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Rebellious Hearts (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
January 18, 2022 6:00 am

Rebellious Hearts (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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January 18, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the letter to the Hebrews

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He says today, if you will hear his voice, he says the Holy Spirit said this, you see in the Godhead, Jesus is the author of our faith and the Holy Spirit is the author of the scripture. And there is a sense of urgency that they are both communicating to us when they say today. Today is now.

That's what he means by today. Right now, this instant, the most neglected, urgent human need in the history of mankind is neglecting the voice of God. This is Cross Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of Hebrews.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more about Cross Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. Now, let's join Pastor Rick in Hebrews chapter three as he begins a brand new study called rebellious hearts. If you would turn in your Bibles to Hebrews chapter three, Hebrews chapter three, we'll take verses seven through 19. Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says today, if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion in the day of trial in the wilderness where your fathers tested me, tried me, saw my works 40 years. Therefore, I was angry with that generation and said they always go astray in their heart. They have not known my ways, so I swore in my wrath they shall not enter my rest. 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. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confession steadfast to the end, while it is said today, if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion. For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt led by Moses? Now with whom was he angry 40 years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did he swear that he would not enter his rest, that they would not enter his rest, but to those who did not obey, so we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Well, rebellious hearts is what we are considering this morning.

They're everywhere. And you picture a rebellious heart, you picture an uprising of troops against the rule of a leader whose leadership and command you wish not to come under. Having stated the glory of Christ over Moses in the previous verses of chapter 3, there was that opening paragraph, which was very important to the Jews. And probably for each session we have on Hebrews, I will remind us for the sake of those who may have lost sight of this or not have heard it before, but the writer to the Hebrews is writing to Jews who are thinking about leaving Christianity and going back to Judaism or and or mingling Judaism with Christianity.

In other words, they want to go back to the temple and they want to have the sacrifices of the sheep and they still want to say the blood of the lamb has cleansed them of their sins. And God, through his servant, is saying, don't you dare. A greater one has come along. The law of Moses has been fulfilled in this one. And so when he says in the opening paragraphs, the glory of Christ is greater than that of Moses. That's big news to the Jewish thinking. So now he is continuing to build on the superiority of Christ. He's building our structure, verses 7 through 19, on that foundation. One greater than Moses is here. Therefore, don't revolt. Do not rebel. Don't get hard in your heart against these truths. And pastors say this every week. Christians say it to unbelievers all the time or to those who are slipping backwards, reminding them of the value of faith and the fire that belongs to it and how inadequate and insulting fake fire is.

It does nothing. It promises everything and produces nothing. And that is why their hearts want to stray so often.

We'll get to that. So now let's look at verse 7 and reread that verse. Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says today if you will hear his voice. Now, he starts quite a few of these opening chapters in Hebrews with that word therefore.

And everything he has just said, he's joining with everything he is about to say. And he is saying the ancient experience of the Jews has everything to do with our present experience as believers, Jew or Gentile, as believers. He's saying because Moses, though he was a great man of God, he's not equal with Christ. No one is equal with Christ except the Godhead.

And that is what that therefore connects. And then he goes and he quotes the psalm. He says today if you will hear his voice. He says the Holy Spirit said this.

You see in the Godhead, Jesus is the author of our faith and the Holy Spirit is the author of the scripture. And there is a sense of urgency that they are both communicating to us when they say today. Today is now. That's what he means by today. Right now, this instant, the most neglected, urgent human need in the history of mankind is neglecting the voice of God or blocking it or hardening one's heart against it so it cannot penetrate.

So it has no value to that one. In fact, it works against them. So he tells the Jews that the voice of Yahweh in the psalms is the voice of Jesus now. And listen up. Verse 8, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion in the day of trial in the wilderness. Now he's quoting Psalm 95. The psalmist had already revisited these very things with his people in his day. The writer to Hebrews, knowing the scripture is just as pertinent, brings it up for this generation.

