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The Heart of This People Has Become Dull

August 8, 2017

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The Heart of This People Has Become Dull

The Bible mentions many instances  where God’s preachers  are preaching to people  who refuse  to listen.     God tells them  to keep on preaching  and warning the people  to start believing  in God’s love  for them  and make some big time changes  in their loose lifestyles.

One such instance  is found  in  Acts 28:16-20.      Paul had been in prison  for some time,  being shifted  from one court  to another,  and often just forgotten  by the officials.     His big offense was  preaching the gospel.

Paul finally got shipped off  to Rome  to appear before Caesar  to plead his case.     Here is what happened there  when Paul got a bunch  of Jews in Rome  to come  and listen  to his case  in an effort  to gain their support.     Acts 28:21-28   tells the story:

They said to him,  “We have neither received letters  from Judea  concerning you,  nor have any  of the brethren come here  and reported  or spoken anything bad  about you.     But we desire  to hear from you  what your views are;  for concerning this sect,  it is known  to us  that it is spoken against  everywhere.”

When they had set a day for Paul,  they came to him  at his lodging  in large numbers;  and he was explaining  to them  by solemnly testifying  about the kingdom of God  and trying to persuade them  concerning Jesus,  from both the Law  of Moses  and from the Prophets,  from morning until evening.     Some were being persuaded  by the things spoken,  but others would not believe.     And when they did not agree  with one another,  they began leaving  after Paul had spoken  one parting word,  “The Holy Spirit rightly spoke  through Isaiah the prophet  to your fathers,  saying,

‘GO TO THIS PEOPLE  AND SAY,
“YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING,  BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND;
AND YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING,  BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE;
FOR THE HEART  OF THIS PEOPLE  HAS BECOME DULL,
AND WITH THEIR EARS  THEY SCARCELY HEAR,
AND THEY HAVE CLOSED  THEIR EYES;
OTHERWISE  THEY MIGHT SEE  WITH THEIR EYES,
AND HEAR  WITH THEIR EARS,
AND UNDERSTAND  WITH THEIR HEART  AND RETURN,
AND I WOULD  HEAL THEM.”’

“Therefore  let it be known to you  that this salvation  of God  has been sent  to the Gentiles;  they will also listen.”

And so it is  —  even today.     God has preachers preaching  throughout the world,  but the majority  walk away from them.     The majority hears,  but they don’t get it.     It seems  like the gospel  can’t be real.     Some really don’t want  to hear  because they would have to admit  the sin  in their lives.     Others  hate hearing the gospel  so much  they get violent.

They can see that Christians have  a much better lifestyle  and reason  for joy  than they do,  but they don’t want  to become “like them”.     They don’t want  to see a change  in their lifestyle  because it would be an admission  of their sinful nature  and other people  might ridicule them  for changing.

They feel their conscience pricked,  but they want  to run away  from that truth  and purposely harden their hearts.     They’re afraid  of what life would be like  for them if they honestly put their trust  in the Lord.     The life changes would be drastic  and they don’t feel  they can take it.

Through all this,  God’s preachers  continue preaching  —  just as Paul did.     In spite  of remaining  under house arrest,  Paul preached.     Verses 30-31  conclude:

And he stayed  two full years  in his own rented quarters,  and was welcoming all  who came to him,  preaching the kingdom of God,  and teaching  concerning the Lord Jesus Christ  with all openness,  unhindered.

There really are those  who do want to hear  and are glad  to see.     They rejoice  to finally have an understanding  that heals  their sin-sick souls.     They are glad  to have the peace  and joy  of knowing for sure  that God does,  indeed,  love them dearly.

Let us hear,  and see,  and understand  that this free offer  of eternal salvation  is truly for us  also.     We don’t have to be  left out.

When we do truly  “get the picture”,  we will say,  “Hallelujah!     The LORD’s persistence  with us is so gracious.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

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The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

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The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

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Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

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How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

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Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

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O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

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Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

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Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect,   but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that  for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

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