The topic that I am about to cover in this article is one that I do not hear spoken about very often, and that is the subject of Christians exhorting one another. In Hebrews 3:13, we are told, “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” This verse means that Christians are to encourage other Christians to talk about spiritual things among themselves as well as to speak of spiritual things to non-Christians. It is so often the case that Christians will be around one another and talk about everything under the sun except anything to do with spiritual matters. What does Hebrews 3:13 say about this?
First off, the writer of Hebrews says that we are to “exhort one another daily, while it is called To day.” What does this mean? This means that Christians are to encourage one another by talking about spiritual things (i.e. God, Jesus, the Bible, the church, saving the lost, etc.) EVERY DAY! By every day, this means that we should have spiritual matters on our minds so much that we have to talk about them every day to not only other Christians, but to non-Christians as well. We should feel compelled to teach others how to be saved through the teachings of the Bible, because the Bible is God’s Word, and the final authority! “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (II Timothy 3:16).
Why should we talk of spiritual things EVERY DAY to both Christians and non-Christians? One reason is that, if Christians are encouraged to keep their minds on God, they may be tempted to focus too much on the temporary things of this world, and as a result, become spiritually weak. Those who have become spiritually weak have had their hearts hardened by the “deceitfulness of sin” as Hebrews 3:13 later says. Those Christians who have had their hearts hardened against sin must be rebuked in a loving way so that they can get their priorities back on track. As Christians, we can always benefit greatly from the positive influence of other faithful Christians by talking about the various aspects of the Christian life.
Another reason why we should discuss spiritual matters every day is to help non-Christians learn how to be faithful Christians. It is not just the preacher’s job to teach and preach God’s Word, to both Christians and non-Christians, it is every Christian’s job to do so! “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23). Christians need to be around other Christians and need to talk about spiritual things every day. These talks can take place anywhere; at work, at school, at home, while shopping, on social media, on blogs/websites, by letter, by phone, etc. We should always take the opportunity to talk about God’s Word whenever possible!
It is amazing to see how some Christians who are not used to talking about spiritual matters on a daily basis will sometimes act less spiritually minded than non-Christians! An example of this took place the other day when I was talking to a long-time Christian and member of the church of Christ about two non-Christians who were said to have been working all day and night at their secular jobs and building things. I had told the Christian that the non-Christians should put their focus on being converted to Christ rather than on the temporary things of this world and that she would be a great source of encouragement to them to do so. This Christian lady was surprised that I had even brought up the fact that these two non-Christians needed to be converted. It appeared that, although this lady attends worship services of the church of Christ regularly, she was not used to thinking about their lost spiritual state, but rather was focused on the worldly things that they were doing.
This is a common occurrence among Christians, and that is why the penman of Hebrews speaks against it. Many Christians place more focus on the temporary things of this world such as obtaining material possessions, having secular careers, being “people pleasers”, and so on. They place less emphasis on worldly matters and less emphasis on talking to others about God and the life of a Christian. Christians should care enough about their own spiritual state and the spiritual state of others that they feel compelled to teach and speak about the Word of God daily to at least one person. By doing this, their hearts will be firmly planted in the Lord! “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).
Of course, Hebrews 3:13 does not mean that we cannot focus on the things of this world that are good, but we should try to make it a point to talk about God, Jesus, the Bible, and other spiritual matters every day. That way, we can keep our priorities straight, as well as be an encouragement to others! “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24). We must focus on spiritual matters first, and make that our priority. If God and spiritual matters are our main focus in life, this will be reflected in our actions and in our speech. “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:2). Our job as Christians is to help one another in our journey through life so that we may be with each other for eternity in Heaven. We also want to take as many souls with us to Heaven as well, so let us all make it a point to talk about spiritual subjects to at least one person every day! If we do this, that will help us get into the habit of keeping our hearts and minds on the Eternal God rather than this wicked world that will soon pass away!