“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” (Hebrews 3:13-14).
“To-morrow is the day when idle men work, and fools repent. To-morrow is Satan’s to-day; he cares not what good resolutions you form, if only you fix them for to-morrow.” (1)
In addition to the need to act upon the truth of God’s Word today, the New Testament epistle of 1 John brings an important perspective to this passage from Hebrews chapter three. Consider the following translation of 1 John 2:19 and its reference to some who self-identified as Christians…
“They went out from us [seeming at first to be Christians], but they were not really of us [because they were not truly born again and spiritually transformed]; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out [teaching false doctrine], so that it would be clearly shown that none of them are of us” (AMP).
So those who were unwilling to abide in Christ revealed the existence of a hidden lack of faith. To paraphrase 1 John 2:19, a person who fails to persevere in faith offers evidence that brings his or her original profession of faith into question. Thus, we can say that perseverance is a characteristic quality of genuine faith. Jesus’ message from the Gospel of Matthew offers another important reminder…
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter” (Matthew 7:21 NLT).
Therefore, we can say along with the words of the following commentary, “True faith always has the quality of permanence. We don’t hold fast in order to retain our salvation, but as proof that we have been genuinely saved. Faith is the root of salvation; endurance is the fruit.” (2)
Nevertheless, we should also consider a far more sobering aspect of these verses…
“We as believers need to beware of the deceitfulness of sin. We can actually come to the place where we feel our lives are satisfactory to God although we are leading a wilderness life… I know men in the ministry who have been totally dishonest; they have been found to be liars, yet they can get down on their knees and pray the most pious prayers I’ve ever heard. And their conscience does not condemn them. Of course it doesn’t condemn them, because it has become hardened; they are permitting sin in their lives.” (3)
(1) Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. “Commentary on Hebrews 3”. “Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible”. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfb/hebrews-3.html. 1871-8.
(2) William Macdonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary Edited by Arthur Farstad Thomas Nelson Publishers p.2166
(3) J. Vernon McGee, Thru The Bible with J. Vernon McGee, Hebrews 3:7-19 The Peril Of Doubting, Copyright 1981 by J. Vernon McGee