The Bible View #804 — “Heart” Problems

In This Issue:
Heart Problems
A Hardened Heart
Our Hearts — Summed Up
Muddy Water
If the Heart Is Right

Volume: 804    April 5, 2021
Theme: Spiritual Heart Problems

 Heart Problems
Bill Brinkworth

There are many excuses available for any mistake or sin in our lives.  Psychologists often blame a patient’s difficulty on their environment. Social workers label many behaviors as peer-pressure related. Income, hereditary, age, and race are also some of the popular excuses for wrongdoing.

Sometimes, the excuses mentioned above are legitimate, but they are often scapegoated justifications for the problem’s real source. The Bible often speaks of the heart as the origin of wickedness.

By “heart,” the blood-pumping organ is not what is referred to but is more the center of thoughts, feelings, and our will. There is no one location where a surgeon could, under dissection, point to and identify as, “this is where lying comes from” or “this organ generates the desire to steal.”

It is this “heart” that Mark speaks of when he writes, “… Do ye not perceive that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly…” Mark 7:1-19

Things entering the body cannot make us do wrong unless our “heart” is in such a state as it would allow our bodies to perform the sin. Although many under the influence of drugs and alcohol do wrong things, it is not totally what went into their bloodstream that is at fault. Their “heart” was most likely in a tolerant-to-sin state to allow such a thing to happen in the first place.

If this were not true, then anyone partaking of alcohol or drugs would have the same desire to fight, rape, curse, steal, and get into more sin. This, however, does not happen every time booze is swallowed. It is the already willing, desensitized-to-sin heart that allows a person to sin further.

Nothing entering the belly can defile the man. There is not one un-Koshered pickle, a third scoop of vanilla ice cream, or anything man puts into his mouth that he should blame as the reason for his wrongdoing. The source of sin generates fromman’s own “heart.”

“Don’t put off doing what the Lord has shown you to do today.  You may not have another opportunity or another tomorrow!”



A Hardened Heart
Bill Brinkworth

One of the most dangerous conditions for anyone to have, Christian or non-Christian, is mentioned in Hebrews. That condition is having one’s heart “hardened” (Hebrews 3:8). It is not a problem with one’s physical heart. It is the spiritual part of a person that has determined not to do what God had urged it to do. By refusing to do what God has shown it to do, it is directly disobeying God — a most serious situation!

To make it clear to the Hebrews, Paul reminded them what hard-heartedness cost their forefathers in the wilderness. While in the wilderness, the Jews had a wonderful opportunity to follow God to a land He had reserved for them. By day, God led them in His direction by going before them in a column of cloud that stretched from Heaven to Earth. When it moved, they moved. When it stopped, they stopped. At night, it changed to a column of fire. Although they had many proofs of God’s helping them, they still doubted. Unbelief, the root cause of hard-heartedness (Hebrews 3:12), crept into their thoughts, and they doubted God. 

This provoked God (Hebrews 3:8) and caused the Israelites to have many unnecessary testings, trials, and tribulations. They missed many of the blessings they could have had because their hearts were fixed not to believe or trust God. Because of their hardened hearts, a possibly six-day march to the land God had prepared for them took 40 years. None of the hard-hearted people ever got to see the promised land, although their offspring did. Their hearts of unbelief cost them much.

A hard-hearted condition can just as easily be obtained today as it was then. When God shows a person what salvation is and that they should trust Christ as Saviour today, they are hardening their heart when they postpone the decision.  When their heart is shown to do something, such as being saved, faithful in church attendance, praying, reading their Bible, tithing, or telling others about salvation, their not doing it is a direct refusal to God. Even slow obedience to a command, or justification in not doing as they were shown, is still unbelief and distrust.

Four times (Hebrews 3:7, 12, 13, 4:7), Paul mentioned the key to not having a hardened heart. The key is “today.”  When God shows you something or quietly speaks to your heart in conviction, you must obey Him then! Not tomorrow! Not later! It should not be open to debate!  Doing it when we want, and not when He commands, is a step in hardening one’s spiritual heart. 

Slow obedience is no obedience.”   — Author Unknown



Our Hearts — Summed Up

He who makes a watch or engine knows all the workmanship in it. God, that made the heart, knows all the motions and fallacies of it.”  —Watson, 1696

“God sees hearts as we see faces.” — George Herbert.

“Before men, we stand as opaque bee-hives. Others can see the thoughts go in and out of us, but they cannot tell what work is done inside. Before God, we are like a glass bee-hive.  He knows, sees, and understands all our thoughts.”  — Beecher.

 

Muddy Water
Scriver (edited), 1629-1693

In a vessel filled with muddy water, the heavy sludge soon settles to the bottom. It leaves the water “clearer” until it seems perfectly clean. However, the slightest motion brings the sediment again to the top and makes the water as thick and turbid as before.

Here we have a picture of the human “heart.”  The heart is full of the mud of sinful lusts and carnal desires.  No good and holy thoughts can flow from it. It is filthy and contaminated, no matter how it appears.

