Urgency In Forsaking Sin

by Douglas Hoff


The Bible is full of many valuable lessons.  A study of God’s word shows sin is dangerous, deceptive and destructive.  That is why it is important to quickly leave Satan’s snare (1 Timothy 3:7; 2 Timothy 2:26).  The longer a soul remains trapped in sin, the harder it is to get free of its hold.  Wise people will recognize this and do their best to avoid sin in the first place.  When a person has sinned he should exercise urgency in forsaking it for his soul’s sake.

The generation of Israelites that forsook Egypt and followed Moses through the wilderness reveals the true nature of sin.  They had heard the voice of God at Mt. Sinai and promised to obey (Exodus 19:8; Deuteronomy 5:22-29).  However, with few exceptions, they did not.  The writer of Hebrews said this about them:


(Hebrews 3:7-13; NKJV) Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice, {8} Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, {9} Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, And saw My works forty years. {1 0} Therefore I was angry with that generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they have not known My ways.’ {11} So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.” {12} Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; {13} but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”


Notice that unbelief is called evil.  It leads one to depart from God.  The cure for unbelief is exhortation using God’s word.  The exhortations need to be frequent (even daily).  The time for such reminders and encouragement is NOW — not tomorrow or the next day.  Tomorrow may not come (Proverbs 27:1).  When listening to God’s word one must choose to obey or he will disobey and harden his heart.

Sin is deceptive and hardens one’s heart to the outcome.  Sin says, “There’s no hurry!”  However, staying in sin makes it harder to leave (Proverbs 28:14; 29:1).  It is truly amazing how often man will justify his sin.  At first he may admit it is wrong but thinks it is not too bad.  In fact, the sinner often thinks he can “manage” his sin.  What a lie!  At that point, one has engaged in self deception and is on the way to being thoroughly ensnared by Satan.  Choosing to remain in sin can dull the senses to the soul’s destruction.  When the heart becomes hardened it no longer feels the pangs of a tender conscience.  This is why it is so dangerous to play with sin.  Eventually, one’s conscience may be seared (1 Timothy 4:1,2).  Searing living tissue kills the nerves so that there is no more pain felt.  With no pain there is no incentive to repent because everything seems fine.  In the scriptures hardness of heart is linked with impenitence (e.g., Romans 2:5).  Such souls are said to be “treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.”  Indeed, this is a terrible condition to be in.

Not surprisingly, Jesus had a lot to say about hardness of heart.  On one occasion the Lord was both angered and grieved by the hardness of hearts among the people (Mark 3:5).  Even the disciples suffered from this problem. This in turn led them not to understand a spiritual point Jesus was making (Mark 6:52; 8:17).  After the resurrection the Lord rebuked the eleven for their hardness of heart because they did not believe those who had seen him after he had risen (Mark 16:14).

Sadly, the hard hearted won’t enter God’s promised rest (heaven) because of sin and unbelief (Hebrews 4:7-9).  Brethren, take heed to yourselves. If you are in sin right now, get out while you still have time.


Douglas Hoff, preacher

Flat Rock Church of Christ

(734) 782-2886 [

P.O. Box 12

Flat Rock, Ml 481 34-0012


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