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Tormented by the Truth-Part 3

Tormented by The Truth-Part 3
The effects of a hardened heart

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:12-13 (NKJV)

We have been looking at a 3-part devotional series titled, "Tormented by the truth."  In part 1, we learned, "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" (Heb. 4:12). We learned God's Word is mighty and powerful in its ability to expose the motives of the person who hears it.  

In Part 2 we then learned there would be people who don't want to hear or receive God's Word - they've hardened their hearts to it.  They operate in the flesh, seeking its desires, and would rather choose to continue to operate according to their feelings, and emotions.  They refuse to accept Scripture as God's guide given to us to live by.  We learned from Revelation 11:10, these people are actually being tormented, which can mean they are suffering agony, and feeling distress, pain, and torture when they hear God-inspired Scripture.

Some might say, "Okay, so maybe these people in Revelation who are tormented by the two prophets feel this way, but surely this isn't the way people are feeling when I share the Gospel message with them." 

I would answer them by saying this is exactly the way it has been since Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.  It hasn't changed a bit.  Man has always been affected the same two ways when confronted with the Word of God.  He is either impacted in such a way - one causing repentance and conformity to God's way.  Or, he is initially annoyed by it, and then eventually angered by it and then ultimately tormented by it.  This is a process as it convicts, reveals, and exposes him for who he really is - a person in bondage to sin

Jesus told us this would be the way people would respond when He spoke these words, as recorded in the Book of John.

 "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.  Remember the word that I said to you, "A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.  But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me." John 15:18-21 (NKJV)

Q:    So what does this mean to us as Christian believers?

A:     It means we can expect to find some people receiving what we are sharing, and we should expect to find others who will deny, rebuke, or even persecute us as a result of our sharing God's Word.

This shouldn't dissuade us or depress us in any way.  It should help us to understand what we are going to encounter as believers.  We can't brace ourselves in a defensive way for the inevitable resistance either - we must continue to walk and speak in love - eagerly expecting God to do His work on each person we speak with.  Remember, the fruit of our planted seeds isn't just in someone receiving what we are sharing - the fruit is in our obeying God's leading to share.

Sharing the Gospel is our part - whether a person receives it or not is their responsibility. The Word will either be a lamp unto their feet and a light unto their path, or it will be a light to expose the intentions of their heart.  It can either be a light of hope, or a tormenting reminder of their fallen state and eternal separation from their creator.  

Hey Christian, let's stay focused on our part and allow God do His work.  Let's pray for those who choose not to listen.  If it takes being tormented by suffering agony, or the feeling of distress and pain to open their eyes, then so be it.   I would rather a person feel tormented now while there is still time to repent rather than being cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched - where "their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched" (See Isa. 66:24; Mk. 9:43-48).

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn about sharing the Word of God with others according to the Scriptures contained within this devotional?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to share the Word of God regardless of the potential for persecution?

APPLICATION: Ask God to fill you each morning with His Holy Spirit.  Ask Him to give you boldness and love, and to send someone into your life to share with.

Father, Thank You for sending someone to share Your Word with me.  Thank You for giving me the power and boldness to share Your Word with others.  Fill me today and empower me to continue to share and show me whom You would have me speak to today.  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