See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.
Hebrews 3:12 NIV
Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
Hebrews 3:12 KJV
Watch out, brothers, lest there be in some of you an evil, unbelieving heart, with the result that you fall away from the living God.
Hebrews 3:12 LEB
Today we go a little deeper into chapter three the verse immediately following those from yesterday. There are three different versions given today as well of Hebrews 3:12 with the NIV stating a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God, the KJV stating an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God, and the LEB (Lexham English Bible) stating an evil unbelieving heart, with the result that you fall away from the living God. All three speak of an unbelieving heart that is either evil or sinful and all speak of turning away from or departing from or falling away from the living God.
The LEB as in the KJV italicizes what it adds for clarity or understanding. All three have the idea that a sinful or evil heart is not enough to turn you away from the living God, but there must also be a heart of unbelief or an unbelieving heart. Why is this? Perhaps because if one has a believing heart, there is always the possibility of that belief causing one to turn to God in repentance. Without a believing heart why would one ever repent? There would be no reason to do so. Thus the LEB states the result of an evil unbelieving heart would be a falling away from the living God.
Something to keep in mind though, is that sin in your life will lead you towards unbelief. Sin, in and of itself, is rebellion against a Holy God and an act of pride and arrogance where we believe we know better than God what our actions should be. With that much pride and arrogance what need is there for God? Thus when we find sin in our lives, we must address it as sin, repent of it, and ask for God’s forgiveness. Otherwise we risk our pride and arrogance growing to dangerous levels.
So concerned is the writer of Hebrews he gives advice on how to avoid becoming hardened by one’s sins and then repeats verses 7 and 8a from yesterday, writing:
13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. 15 As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”
As usual it is our choice. Each of has to make a choice, but we cannot say we were not warned … and the consequences of our choice are eternal.