When I first started getting in to weight lifting I remember my hands had not yet developed callous' and they were very sensitive to the grooves in the bar for a while. Then after a short period of time I wouldn't notice the pain in my hands any more. Then after a while I had developed very hard callous' and nothing hurt my hands. The callous' were so hard and developed that I figured they would never go away; but now that I don't workout much any more my hands have softened and the callous are almost untraceable.
A couple days ago we established some analogies to help us get our mind around how God is Just and Loving. We also looked at the different ways God communicates with His creation. He sends us Angels, Prophets, Evangelists, preachers, dreams, visions, “coincidences”, etc.; He is constantly speaking to His creation through the Holy Spirit as well. His creation points to Him.
I remember one of the first times God spoke to me was through a 10 year old. I had recently fell prey to the “health, wealth and prosperity gospel” when a customer invited me to a Christmas play her church was presenting. Their church meetings were held at a local school and that is where the play would be showing so I decided to go. Around the end of the play a little girl came on stage and started singing, “every time I see a candy cane, hanging on a tree, it reminds me of the One who died, and gave His life for me.”
I never forgot that song or the performance. I wish I could say I got saved right then, but I wasn't; sin was too precious to me to give it up. So I went on for quite a while pretending to be a Christian. I even spoke like a Christian sometimes. I even preached Jesus in the bars sometimes.
I praise God everyday that He didn't give me over to my sin. He has every right to give you over to your sin, and He makes that clear in Romans 1
Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
Just like a barbell slowly hardened my hands, sin slowly hardens our heart. Every time we hear the Gospel and refuse to respond, our heart is hardened a little bit more. Every time the Holy Spirit prompts us in some way and we ignore Him, our heart is hardened a little more. Every time we hear about Jesus something happens to our heart, it either softens, or hardens.
Paul warns of this TWICE in the 3rd chapter of Hebrews. Within 8 verses he warns of hardening our heart:
Hebrews 3:7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: "TODAY, IF YOU WILL HEAR HIS VOICE, 8 DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS IN THE REBELLION, IN THE DAY OF TRIAL IN THE WILDERNESS,
Hebrews 3:14-15 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, 15 while it is said: "TODAY, IF YOU WILL HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS IN THE REBELLION."
Many of us have heard the phrase, “God loves the sinner and hates the sin.” That's not true. God is angry with unbelievers everyday, He is angry with the disobedient everyday. He “swears in His Wrath, they shall NEVER enter His rest””
Hebrews 3:10-11 THEREFORE I WAS ANGRY WITH THAT GENERATION, AND SAID, 'THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART, AND THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN MY WAYS.' 11 SO I SWORE IN MY WRATH, 'THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.' "
Hebrews 3:18-19 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.