Hardened Sinners Prov. 21: 29 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
When a man lives in wickedness he gets hardened against the Lord. The closer we get to the return of Jesus, the harder people are going to get. In just the last 30 years, we have seen people get much harder toward the gospel. When a man gets hardened he:
Hardens his face – Prov 21:29 – a wicked man hardeneth his face. Sin does that to his face. When you see him, he can be very intimidating. The Lord told Jeremiah, “Be not dismayed at their faces,” [Jer 1:7-8, 17-19]. To be dismayed means to lose courage. We shouldn’t lose courage, because the Lord is with us. He’ll make us as hard against them as they are against God [Ezek 3:7-9]. However, he’ll confound us if we become dismayed.
Hardens his neck – Prov 29:1 – when a man’s neck gets hard, God can’t turn him. And he needs to turn to get with God [Acts 26:18; 1 Thes 1:9]. So, he keeps going away from God.
Hardens his mind – Dan 5:18-21 – his mind gets hardened in pride so that he thinks he can do whatever he wants and get away with it. Belshazzar didn’t humble himself [Dan 5:22]. To understand what God is saying, a man must approach his word with a humble mind.
Hardens his heart – Prov 28:14 – this is what happened to Pharaoh. He hardened his heart and kept opposing all that God was doing to get his attention. He didn’t believe the words of God spoken by Moses. To understand what God is saying, a man must approach his word with a believing heart.
Hardens his spirit – Deut 2:30 – and that’s when he’s finished. His heart is obstinate (stubbornly adhering to his course in spite of reason, arguments, or persuasion). He can’t be persuaded by the Lord to turn. His mind, his neck, and his heart, are hardened against the Lord and now his will is set against the Lord. He’s like Israel [Is 6:9-10].
Conclusion: first, don’t start on the path of wickedness. Once you are hardened against the Lord you may never come around to his way of righteousness. Second, if you are dealing with a wicked person, he’ll have a hard face, but don’t be dismayed. Third, if he has a hard neck, a hard mind and a hard heart, just give him the word of God [Jer 23:29]. His word is a hammer that “breaketh the rock in pieces.” You’re not going to break him. And remember that it’s going to take a long time for him to break. “By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone,” [Prov 25:15]. Fourth, if he is too hard, he’ll be like Pharaoh who received no mercy. You have to be willing to accept that.