13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
lest any of you [emphatic] be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
The word “you” is set in emphatic contrast to Israel in the wilderness, who carried hard hearts toward God. The word “any” relates to the individual; it makes this hardening personal. A hard heart can blind the mind to God’s sure discipline.
Believers can be misled by the sin of unbelief through its “deceitfulness.” Sin can subvert them into false beliefs. Sin will blind people to the genuine blessings of trusting God. Sin seduces the soul away from God.
Deception is characteristic of all sin. When we yield to sin, there is an inherent proclivity to harden our hearts away from God. A hardened heart believes what is false to be true. What it presumes to be a benefit is a wrong. Satan comes as an angel of light, not of darkness. He is the “father of lies.”
There is a tendency to allow sin to harden our souls toward God.
Sin is deceitful. It can fool us into believing something we shouldn’t. Believers need to guard themselves against a complaining spirit. This sin is particularly deceptive. It creeps into the life almost imperceptibly. When it does, it gradually hardens the heart toward God.
If we practice sin long enough, something happens to our soul over time—it becomes hardened toward God. Unbelief is due to the hardening of the heart; hardening of the heart is produced by sin. The result is to fall away from God.
Israel experienced miracle after miracle and provision upon provision from God, yet they refused to believe. Christians today hear God’s Word over and over and yet refuse to take God at His Word. This kind of action provokes God.
For maybe 3 years I made decisions that I knew was against God’s will. I started relationships that really made me struggle in my faith because of sexual sin, and while in it I had this feeling of condemnation that kept telling me I’d lost salvation because I was “deliberately” sinning as mentioned in Hebrews 10:26. So after some time I gave it all up and decided to not live something outside God’s will, but since then I can’t feel peace or even experience a life of joy with him. I’m afraid that my heart has been hardened in an irreversible manner as described in this verse of Hebrews and therefore I may no longer experience a relationship with him. Am I right or does He soften a hardened heart as mine?
Lucas, thanks for your blog. Your question is one that many Christians ask.
The issue is an understanding of God’s forgiveness. There is a hardening process with protracted sin. The challenge to soften a hardened heart is not an event, but a process. As it took time to develop a hard heart toward God, it will take many applications of God’s Word to countervail it. For example, after Christians confess their sin they still feel guilt, particularly subjective guilt (guilt that does not have a direct cause). God’s concern is not subjective guilt (whereby we attempt to pay for our sin, rather than accepting the fact that Christ paid for it), but His issue is are we dealing with objective guilt, actual sin, sin uncontested. Subjective guilt is a form of disbelief. God said He forgives sin when we confess it, but often we do not believe that He forgave it (1 Jn 1:9). The answer to subjective guilt is believing in or faith in the fact that God forgives (even egregious sinning) based on the work of Christ, not on our religion. That is why Paul said forgetting those things which are behind and reaching out for those things which are before. The reason we enter the closet and stroke our skeletons is that we want to punish ourselves for what we did. When we do that, we deny the fact that Christ paid for all sin, past, present, and future (Galatians 2:21). Satan will use subjective guilt to make you feel that you are not acceptable to God when, in fact, you are accepted and forgiven. No, there is no hardening that is beyond repair. The answer to hardening to accept and believe in God’s promises. Note how Hebrews continues to develop that point in chapter 4:1ff. https://versebyversecommentary.com/2018/11/24/48296/ If you want a study on how to overcome sin by progressively applying the principles of Scripture to experience, go here: https://versebyversecommentary.com/articles/christian-maturity/the-edification-construct-discussion-guide/