Thrice he will repeat today, today, twice in this chapter and once in chapter when we get to chapter 4. Again, that sense of urgency because when the head is hard, the heart is hard. When the heart is hard, the head is hard because the soul is what makes up the person in scripture and the soul is made up of the heart where one's feelings are, their instincts, their will, the head where they reason through things. These form the soul of the individual, of us. And to harden the soul against God, to decide that I'll take a little bit from him and leave the rest or I'll take none of it from both in both cases.

It is resistance. It is rebellion. It is an uprising of the sinful nature against a holy God.

He does not deserve that. We who believe, we know. We fight the fight because we still have a flesh that is attractive, attracted to things that lead us astray from God, that satisfy our sinful side.

And there is the war. So God says to harden against him is to ruin yourself. Now Job, here's Job going through such misery and tempted to say, you know who needs God? If I have to go through this serving him, who needs him? When he comes to that place in his thinking, he says, but who has hardened himself against God and benefited from that?

So I'd like to read the verse verbatim. Job 9 verse 4. God is wise in heart and mighty in strength. Who has hardened himself against him and prospered? He's too big to resist and come out on top. You know, you've heard the expression.

Years ago there was a play based on this. Your arms are too short to box with God. You're going to lose. And so by faith, we who believe, we submit. But those who don't believe. Now here in this case, these are believers.

We've established that multiple times already, only up to the third chapter. And he will continue to make this clear. These are believers. And he's saying to them, you're hardening your hearts, aren't you? You're planning to go backwards. And we're telling you, the Holy Spirit is telling you the scriptures, the facts.

Everything is telling you don't do this. And you're hardening up against that because you like the sensation that religion gives you. It's not about religion. It's about truth. Let truth be your religion and not just ritual, things that you learned as a child. And there were many things in Judaism they had to let go of that they grew up with that were so special to them as little boys and little girls.

Now they had to make a decision. Were they going to abide and continue to walk forward with God? Or were they going to go backwards because it was so precious as a child? Paul said, when I was a child I spoke as a child. I thought as a child. I understood as a child.

But when I became a man, I put away childish things. That does not mean that he abandoned those things that were good and godly and righteous. It means he said everything in order the way it should have been in his own heart. The hardening of the heart.

It can be instantaneous. That was the case with Caiaphas. Who is this Jesus going around flipping over tables and telling us where this hardened up against him instantly? And then there was Judas Iscariot. It was progressive with Judas. Judas worked his way into fully resisting Christ.

And so we hurt ourselves by delaying when he says, today it's untenable. You cannot defend yourself against God. And so rather than forming smug, nothing arguments against him, submit to him. I as an unbeliever before coming to Christ felt very secure in my rejection of Christ. I heard my side of the story. There's two sides to every story. And in this case, there's God's and then there's whatever else.

And of course, when we side with God, we become born again. For me, that happened and I believe that happens for all believers when we meet him. Have you ever not liked someone without even meeting them? I don't mean politicians and stuff like that.

I mean, just maybe you hear about, I don't like them. You haven't even met the person and you meet them. You say, what a great person.

How fortunate they are to know me. Just going to make sure where some of you are awake. Those of you who didn't laugh, we've taken note because you must have been sleeping because all the jokes from up here are anointed. Well, hearts, hearts that remain unmoved, untouched, adamant shut. Now as believers, we can get ourselves in a place where we're just not stimulated. You better work.

Don't think that's going to, that's not self-correcting. That is a fight. Them's fighting words. That's when you have to pull out your sword. Don't think when you pull out your sword, the enemy is going to go, ah, and run.

He's going to fight you. And so it helps to be trained in the use of your sword. But these hard hearts, Jesus talked about it, Mark Gospel, Mark's Gospel chapter 4 verse 15, these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.

God gave them the word. But Satan plucked it out because their hearts were hard. Now the wayside, in the field where they planted the crops, there were always trails that were, you know, going around the field. Some would cut through the field. They were, you know, walked on frequently enough to make that soil hard.

