The End of the Journey Series:
Hardness of Heart or Faith
(Hebrews 3:7-19, Page 1872)
I love to go to a park by the beach to read the Bible with friends and pray with them. As I sit in the pavilion, I have many opportunities to meet people at the beach. I meet people from all over the world. Some folks live nearby, and others have come from foreign lands, with very different cultures and religions. Some of them visit the beach on vacation, while others come every day. As I talk with people, many of them tell me they are on a spiritual journey, seeking spiritual life. In this series from the Bible, we will see that Jesus provides the end of the spiritual journey, because He alone is the way, the truth and life. Jesus promised that everyone who comes to Him will never be disappointed or need to journey further.
The Hardened Heart
I love to read the Bible with people. When people begin to read the Bible for themselves, especially when they have someone to explain the text to them, they often start to learn more about God by hearing God talk directly to them from the pages of the Bible. Why does this happen? Jesus said that He would draw all men to Himself. 1In John 12:32, page 1681, Jesus said that He would draw all men to Himself, if He were lifted up. Jesus meant that He was going to be crucified, and give His life a ransom for all men (John 12:33, page 1681). In Hebrews 3:7, page 1872, we read about people who hear the voice of Holy Spirit.
Are you hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit today? When you are on the journey, you should realize that the Holy Spirit speaks directly to the hearts of people on the journey. The only question will be: “Will you listen to the Holy Spirit speaking to you today?” In Hebrews 3:7, page 1872, we learn from God that the Holy Spirit is speaking to people just like you on the journey. The Holy Spirit is speaking to your today about your journey. Well, what is the Holy Spirit saying today?
The Holy Spirit warns everyone today about hardness of heart. Specifically, the Holy Spirit speaks to everyone on the journey seeking spiritual life about the threat of unbelief. The Holy Spirit warns you today that you may harden your own heart against finding spiritual life. Notice that you harden your own heart. You are fully responsible for your own spiritual decisions that harden your heart. You cannot blame anyone else. But, what does it mean to have a hard spiritual heart?
In the Book of Exodus, God delivered the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt. He took them into the wilderness and then over to the borders of the promised land. At that border, they sent twelve spies into the land. Ten of the spies returned and told the people of Israel that giants lived in the promised land, dwelling in giant cities protected by giant walls. Ten of the spies caused the people of Israel to lose faith in God and their hearts melted within them. Two of the spies, however, named Joshua and Caleb, told the people of Israel that God would overpower all the giants, crush all the walls, and bring victory. The people rejected the plan of God and hardened their hearts against God’s plan. God intended for them to end their spiritual journey by following His voice into the promised land. Instead, they disregarded the voice of God, hardened their hearts, and wandered in the wilderness for forty years. Notice that God said those people tested God. Testing God means that you command God to do things your way, at your command. In other words, when you act selfishly with God, He will remain true and faithful to Himself, and show you that testing God brings trouble to your life. In this case, the people continued to wander in the wilderness for forty years after God turned them away from entering the promised land. In essence, God said, you do not believe I am powerful enough to deal with giants in the promised land? O.k., then I will show you my power in the wilderness for forty years. Plus, every man over twenty years old will die out here in the wilderness for their unbelief in the power of God. Hardness of heart means that you refused to listen to the voice of God leading you to trust Him and His power. Do you really want to continue to wander in the wilderness today? God gets angry with people who do not listen to His voice.
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|1.||↑||In John 12:32, page 1681, Jesus said that He would draw all men to Himself, if He were lifted up. Jesus meant that He was going to be crucified, and give His life a ransom for all men (John 12:33, page 1681).|