Summary: The sermon deals with the hardening of the spiritual heart.
The Heart of the Matter (Part Three)
A. "For this people’s heart has become calloused; their ears are hard of hearing, and
they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with
their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them." (Matt.
B. "These people draw near to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips,
C. "But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing
up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous
D. "Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their
E. "Blessed is the man who always fears the Lord, but he who hardens his heart
F. What do you think about or what comes to your mind when you think of someone
being hard hearted? What kind of picture do you see?
1. Do we think of Adolph Hitler? All of those innocent people who suffered and died.
2. Do we think of a mass murderer? He has no conscience or guilt feelings at all.
3. Do we think of the husband who tells his wife, "I want a divorce! I want you
out of my life and I don’t care what you think!"
4. Do we think of a mother or a father leaving or abandoning their children?
5. Do we think of a young person (a teen) who looks at her parents and says, "I
hate you! I don’t want to live here anymore. I wish you were out of my life!"
G. Did any of that hit close to home? Maybe you were thinking, "Ouch! I don’t
want to be like that! I don’t want anyone to ever say that I’m hard hearted!"
H. It’s a shame to see people act like that, isn’t it? But what is more pitiful is to
see people who were once such dedicated Christians who, because of years of
life or bad circumstances, have become hard hearted.
I. Has your relationship with Jesus become lifeless and stale because your heart is
hard? Are you no longer moved by a lesson or touched by a scripture?
J. Point: Spiritual hardness of the heart, just like the hardening of the arteries, can
happen to the best of us!
K. In our series on "The Heart of the Matter" we have discussed heart trouble and
intensive care for broken hearts.
1. Our lesson for today is "Spiritual Cholesterol—The Hardening of the Heart."
2. This heart condition is the most serious and dangerous one of all.
3. Why is it the most serious and dangerous one? Because once I block God from
my heart there’s not a lot He can do.
4. O, that doesn’t mean that God isn’t powerful. But God didn’t create robots! We
are free to choose what we do!
5. Good News: If we will open our hearts to God, He has the power to get our
hearts running smoothly if they have become clogged with spiritual cholesterol.
L. I’m not quite sure when they discovered the effect that cholesterol has on the
heart. However, once the discovery was made and people heard about the danger of having a high cholesterol number, people made sure to have their cholesterol level checked.