The seed could not penetrate it. Jesus is striking a metaphor. He is saying there are hearts just like that. They're so trampled down with rejection, with things of people's feet, instead of repentance to God, that there's nothing I can do for them. Their hearts are too hard. Now the way to overcome hard ground is to break it up. Hosea the prophet said to the people who were supposed to be the people of God, break up your fallow ground.

Take out the tools so the seed can get in. Now the tools that God uses are other Christians. That's why our witness is so important. The path beaten down by travelers who reject Christ. It is our responsibility to look for opportunities on our knees with the Lord to be useful in overcoming these things. We go to God and we say, Lord, can you bring someone to me so I can share Christ in a meaningful way? Maybe God would say to you, yeah, you know, I really don't want you talking. I would rather you start behaving because they're watching you and you've not been behaving like you love me. You've been behaving like you profess me, but you don't live in front of unbelievers as though you mean it. Well, what can I do with that?

Make you my spokesman? That would be counterproductive. And so we have to always clean house and take stock. It's an ongoing process. Don't get tired of it. Well, you're going to get tired of many things involuntarily. That doesn't mean you submit to them.

Well, let's go on. As in the rebellion in the day of trial in the wilderness. Now he's taking them back to when they were out of Egypt, fresh out of Egypt, and their hearts refused to trust God. The majority of them refused to trust God. Just a brief review from this paragraph. Well, these two paragraphs, verses 7 through 19, what we are exploring this morning, of what it means to rebel. What he's talking about when he says, as in the rebellion in the day of trial in the wilderness. Well, in verse 7 we found that they're not heeding his voice because they're hard heads and therefore hard hearts.

That they actively hardened their hearts. God was not allowed in, verse 8, that they provoked God for decades, 40 years of provocation in the face of so many miracles. Well, miracles weren't enough. Okay, yeah, I saw you.

The other one was better. I mean, that whole thing with the parting of the sea, that was sweet, but it didn't make them believe. That proves just because a miracle takes place, people don't fall down and become believers. Why should we expect miracles? How do they become believers?

Reason. Come, let us reason, though your sins be red as scarlet, I will make them white as snow, and we reason from the scripture and its truth. Verse 10 we'll find out that they never passed an opportunity to go astray. Oh, there's an exit, take it. No, but this is the straight and narrow that leads to the celestial city. Stay here. No, no, there's an exit. It's an off-ramp. My flesh is howling.

I want to satisfy it. Always greener fields somewhere else than in the fields of God's. His pastures aren't as green as somewhere else. Well, I do not know, I do not care, goes the poem, how far it is to anywhere.

All I know is that where I am not is always the alluring spot. There's always something on the other horizon, not here where I am. I worked in steel, there were those slackers that you would say to them sarcastically, they're waiting for the big job. They're saving themselves. They don't want to do any heavy lifting and hard work, they're saving themselves for the big one. It was mocking them, of course. Always somewhere else, and then we find that they were, in verse 10, they were never learning. The Jews in the wilderness.

God's ways weren't interesting to them. Now, as Christians, you stay in Christianity long enough and apply yourself, there will be seasons where your interest levels will not be running as fast as you would like them to be. They'll be dragging a little bit. You've got to tug them along. It's part of the fight.

It's your flesh. And then if you continue, you will find out in time that you overcome it. And then the cycle repeats itself later on.

But then you should be ready for it. A journeyman Christian, someone who's seasoned in their trade, that knows what it's like to walk the walk and many of the things that we will encounter. Too many Christians suppose that God is just a genie in the Bible. And you just rub the Bible the right way and poof, he comes out and says, your wish is my command. The problem with that approach is then when you find out that God is God and you're not, and he's not your little flunky genie, that some people become disillusioned with Christianity. They scoff, it doesn't work. I tried that.