A man’s “heart” is a miry pit and slough of sin, in which all sorts of ugly reptiles are bred and crawl. Many are deceived by their spiritual condition and never imagine their heart half so wicked as it is.

At times, one’s lusts are at rest and sink, as it were, to the bottom. The iniquities of one’s past are often forgotten. On some occasions, one’s thoughts appear to be holy and devout, desires pure and temperate, words charitable and edifying, and works useful and Christian.

This period of apparent “Christianity” and good living lasts only so long as one is not “shaken.”   As long as one is without opportunity or incitement to sin, a wicked heart is hidden.   However, when worldly lusts are aroused, one’s thoughts, words, and works show no trace of anything but slime and impurity.

A sinner is meek as long as he is not thwarted, but cross him, and he is like powder, ignited by the smallest spark, and loudly explodes.  Some are temperate, if he is separated from the wrong companions or while others’ eyes are upon him.  The “mud” is still there, at the bottom, do not shake it up.

Slow obedience is no obedience.”   — Author Unknown



If the Heart Is Right
Author Unknown

It doesn’t so much matter
What path our feet may tread,
Or, whether the cheering hopes we knew
In youth are vanished — dead.
We shall find a gleam in the darkness
To guide in the dreary night,
And a joyful song as we journey along,
If we go with a heart that’s right.

We sip from the cup of sweetness
And then the bitter gall;
Blossoms and friends are swept away,
Dreams are forgotten — all.
And you have known the tugging
That comes to the heartstrings tight,
Know of the balm, the peace, and calm
That comes from a heart that’s right.

The thorns that beset the causeway
May fester and wound the feet;
The cup you drink may end with gall,
Drowning the cherished sweet;
But the nectar for which you hunger,
The roses that suffered blight,
Will be yours to taste and smell again
If you go with a heart that’s right.

“To sin is to walk the way of the heart.”  — Matthew Henry

The Bible View #792 — Cost of Sin

In This Issue:
It Ain’t Free!
How Much Does Sin Cost?

                                   Volume: 792    January 11, 2021

It Ain’t Free!
Bill Brinkworth

After using a piece of equipment for one day, I returned it to a local store as it stopped working. It should have been a normal merchandise return, but an inconsistency alerted the clerk.  Apparently, a serial number on the item and the one on the box did not match.  They suspected that I was trying to pull something over on them with some type of scam.  Eventually, I proved to them that the return was legitimate, and they refunded the full amount of my purchase.

I was quite embarrassed and a little mad that they would accuse me of doing something dishonest. Soon, I realized the clerk most likely dealt with dishonesty much of her day.  They did not know me, so how would they know that I was telling the truth?

My being accused of something others do reminded me of how others’ sins affect so many.  Perhaps, the employee who packed the box was lazy and did not match up products with serial numbers. I was the one that paid the price for his lack of care that others may have been affected.

This error is nothing compared to how others are hurt by other’s sin.  The iniquity of others has changed this world.

On and on the list could go of how sin affects and hurts others.  No one gets away with sin.  All sin has repercussions. It ultimately hurts the one committing the iniquity but hurts so many others. No wonder God hates sin!  Avoid sin like the plague because it spreads and hurts so many others, and its price tag is more than any want to pay.

  • Thievery from businesses costs mistrust of many customers. Eventually, it raises the prices of items in the store to cover the loss of stolen merchandise. 
  • Speed limits had to be placed on highways because so many drove recklessly, endangered, and hurt innocent drivers.  Signs had to be purchased, and employees were hired to make and install the warnings.  Innocent taxpayers had to pay for the cost because of selfish, inconsiderate, often impatient drivers.
  • Because of being too lazy to work, those that do work have to pay higher taxes for those that refuse to be employed while the slothful collect welfare and other forms of government handouts.  There is no such thing as “free” money.  Someone somewhere is paying for others’ “free” rides!
  • The sin of adultery destroys many marriages when unfaithfulness is discovered.  The innocent spouse is left without a mate and, in most cases, must financially and mentally suffer because of the other’s selfish infidelity.  Children in the family also suffer because of not having both parents, and in most cases, have their lives turned upside down.
  • Killing babies by abortion destroys innocent lives and emotionally scars the mother.  It may also pave the way for others to do the same when they have an unexpected pregnancy; “My friend got an abortion, so it must be okay, so I’ll get one too because of my situation,” or “I want to have premarital sex, and if I get pregnant, I’ll just abort the baby.  No big deal.”
  • Many politicians assure themselves of their jobs by making laws that pay and encourage others’ wrong actions, law-breaking, and immorality to get more votes to keep themselves in office.  Societies have been destroyed by years of self-serving officials who were more concerned about their prosperity rather than how their governing affected others.
  • Drunkards drive under the influence of alcohol and kill innocent pedestrians.

“There is a terrible price on ALL sin that no one wants to pay when the ‘bill’ is due!


How Much Does Sin Cost?
Author Unknown

Sin is the breaking of God’s commandments. He hates our sins, and our committing them has dire consequences.

