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"Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin"(Hebrews 3:12-13).
This is both a warning and exhortation to Christians. To become "hardened" is to become morally wrong and stubborn. It signifies an unwillingness to listen to instruction, especially instruction which comes from God’s Word. The word "deceitful" means "that which gives a false impression, whether by appearance, statement, or influence."The Hebrew writer is, therefore, warning Christians lest they become morally unwilling to listen to God at all. This would be because of the deceitful appearances and impressions of sin.
All should prayerfully and seriously consider the deceitfulness of sin. It (sin) is deceitful because it wears a mask; it appears to be other than what it actually is.

History is full with instances of kings making alliances with other kings believing they could make the other their servant. Often the reverse was true. Young men take up the habit of strong drink or narcotics believing they could make such habits their servants to bring them happiness. Instead their habits became their masters. Men look at a life of sin thinking they can make it their servant. Sin is always the master of those who engage in it. Paul alluded to this in Romans 6:17.

Sin promises more than it can give. It discounts what it actually does give. The serpent put a deceptive mask on sin for Adam and Eve to see, "Ye shall be as gods..." When Eve looked at the tree, she saw it as one "to be desired to make one wise" (Genesis 3:1-6). This mask (sin) discounted what sin actually does bring. God said they were not to eat of the fruit and if they did they would die (Genesis 3:3). Satan deceptively said they would not die. We all know what happened to them. Man and yes, even some Christians fail to see that sin is sometimes packaged as being "attractive" and "advantageous."

"There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 16:25). It is easy to think one is in the way of life when he/she is in the way of death. Many think they have been saved by "faith only." James 2:24 doesn’t teach such. Some Christians seem to think they are pleasing to the Lord even when they are "nauseating" to Him (Revelation 3:15-17). Sin wears the mask of being right and says, "Come live this way; study God’s Word very little if any, etc." It is easy to believe a lie if one wishes to do so (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12).
It is obvious these three things aren’t the only three masks that sin wears. Yet, if we will allow these three things about sin sink into our hearts, we can know that all sin will wear some type of a mask. Surely we don’t believe that Satan would make sin take on the impression of destructiveness. He will do all he can to make sin look inviting and justified if we do it.

By Jimmy Young

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