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Harden Not Your Hearts

February 19, 2017

God has mercy to the obedient and faithful-- those who love Him and seek to follow His teachings and ways. To the hard-hearted  -- those who resist Him and His teachings and abhor His ways -- He has contempt and punishment. Thus, the call for we humans to "harden not our hearts" against Him. - Bernie Parsons


Harden Not Your Hearts

a sermon by Bernie Parsons


Presented to Globe church of Christ on 02-19-2017

Presented to Load church of Christ on 02-26-2017


Some people who profess Christianity have adopted the erroneous idea that God is going to save everyone. Others feel that God will save any person who does good deeds. Still others believe that God will save them simply because that have joined some religious body and follow its teachings.


All of these concepts of eternal salvation reject the truth that God has set forth. They miss the entire point behind Christianity and eternal salvation.


Jesus gave us the first clues with what He and John the baptizer taught as they traveled.


Matthew 3:1 "In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,

2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."


Matthew 4:17 "From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."


The two clues are: repent, or turn to God for direction; and, the kingdom of heaven is near.


The idea of repentance conveys the truth of turning away from following the desires of the body and self, to following the teachings of God. You listen, you learn and you obey. “Repent” comes from a Greek word, metanoéō (met-an-o-eh'-o), a compound word with the basic meaning of thinking deeply afterward. In the case of the gospel, it means thinking deeply about the gospel message, with the resultant turning away from sin to observing the law of God.

You can’t just hear God speaking, you have to act upon what He says.


Luke 6:49 "But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great."


James 4:17 "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."


John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

John 15:10 "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love."

The scriptures plainly show that individuals, groups and nations who fail to keep God’s commandments suffer dire consequences.


God rebuked Israel and Judah for this common fault.


Deuteronomy 11:26 "Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;

27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day:

28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known."


Exodus 23:20 "Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.

21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him.

22 But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries."

Jeremiah 25:7 "Yet ye have not hearkened unto me, saith the LORD; that ye might provoke me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt.

8 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Because ye have not heard my words,"

Jeremiah 35:17 "Therefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them: because I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and I have called unto them, but they have not answered."


Those who refuse to hear God - or those who hear, but harden their hearts against His word, His commandments and laws, and will not obey them - call down the wrath of God upon themselves.


King Saul lost his kingship because of his stubbornness and disobedience against God.

1 Samuel 15:23 "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king."


God’s attitude toward the stubborn and rebellious is clear: He has no sympathy or use for them.


Matthew 15:14 "Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."

Matthew 10:14 "And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city."

If you will not listen to God, or follow someone besides God, He washes His hands of you. He is under no obligation to save your soul if you have no interest in Him and His goals.


When a person hardens their heart, they put themselves into a dangerous situation.


Hebrews 3:7 "Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,

8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.

10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.

11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)

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."


The provocation was when the Israelites refused to enter the land of Canaan – the promised land – when God told them to do so. As a result, He refused entry to the older generation. This is the provocation mentioned in Hebrews chapter 3.

Numbers 32:10 "And the LORD'S anger was kindled the same time, and he sware, saying,

11 Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me:

12 Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun: for they have wholly followed the LORD.

13 And the LORD'S anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation, that had done evil in the sight of the LORD, was consumed."

We must all take care not to harden our hearts against God, else He will reject us.

2 Thessalonians 2:10 “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

The scriptures are clear, in both Old and New Testament writings, that God has no use for those who will not seek Him and hear Him.



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