Saturday, January 8, 2011

The hardened heart of sin

Acts 7:51 “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!"

Hebrews 3: 12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 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.”

Yesterday I put a few quotes from a sermon I had been listening to by David Wilkerson, titled "Continue in Sin?" It's really convicted me to write some about it and even as it was playing I kept up some notes. What I'm posting is not a copy or something lifted. But merely what the Holy Spirit has put on my heart. Some of it may be in the sermon which is why I am referencing it just in case I do happen to end up lining up with it as to not present it as my work, but as what the Holy Spirit has designated me to write.

Before I even start, please let me say that I believe that there is but one way you can lose your salvation and that is by personal apostasy. What that means is you give up your salvation and turn from God. I know this very thing, eternal security, is used by the devil to tear a church apart so I'm not debating this. What I am saying is that I'm not actually talking about going to Heaven but of discipleship and sanctification.

We are all in danger of hardening our hearts to the Holy Spirit. Let me explain. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to come into our hearts and convict us of sin in our lives so that we can begin the process of becoming a pure bride for Him. He was sent to direct us and lead us to the throne for our bride. Acts 7 which I posted above really describes the human condition. We are a stiff necked people. Why? We want to hold on to our sin. Sin feels good in our bodies because we were born sinful. There used to be a saying that went 'If it feels good, do it' and of course there is no use for a quote like that today because it would read 'It felt good and I did it'. See, we've taken the very idea of even sin and pushed it from our whole society.

Here we are in our sinful condition, being stiff necked. The last thing on Earth that we want is for anything to come and convict us from our pet sins. Why do you think that there are whole Bible translations now that omit anything saying that homosexuality is a sin? People who are doing it don't want to hear it! It's a very steep slope we get on when we start to omit sections of the Bible we're uncomfortable with. If I were divorced and remarried then I wouldn't like the part where you commit adultery if you remarry. But who are we to ignore this? Does it mean that there is no forgiveness to it? NO! There is forgiveness to every sin except blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. But you must truly repent for it to be forgiven.

Only after true repentance can your sin be forgiven. This is the true danger of a hardened heart toward the Holy Spirit. When you harden your heart and decide that you won't listen to the Holy Spirit convicting you and you continue your sin, what you are doing is hiding this sin. These revolving sins, ones you keep doing over and over and over.... What you're doing is hardening your heart around this sin. You are protecting it for your personal use. Every time you do it the sin becomes easier and less sinful to you. Tell me then, how can you be truly repentant and yet hold a sin protected in a hardened heart? Every time you do this the Holy Spirit works tirelessly to get you to let it go and melt your heart so that you can be forgiven. This is where the true danger lies.

God hates sin and sin hates God. Your revolving sin will push you from Christ's salvation. You see it all the time, even in pastors. It's not the sin that damns you, but the sin that's driving your heart away. It may be a month or 20 years later, but sooner or later the Holy Spirit will give a 'Last Call'. If your heart is not with the Lord then you will be at the Great White Seat of Judgment. It really is playing Russian Roulette by hardening sin in your heart. So what if you don't want to hear about it, God's law is God's law. I can hear it now... but this is the new Covenant....

Jeremiah 31:
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the LORD.
“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.

The purpose of God's law is to expose our sin. How does he write the law in our hearts? By using the Holy Spirit to convict us. The reason we're not subject to the written law anymore is because we're subject to a much more detailed, harder law of the living law. It's one that is constantly being written by the Holy Spirit in our lives. Designed to make us purer and open our hearts more to his commands. It's to have us broken before a loving God. Transformed to a better bride for our Lord.

Do not justify your sin. How many times have you heard... I was born gay? Or, it's just my nature. There is never justification for sin. It doesn't matter where you are from or your circumstances. If the Holy Spirit convicts you of it, you better repent of it. NOW. Sometimes we ignore the Spirit and decide that everything is ok because you have your fingers in your ears and can't hear anything. But in the end if you are justifying it, then it's sin because there has been a conviction. Remember, the object is to soften our hearts to be able to repent of our transgressions.

So I talked about the ultimate danger of hardened heart sin which is apostasy (turning your back and renouncing your citizenship in Heaven). Now I want to bring up something else that can happen. It's not as bad because you don't renounce your citizenship in Heaven, you still are going. But you're going useless to God and Heaven.

Want your Spiritual life to grow? Truly repent. When we harden our hearts it becomes a road block to the Spirit to work in our lives. There is a time when God will lift his Spirit from us and let us wander without his guidance. Want an example? Look at 1 Samuel and King Saul. God was heart broken over having to relieve Saul of the Holy Spirit. Yet, Saul had hardened his heart and through this became useless to God. Is that the way you want to slide into Heaven? Useless? Trust me, I know personally this. For probably 30 years I had unconfessed sin that I had hardened my heart around. I justified it by different excuses. Excuses that were truly not my fault. Yet, there it was. A roadblock in my Spiritual life. It wasn't until I was eagerly seeking the Holy Spirit that I let this sin go to God. It wasn't until I was hungrier for God than this sin that he baptized me with his Holy Spirit to do a good work in me. It wasn't till I truly repented that this sin was forgiven and released from me.

Do not look to the world to condemn your sin. The world has made it so everything is hunky dorey. Everything is accepted. Maybe you are stumbling just because you can't accept the Holy Spirit's designation of something as sinful. Maybe it's something you consider dumb and not worthy of worry. However God doesn't consider it dumb and unworthy of worry. God wants the best bride for his Son. God wants you striving and continually regarding your hearts for him. He wants to use you for His Kingdom. He wants you in the game and not under the bleachers picking your boogers.

The only hardened heart we need is around God's word. Everything else needs to be open to the Holy Spirit to work. Your sin WILL be judged. There is no way out of God's judgment. It can either be judged under the blood of the Lamb or separate from it. Truly repent. Make your life a work for God. Don't hide, there's no where to run. Worry if you don't feel conviction for your sin. Don't try to fool God, it only makes him angry. Our heart is what matters, not speech or actions, but the heart. You confess your sins to God himself, not to a minister in a box. Confession does not mean exposure to the world, but exposure to God. Sometimes God will choose to expose a sin you have hardened your heart against just to get you to repent. Exposure and embarrassment doesn't mean repentance. Accepting man's penalty isn't repenting and exposing your sin to God. Only through being broken before God can you come to repentance. If this has convicted you then please don't let a second go by without touching Jesus' garment. Eliminate the stronghold that Satan accuses you from and become a work of God Almighty. Today.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, this post really helped me today. I needed to read this clear and inexcusable truth. All my life from early puberty up to now I have had an exchange with homosexuality and Christianity. What I mean is, there has been a battle between the two. I am a Christian, yet from my past indulgences in pornography and life experiences I constantly am drawn to cheap, superficial fantasies and porn again and again.... I literally feel my heart being hardened each time, and I feel as if I mock God by superficial repentance. I lose the view of what true repentance is--Am I repenting just so I don't feel guilty? Am I repenting just so I can go out to the theater or wherever tonight and feel ok? Am I repenting just for my own righteousness' sake? But that's not real repentance, is it? I must repent to God and surrender to His lordship in this way and ask for His cleansing, yet I feel just so weak and useless sometimes that I literally don't feel worthy to come to Him.... But that's just it, isn't it?! I'm NOT worthy! But this unworthiness I feel sometimes makes me so down that I just can't "drag" myself to my knees to speak to God...
    I know our God is full of mercy and compassion and that His love never fails. But my heart fails and I fear my love is growing cold. If you would, please pray for me. I don't know how much longer this apparent hardness will last.