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Warning: Do Not Harden Your Heart

• Greg Boyd

The Bible warns us against having our hearts hardened toward God. This warning goes out not only to non-believers but to Christians as well!

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1996 Overview: [Need to improve these in 1997]

1. We need to help believers with discipleship (going from point A to point Z in the Christian walk)

2. Community, and

3. Prayer

Hebrews, Ch 3 ? Hebrews 3 is a warning. We get together to proclaim the Word of God and joyousness is a by-product of that. We can’t just gear everything toward the “warm and fuzzy” feelings.

Hebrews 3:7-8 (NIV)

7So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts

as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert,

The author is warning the Hebrew Christians about backsliding toward Judaism and away from Christianity. “If God is moving you, do not harden your hearts..” Don’t have an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God – repent while there is still time.

Hebrews 3:14 (ISV)

14For we are Christ’s partners only if we hold on to our original confidence to the end.

The Israelites who were suppose to be most sold-out for God hardened their hearts so God didn’t allow them into Caan. Warning ? Hebrew Christians, this could happen to you!

So, what do believers need to be warned about? How does this apply to us?

What implications does this have for our earthly blessings and what implications does this have for our spiritual blessings?

1. This warning has implications for believers about their earthly blessing. God wanted to bless the Israelites and have them move out of the desert. Tragedy ? God wanted to work through the Israelites, but they hardened their hearts against Him.

It is possible to be a saved Christian but not be used of God in building His Kingdom and never seeing the glory of His Kingdom because you don’t have the passion, courage, or fearlessness for God to move through you in that way.

– God doesn’t save us just for “fire insurance” (so we won’t burn in Hell), but for reconciliation with Him. He wants to free us from all kinds of bondage. You can be saved and yet not walk in it because you are used to being your old fallen self. Chronically immature Christians who wander in the desert ? not being used to further the Kingdom.

So many believers are addicted to their “desert mentality” and miss out on the land of milk and honey. They are addicted to the status quo, not rocking the boat. Exercise an outrageous faith!

2. This warning has implications for believers about their Spiritual blessing. Don’t just think because you are saved, your behavior doesn’t matter anymore. Then, living for Jesus becomes optional, not fundamental. Warning ? What you do in this world can have consequences, even for a believer.

– Are our lives going to be spent wandering in the desert, chasing after things that won’t survive a moment past the grave?

What is consistent with the foundation and what is not? Do you build your life with materials that reflect Jesus or not? Are we living for God or for ourselves, the fleshly world?

– How does this teaching about the rewards of the believer relate to the teaching that we’re saved and perfected by God’s grace?

– We are called, most fundamentally, to be mirrors of God’s glory, but the capacity for how much of God’s love we reflect depends on how much we yield to God.

– Don’t harden your heart to God or you will miss out on the blessings. So, what is the life mission of your live? Is it Jesus?

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Focus Scripture:

  • Hebrews 3:7-8,14

    7 So, as the Holy Spirit says:
    “Today, if you hear his voice,

    8 do not harden your hearts
    as you did in the rebellion,
    during the time of testing in the wilderness, 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold firmly till the end our original conviction

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