so that when the two and a half tribes that were satisfied with the unpromised land east of Jordan were now going back to their territory, having helped their brothers subdue the land, what did God say to them?

What happened? Well, they said as they were leaving, you know what, we want to build a monument here, an Ebernezer we would say, so that our brothers remember that we're with them and they're with us and we are dedicated to the Lord. So they built a memorial altar. Well, the Jews in the promised land, they got word of this and they thought they were going to activate that altar.

Contrary to scripture and worship at it. And so they called a war rally. They sent Phineas over and had a little discussion with them. And they found out, no, this was just a memorial. They had no intention of sacrificing on it. My point is, that generation that went into that promised land, they were very serious about following the Lord and submitting. Oh, they had their mistakes, no question.

But for the most part in comparison, they were very serious. We look at them and we say, that's what we're supposed to be. I swore in my wrath they shall not enter my rest. Now, verse 12, beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. It is a universal warning.

Watch your steps in the presence of the Lord. It is a passionate appeal. The writer of this letter, he is passionate. He is for the people too. He's very serious about his faith and he's serious about their care. They're on collision course and he's taking steps to deal with this on their behalf. He could have just looked the other way and went on one of his business and said, fine, you want to go to hell, go to hell. But he doesn't do that.

And so this passionate appeal. He had these doubts about them. I believe this is Paul, as we've discussed in the introductions.

I could be wrong, but that's not likely. Joke. Galatians, Paul writing to the Galatians, he said this about them because they were doing some similar things. He says, I would like to be present with you now and change my tone, for I have my doubts about you.

Right? Point blank, what needed to be said. You know, just because you're going around saying you're a Christian, just because you were so solid a Christian when I was there, doesn't mean, well, let me put it this way, things change.

These kind of things don't have to change. But if they do, I'm not going to join you. I'm going to reach out, try to rescue you. And so he says, beware, brethren. He's saying, I have my doubts about you. Well, that's been known from the beginning. He says, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief.

He's personalizing the warning to everyone in every age that this can happen to you. They had. They were on course for this evil heart of unbelief, not believing God. That was the case with the ancestors that perished in the wilderness. They doubted that God was adequate.

They doubted and they didn't like his ways. He should just give us a lamb. Why do we have to lift the sword? Why do we have to eat manna every day?

Why can't one day it be shrimp, the next day it's filet mignon. Why does it have to be manna? No one, I don't think, said it that way, but that was the spirit of their rebellion. At one time they did fuss with God, manna again.

He says, well, they brought that on themselves again. They should have been right into the promised land. In departing from the living God, the word here in the Greek, and remember for those of you who don't know, the New Testament was originally written in the Greek language, and we translate it into various languages of the world. That Greek word for departing is a compound word.

It's made of two Greek words, to stand off or to stand apart, to discontinue. And so it is properly translated departing. He says, he's telling them lest there be in you an evil heart of unbelief in leaving the place you were. You're with Christ now. Now you want to leave Christ. That's an evil heart.

You don't want to do that. Men are free to reject God. Otherwise unbelief would have been wiped out. God just make everybody believers. A lot of Christians believe once you become a Christian you lose your free will.

I don't believe that. My free will is very active. And this is its choice, to be with Jesus forever. He will never leave me nor forsake me. He may allow things that I don't like, as we've discussed, but he will never leave me.

And I don't plan to ever leave him. And by his hand and his hand only, that will always be so. And he's promised, as Peter said, kept.

Kept by God. Well, apostasy. It is willful. It is intellectual.

Not only is it intellectual, but it is ultimately an intellectual decision. It starts off emotionally in some cases. Oh, I like with that religion. They get to do this. They get, you know, oh, they get to have that.

And we can't have that. You know, and you begin to feel. And until finally you come to that place where you decide you're going to leave Christ behind. Balaam, he departed, never returned. Peter, he stumbled hard, but he returned. Judas, his betrayal was fueled by rejection. Peter's lack of confession, his cowardice at the moment was fueled by weakness.

There was confusion in that also. He was very confused because at one point he was ready to fight for Christ, but it reached a point he didn't know what to do. Plus, he failed.

That's the way to handle that. He failed. But his reason for failure was born of weakness and not rebellion against God in that sense. Jesus always knows who will come to him. He knows who will leave, but he doesn't cause it, doesn't drive us away. John's Gospel 6, verse 64. There are some of you, Jesus said, who do not believe.

For Jesus knew, John writes, from the beginning who they were who did not believe and who would betray him. He knows it all. You've been listening to Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast, today's teaching is available free of charge at our website. Simply log on to That's We'd also like to encourage you to subscribe to the Cross Reference Radio podcast. Subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from Pastor Rick. You can subscribe at or simply search for Cross Reference Radio in your favorite podcast app. Tune in next time as Pastor Rick continues teaching through the book of Hebrews right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-22 07:19:29 / 2023-06-22 07:28:45 / 9

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