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Tormented by the Truth-Part 2

Tormented by The Truth-Part 2
The effects of a hardened heart

Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 2Timothy 4:2-4 (NKJV)

We are looking at a 3-part devotional titled, "Tormented by the truth."  In our first part of this devotional, we looked at the truth of how powerful God's Word is.  We learned from Hebrews 4:12,  "The Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

We learned God's Word is mighty and powerful in its ability to expose the motives of the person who hears it.  And these motives are the very things they will be judged on.

Let's look at a couple more verses to proof text this point.  In Romans 10:9-10, we are given these same principles for our salvation.

that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9-10 (NKJV)

We can clearly see from these verses in Romans, Salvation is granted once God judges the heart of the believer.  It is the believing in our heart, which determines whether we will be eternally with God, or eternally separated from Him.  It's my believing Jesus died for my sin, and has risen.  For when we truly believe in our hearts, we cannot help but confess with our mouth.  We see this same principle of God looking to the heart of man in the Old Testament as well.

But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7 (NKJV)

Q:    Why do some people look as though we are tormenting them when we share the Gospel, or even quote Scripture?

A:    Because they are being tormented.

It's true, for those who don't want God in their life - those who choose to live for themselves, and for those who want what is now and temporal rather than what is forever - God's Word is very much tormenting to them.  

We can see an illustration of this in the Book of Revelation.  God sends back 2-prophets, probably Elijah and Moses to preach the Gospel message to those who are left here on earth during the 7-years of Trials and Tribulation.  God protects these two witnesses until their work is done.   At this point, God allows those who cannot stand to hear this truth any longer kill the 2-prophets for their witness (Rev. 11:7).

We then read in Revelation of how they reacted to the death of these martyred saints.   "And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves"(Rev. 11:8-9).

These people are not only happy about the death of the witnesses, they are celebrating in the streets throughout the world - it is a virtual Mardi gras celebration.  But let's take a look at Scripture as it reveals something else within their hearts and minds - torment!  

And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. Revelation 11:10 (NKJV)

Torment is defined as,"To inflict pain on someone."  Its synonyms are, anguish, suffering, agony, distress, pain, and torture.  It is the opposite of "Pleasure."

To put this in proper context, those who hear God's Word - those who've hardened their hearts to Him and the Gospel - they are being tormented when they hear it.  They are suffering agony, distress, pain, and torture when they hear God-inspired Scripture.

Hey Christian, we are to share the Word of God in love - we are not to use it as a battery ram or a tool to bludgeon people with.  The power is in the Word alone!  We simply need to share it with those around us.  God will correct them, convict them, and clean them up if they will repent.  Or else, they will continue to harden their heart, and deny the affect of His Word on their soul and spirit. And this is a very scary alternative.  

STUDY QUESTION: What does Revelation 11:10 tell us about how the Word of God affected those who heard it but denied it?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Have you experienced tormenting when choosing to walk in opposition to God's Word?

APPLICATION: Continue to share the Word in love.  Then let God do His convicting upon the heart of the person you've shared with.  This combination of love and conviction is what is needed to cause someone to repent.

Father, Thank You for sharing Your Word with me through a loving person.  Thank You for your mercy and Your grace.  It was Your kindness Lord that has led me to repentance.  Help me to share the Gospel in love today with the same kindness, mercy and grace.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000