It doesn't work. And that is a very silly and dangerous way to live. And Satan hopes that he can get as many Christians disliking God because God would not respond to their prayers as he can get. We don't know why God so often allows this or that. Sometimes we do, many times we don't.

But in both cases, we have to submit. That's what it means to call him Lord. He is master. And if he wants to go south, then south we go. If he wants to go north, then north we go. Whatever direction.

I don't like that. Not my, the natural man. The spiritual man knows better because the spiritual man knows the day will come when I will enter his courts with thanksgiving in my heart and his gates with praise. I will know that everything was under his control and he always does right. And even sweeter than that, this life will pass away. And the one to come has got so much ahead of it.

It cannot be catalogued. So verse nine, we go, he says, where your fathers tested or tempted me and tried me and saw my works forty years. Forty years of miracles.

We'll bullet point just a few of them in a moment. It should have taken them about a month from Sinai to the promised land, even with the large entourage that they had, but not forty years. That forty years was self-inflicted. Brought it upon themselves. And part of that was a democracy. Well, if you're talking human government, that's another thing. But if you're talking with God, we're not to have democratic rule. We have theocratic rule. God rules us. He is our king.

It is a divine monarchy. And if he says, I'm going to give you this land, I want you to go in and take it, then we are to follow that. Those twelve spies that went into the land, they weren't to come back with commentary.

They were to come back and tell Moses what the enemy strong points were so that he could form his battle plans and go take the land. But ten of them decided to come back with commentary. Oh, we can't do this. Too many problems.

Too big. And the people listened to them. They should have stoned them. Old Testament law.

New Testament. We don't do it that way. Sometimes you say, unfortunately. But, either way, majority rule overruled divine rule. Yep, it still happens. We have people that say, well, if everybody wants to do it, that's fine.

If you want to pick which place to go have fish and chips. But when it comes to the work of God as an assembly, then it's different. And so we consider when the majority voted, ten unbelieving spies versus the two faithful ones, they prevailed. Voting a majority. A majority of Christians in favor of something does not necessarily make it right. We see it all the time. We see whole denominations voting on sin.

Why did it even come to a vote? Where was Phinehas to lock the doors of that church and drive them out of there? But their insistence to not trust God, that alone was astounding. You couldn't say it was miraculous because God didn't do it, but it was astounding that they would see so much activity of God and then just dismiss it. You are encouraged to build Ebenezer stones, places that you remember what God did for you that nobody else could have done.

Because if you lose sight of his presence and his reality, you are entering into some very risky waters. Here are some of the things they saw. They witnessed ten plagues on Egypt. Ten of them.

Almost a Sesame Street moment, right? You see the Count come out and count them. They dismissed them. The parting of the sea for their escape and then the closing of the sea right at that moment on Pharaoh's army.

Egypt has never recovered. What makes the miracles, one facet of a miracle that makes it a miracle is timing. What benefit would it have been to part the sea when no one was there? But at that moment, God, the hand of God worked on behalf of his people. They saw those daily miracles for forty years. What were the daily miracles? Well, the Shekinah for one. The soles on their shoes not wearing out. Their clothes not wearing out for two. And there were others. But those are the two outstanding ones. And they dismissed it.

It's commonplace. No other people had the Shekinah over them. But they had their wants and their desires and God wasn't saying, I'm in an unhappy relationship. I've got a job I don't like.

And those became, those things became gremlins gobbled up their belief as it was in the days of Jesus with the religious elite who refused to submit to what they were looking at because they had other things to do. You've been listening to Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Yastin of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast, today's teaching is available free of charge at our website. Simply log on to crossreferenceradio.com. That's crossreferenceradio.com. We'd also like to encourage you to subscribe to the Cross Reference Radio podcast. Subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from Pastor Rick. You can subscribe at crossreferenceradio.com or simply search for Cross Reference Radio in your favorite podcast app. Tune in next time as Pastor Rick continues teaching through the book of Hebrews right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-22 20:21:09 / 2023-06-22 20:30:17 / 9

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