Hardening of the Heart



Hebrews 3:

7So, as the Holy Spirit says:
   "Today, if you hear his voice,
        8do not harden your hearts
   as you did in the rebellion,
       during the time of testing in the desert,
    9where your fathers tested and tried me
       and for forty years saw what I did.
    10That is why I was angry with that generation,
       and I said, 'Their hearts are always going astray,
       and they have not known my ways.'
    11So I declared on oath in my anger,
       'They shall never enter my rest.' "[1]
12See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. 14We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.



The Holy Spirit just told you above in Hebrews 3:7 “Today, if you hear his voice”.  You have heard His voice.  What are you going to do about it today?  The Holy Spirit gives you 2 options listed below, you could either (1) harden your heart, or (2) come to share in Christ.


1)       Harden your heart (Heb 3:8).


2 Corinthians 6
1As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. 2For he says,
   "In the time of my favor I heard you,
       and in the day of salvation I helped you."[1] I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation.


Acts 5

31God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.


If you feel like you should repent, then now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation for you.  Do not harden your heart against God’s granting you the gift of repentance.  You are not promised another chance after you turn from His voice. 


John 6
44"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. 45It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.'[1] Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me.


He is not going to bother you if you do not want to be bothered.  He will not violate your will.  However, the feeling of godly sorrow that leads to repentance is not guaranteed to return to you if you spurn His grace.  Do not receive his grace in vain.



2)       Come to Share in Christ (verse 14).  To do this, read this gospel with a will to obey it.



(Note:  If you read this far, God is showing you His grace, because few would read this much scripture.)



A good heart


Luke 8
14The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.




The day of repentance


Time sensitive offer

If you are considering it, you should count the cost and be born again.  Here is why:


John 12:35-36

35         Then Jesus told them, "You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going.

36         Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light."  (NIV)


Luke 9:59-62

59         He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."

60         Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."

61         Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family."

62         Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."  (NIV)


Luke 14:16-24

16         Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests.

17         At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.'

18         "But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, 'I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.'

19         "Another said, 'I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.'

20         "Still another said, 'I just got married, so I can't come.'

21         "The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.'

22         "'Sir,' the servant said, 'what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.'

23         "Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.

24         I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.'"  (NIV)


John 12:35-41 GNB  Jesus answered, "The light will be among you a little longer. Continue on your way while you have the light, so that the darkness will not come upon you; for the one who walks in the dark does not know where he is going.  (36)  Believe in the light, then, while you have it, so that you will be the people of the light." After Jesus said this, he went off and hid himself from them.  (37)  Even though he had performed all these miracles in their presence, they did not believe in him,  (38)  so that what the prophet Isaiah had said might come true: "Lord, who believed the message we told? To whom did the Lord reveal his power?"  (39)  And so they were not able to believe, because Isaiah also said,  (40)  "God has blinded their eyes and closed their minds, so that their eyes would not see, and their minds would not understand, and they would not turn to me, says God, for me to heal them."  (41)  Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus' glory and spoke about him.


So these passages indicate that your response to the Lord’s call to be born-again is a time-sensitive offer.  Why would God blind those who initially rejected his offer? 



Rejecting Him

Perhaps it is because he won’t push himself into anyone’s life.


Genesis 6:3
Then the LORD said, "My Spirit will not contend with [ 6:3 Or [ My spirit will not remain in ] ] man forever, for he is mortal [ 6:3 Or [ corrupt ] ] ; his days will be a hundred and twenty years."  (NIV)


Genesis 6:3 (KJV)
3   And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.


If they reject Him, He’ll just step back.  They must invite Him in:


Revelation 3
19Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 21To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.


Verse 20 intimates that any time is good to come to the Lord. That is true.  There is no wrong time to be born again in the sense that God will turn you away if you approach Him at the wrong time. 


John 6:37
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.
(Whole Chapter: John 6 In context: John 6:36-38)



The day of salvation

The problem is that you may not seek Him later, after you are given over to the spiritual blindness of a hard heart.  The scriptures above warn against the hardening of your heart that can occur if you delay the right response to God’s invitation through Christ (John 12:40).


Hebrews 4:7
Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts."[ 4:7 Psalm 95:7,8] (NIV)


Hebrews 3:12

See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. 14We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.  (NIV)


2 Cor 6:1-2

1          As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain.

2          For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation.  (NIV)



Thief in the night

So, if you want to come to the Lord on His terms, you can be guaranteed that He will accept you.  However, you cannot decide to procrastinate that decision and still be guaranteed another opportunity.  This is not only for the reasons cited above, but also because Jesus could return at any time—and then it will be too late for anyone in the world to repent.


2 Pet 3:10

10         But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.  (NIV)


If you are not born again, or ‘sons of light’, you will not see it coming either:


1 Thessalonians 5
3While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
4But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.


Revelation 3
2Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. 3Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. 4Yet you have a few people in
Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy..  (NIV)


I hope you are worthy of Gospel.  Thanks for reading this either way.


Luke 12

The Parable of the Rich Fool
13Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with
14Jesus replied, "Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?" 15Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
16And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.'
18"Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." '
20"But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'
21"This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."



For more on this issue, read a brief document called “When to repent”.  You can press the back button in your browser to return to the referring page.


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