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Summary: People have 1 of 4 heart conditions.

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Heart Conditioning God’s Way

Stand-Alone Sermon

July 3, 2005 FBC, Chester Mike Fogerson, Pastor

Introduction:

I In 1998, 459,841 people (or 1 out of 5 deaths) in America were attributed to coronary heart disease.

A The Lord has allowed the medical field to learn about the condition of CHD & repair.

a Take a vein out of the leg, bypass it around a clogged artery...it’s amazing.

b To watch that person have their heart intentionally stopped, worked on, restarted, and see that person come home a few days later.

B KJV: the English word "heart" is mentioned 830 x’s.

a Hebrew word is mentioned 840 x’s in the OT alone

b God’s word has a lot to say about the heart to say the least

C The Bible’s most common usage of "heart" is not the pumping muscle in the chest

a Center of our being, seat of reason, emotion, personality

b If our heart is in good spiritual condition...we’ll be a person of compassion, encouragement, cooperation, love.

c If our heart is in bad spiritual condition...uncompassionate, discouraging, divisive, and unloving person.

T.S. There are 4 conditions of the heart....

I A heart that is hard. So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. Eph 4:17-19 (NASB)

A 3 key words

1 Darkened (v. 18). May believe they’re enlightened, know scripture...reality is they’re in the dark.

2 Ignorance. The truth and the life go together!

• If you believe the truth, you have the life!

• Lost, hardened heart enslaves them to the evil one.

3 Callous. Lost all sensitivity, no longer responds to moral stimuli.

• Their heart is so atrophied that sin registers no stab of pain.

B The longer a heart is hardened, the less sensitive it becomes to the movement/leading of the Holy Spirit.

a When do you feel more conviction, the first time you commit a particular sin or the 100th?

b A lost person under conviction...never turn to God, may no longer feel conviction/leading of the Holy Spirit when the gospel is presented.

C Symptoms:

a Reject the preaching/teaching of the word (not for me)

b Uncompassionate outlook (Levite, Priest, Good Samaritan)

C Uncooperative spirit towards those who don’t do things "my way." (Pharisees towards Christ!)

II A heart that is rotten. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 "So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Matt 23:27-28 (NASB)

A The men Jesus was talking to were men who thought they had their lives together for God.

a Never touched any unclean thing, obeyed the Bible, full of pride!

b On the outside, their lives looked impeccable, on the inside, their lives were incredulous.

B Tombs in Israel (not to touch dead bodies)

a Whitewash tombs in case somebody accidently gets defiled (esp. during Passover time).

b They made the graves look clean, but filled with defilement, death on the inside.

c (IL) A man at a restaurant complained that his glass was dirty. No sir, your glass is clean, the water is dirty.

C Jesus promised, "Blessed are the pure in heart."

a D.L. Moody: "If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of itself."

b Pharisees lived for reputation, not character.

D Symptoms:

a More concerned with what people think than what God thinks

b One way at church, another way at home/work

c Never try to make your heart clean on the inside (battle private sin)

d But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Sam 16:7 (NASB) Works two ways. Shepherd boy=God sees a king. Supersaint=rotten heart.

III A heart that is slow. And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them. 16 But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him. 17 And He said to them, "What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?" And they stood still, looking sad. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, "Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?" 19 And He said to them, "What things?" And they said to Him, "The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the sentence of death, and crucified Him. 21 "But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened. 22 "But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive. 24 "Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see." 25 And He said to them, "O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 "Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?" Luke 24:13-26 (NASB)

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