Hardness of Heart

February 12, 2014

Do you suffer from bitterness, anger, or callousness?

In hard times, many fall prey to the temptation to become cold, hard, or indifferent. This is a very dangerous place. You tend to lash out at others, hate yourself, and push those you care about away. In the New Testament, the Greek word “pōrōsis” is used three times, and describes this issue.

Pōrōsis means “stupidity or callousness”, “blindness”, or “hardness”. Take a look at these two passages:

And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.
Mark 3:5

And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.
Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.
For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?
For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
Romans 11:17-25

You see, if it weren’t for the blindness of Israel, the Gentiles (non-Jewish people) wouldn’t have had a chance. But because Israel allowed their hearts to be hardened, God allowed the Gentiles to be grafted in. God allowed them to be saved, and to become a part of his kingdom.

Ephesians chapter 4 talks about the believer’s walk, the body of Christ (the Church), and gifts that are given to different members of the church (local assembly). It describes how those gifts work together for the perfecting of the saints. And after Paul finishes describing all of this, we come to verse 17 and 18:

 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
Ephesians 4:17-18

So after God describes the gifts and how believers are to use them, he commands them not to walk as unbelievers. These unbelievers are ignorant, as the Greek word above indicates. Think about it, what kind of a person hears the awe of the gospel, and yet rejects Christ?

And God tells believers not to be like that. Not to be ignorant, blind, or have a hard heart. So why do believers keep chasing the things that the Gentiles chase?

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
Matthew 6:31-32

The gentiles seek after things of this world, things that don’t last.

From men which are thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes.
Psalm 17:14

But believers get caught up in it, and justify ourselves, that they are working for their families, and providing for them. And that’s not a bad thing, a man should provide for his family, but God calls believers to more than this, and promises to provide for them.

And if Christians aren’t careful, they can end up with a seared conscience, and greatly err from the truth.

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
I Timothy 4:1-2

So not only does that person end up not serving the Lord where he would have them to serve, they end up in false doctrine, lies and hypocrisy, and their conscience seared.

So where are you at? Have you turned a blind eye to the truth of God’s word?

I hope that you have not…because walking with Christ is the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me.

What about you?

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