No one sins and does not have to face its terrible wages. Here is a biblical study on what sin has cost others and what it can cost us:

  • Sin cost Adam and Eve their lives. The first couple would not have died if they had not disobeyed God and sinned. Because of their transgression, the desire to sin was passed to all generations.
    “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Genesis 2:17
    “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” Romans 5:12
  • Sin cost Adam and Eve fellowship with God. They were forced out of the Garden of Eden because of their sin.
    “Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” Genesis 3:23-24
  • Sin cost some innocent animals their lives. God killed some animals so He could clothe Adam and Eve. From the commission of the first sin, others have been hurt and affected by others’ iniquities.
    “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21
  • Sin cost this planet many changes. Because of Adam and Eve’s transgressoin, there are now weeds, sweat, and death. Before the first sin was committed, those things did not exist.
    “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Gen. 3:17-19
  • Sin cost Cain an unhappy, lonely life after he killed his brother.
    “And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.” Genesis 4:11-13
  • Sin by others cost Joseph a normal life with his family. Because of their sin of jealousy, Joseph’s brothers threw Joseph in a pit, sold him into slavery, and caused Joseph’s life to be much different than what it could have been.  Sin often hurts the innocent.
    “ And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him; And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.” Genesis 37:23-24
  • Sin cost Moses life in the Promised Land. God told Israel’s leader to speak to a rock, and water would flow from it. In his anger, Moses hit the rock twice with his staff instead. Water came out. God still provided for Israel, but because of Moses’ disobedience to God’s command, the leader was kept from going into the Promised Land. He died just on the other side of the land he worked so hard to reach.
    “And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.” Numbers 20:11-12
  • Sin cost Samson his eyesight and life. Samson knew he was to live apart from many temptations. He disobeyed God and had a relationship with an ungodly woman. Because he disobeyed God, Samson also suffered much embarrassment.  Israel’s judge did not achieve all he could have if he were obedient.
    “And she said [Delilah], The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him. But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.” Judges 16:20-21
  • Sin also cost others much, including Miriam, Abel (killed by his brother), Absalom, Ahab, Barabbas, Bathsheba, David, Eglon (oppressed Israel), Herod, Jezebel, Jonah, and others. Sin hurts all of us!
  • Sin can cost each of us life in Hell and ultimately the Lake of Fire unless we accept Jesus’ payment for our sins!
    “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” Romans 5:12
    “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” I Cor. 15:21
    “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” Rev. 20:11-14
  • Sin always has consequences. No one ever gets away without someone paying for their sin!
    “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
  • Sin costs us our freedom. When one lies, often another lie is needed to cover the first lie. When one steals one thing, it is usually easier to steal again. One alcoholic drink is often followed by another. Sin leads to more iniquity, and soon we are enslaved by sin.
  • Sin costs one his self-respect. Most have lost much self-esteem when they discover they went down a terrible, regrettable road where their sins led them.
  • Sin costs us our joy. Sin’s consequences often rob one of much happiness and brings pain and suffering into one’s life.
  • Sin costs having God not guiding and directing one’s life. Because sin can break our fellowship with God, He may not direct our lives. In Romans 1, it cost many because they did not do what they knew God would have had them do.  Their wickedness was so great that God gave up on them.
    “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:” Roman 1:24
  • Sin can cost one a life God intended one to have.
    “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” Proverbs 29:1
  • Sin cost Satan a life in Heaven and eventually will cost him an eternity in the Lake of Fire.
    “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Rev. 20:10
  • The sin of others cost Jesus His life on Earth. He paid for our sin debt with His blood.
    “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” II Corinthians 5:15
  • Sin will cost this Earth its existence.
    “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. “ Revelation 21:1

The most expensive thing on this Earth is not gold or even precious gems. The most costly item  is one’s sin. Payday for sin’s commission may not be today, but its wage will be someday. That is why God warns us repeatedly to stay away from the tenacious tentacles of sin. It is not that He wants to rob any of us of our “fun.” It is because God knows that there is always a terrible price for sin.

If you are a Sunday school teacher or preacher and would like to teach this lesson to your class, I can send you a free Powerpoint presentation of this lesson if you have Microsoft’s Powerpoint.  E-mail me your request, and the name of the lesson  to brinkworth@frontier.com, and I will send it to you.

“In diving to the bottom for pleasures, we bring up more gravel and dirt than pearls.”  — Author Unknown

The Bible View #763

Articles in this Bible View: “To Really Stop Violence,” “Others,” “Crime,” “You May Duplicate What You Saw,” …
Theme: Why Violence? Why Sin?

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The Bible View #757

Articles in this Bible View: “There’s a Battle Raging,” “Oh, Happy Day,” “Avoid Temptation,” “Too Much Bridle,” …
Theme: Temptation for the Christian

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The Bible View #750

Articles in this Bible View: “The House,” “Hymn Writer Loses Joy of Salvation,” “When God Gave Them Up”
Theme: Backsliding

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The Bible View #744

Articles in this Bible View: “No ‘Little’ Sin,” “The Difference between Sin and Sins,” “God’s Way to Heaven”
Theme: Sin

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