Big Apple Chapel is a New Testament based church in New York City, modeled after the pattern of the early church, with a strong emphasis on following Christ as a community of His disciples.

  • Sunday - 10:30 am
  • 520 8th Ave, 16th floor
    New York, NY
  • phone: +1 (973) 837-1041


BAC Sermons

Hold on to Your Hats and Tickets

1999-01-01 Hebrews 3:14-19

12  Take heed, 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 To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin

14  For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end; 15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. 16  For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. 17  But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 18  And to whom swore he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19  So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.

Exhortation by the Body is God’s provision to prevent us from being deceived by Satan’s triple-hooked lure of power (security & significance), pleasure, and possessions into departing from an abiding dependent relationship with the true living God, to liaison of convenience with a pretend god of our own making, thus missing out on God’s plan and prize.

I. Partaking is Conditional

A. Partaking is not forgiveness nor justification, but sharing (see v. 6). (Parallels Israel being saved from Egypt) (see Rom 8:17)

Ex 14:30-31  Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. 31  And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses.

B. Partaking is sharing in Christ’s house who’s revealed as the glorious future ruler of the world to come (parallels Is. enjoying the Promised Land).

1 Cor 10:1  brethren... not  be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 were all baptized...3  And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4  And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 5  But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things were our examples...

II. The Conditions of Sharing with Christ are:

A. Keeping the beginning of our confidence unwavering to the end  (balance beam)

1. Confidence begins with a trust that God is who He said He is and will do what He said He will do.{Heb 11:6)

2. Confidence is built through repeated and progressive risky steps of trust

3. Confidence is maintained through a clear conscience, moral excellence

B. Not hardening our heart (a hardened criminal no longer fears)

1. Hardening/callousness occurs when fail to stay under God’s protection, ignore little promptings, and deaden our nerves.

2. Hardening manifests itself in not seeking God for our needs nor the needs of others

3. Concern for others, keeps our heart sensitive to God, asking Him for wisdom and dependently offering ourselves to meet the needs of others. Ignoring the needs of others, is a sign that our ears are closed to the voice of God and of our unwillingness to be used by Him.

III. The Consequence of Hardening/provoking = Getting God mad; Sinning

A. Temporal wrath

We experience the natural and unmitigated consequences of our actions, as well as direct discipline of God (Acts 5; I Cor 10:30-32)

Others are hurt by our disobedience. (Their children spent forty unprofitable years in the wilderness.)

B. Future loss, missing out: We forfeit God’s best for our lives. (God swore that they would not enter into His rest).

The Christian who falls into a pattern of unbelief will eventually depart from the Living God. This doesn’t mean loss of justification or necessarily falling into a life of gross sin, but rather abandoning an abiding relationship with God who alone satisfies our every need, to instead live by our own wits in dependence upon our own finite abilities, and a soft fuzzy plush creature we call god..

IV. The Cause is Unbelief

We provoke God and eventually pay the penalty when we doubt His ability to provide for our needs and keep His word/promises.

We doubt God when we fail to fail to respond to His Revelation (Person, past acts, promises) keeping it fresh and in focus.

Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:

1. What beliefs/expectations does someone have when they first trust Christ? How and why do those beliefs change? Corrective?

2. Why do people equate sharing in Christ’s rule with getting one’s sins forgiven? Is Christ ruling over our world now?

3. If someone doesn’t obey, do they really believe? Can real believers doubt, disobey, rebel, or depart from the living God?

4. What are some of the early warning signs that someone is getting a hard heart? How does a heart get softened?

5. In what areas are you tempted to not believe God? What would be the consequences of trusting rather than doing it yourself?