Showing how we can become cold, bitter, and hard hearted in the service of the Lord, Discussion type study




Searching for the Truth in the King James Bible;
Finding it, and passing it on to you.

Steve Van Nattan




How to get hard hearted, and how to cure it

By Editor:  Steve Van Nattan

HARD HEART-- How to get one-
Mark 6:30-52

Mark 6:30 And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.  
31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.  
32 And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.  
33 And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him.  
34 And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

35 And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed:  

36 Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat.  
37 He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?  
38 He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.  
39 And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass.  
40 And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.  
41 And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.  
42 And they did all eat, and were filled.  
43 And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.  
44 And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.

45 And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people.  
46 And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.  
47 And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land.  
48 And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.  
49 But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:  
50 For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.  
51 And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.  
52 For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.

There is a danger, when we see victory in the ministry or in our homes, to get bored with it all. This is deadly, for when the going gets rough, and when the victory turns to warfare or persecution, we may become cynical and decide we are the only ones left who are faithful.



One.  Vs. 30-34- The ministry wearies the servant.

People are a distraction.

Personal experience- I tune pianos, and I find that people can be very hard on you.  You have to please the customer, but some customers know this, and they push as hard as possible to take a big part of your life. What do you do?  How do you get away from them without being ungodly and causing bad word-of-mouth?

 ILLUSTRATION:   Scholars who study and publish, but can't communicate with people.  

I worked at Gull Lake Bible and Missionary Conference long ago in Michigan.  They had a pretty sound program then, and Howard Pierucki was in charge.  I hope he doesn't mind, but I relate his experience.  He had some guest speakers who were popular, but they were very deficient in some areas, and working with them was a burden.  One demanded a minimum in honorarium.  Howard finally just dropped him since his mind was on money and not on serving the saints.  Another gentleman was a great Bible teacher, but he openly admitted that he couldn't talk to people.  How sad.  Why was he teaching in the first place?  Beware of insulating yourself from the very ones you serve.

ILLUSTRATION:   Professional students. Thus, all seminaries.  

I am told of students in Dallas Seminary, Grand Rapids Baptist College, and many other schools.  There are a number who don't even go to church on Sunday.  Some, wearing Sunday clothes,  at GRBC drop their kids off for Sunday School, then they go have breakfast at a restaurant.  Cold hearted I say! 

Fruit becomes common, even mundane  

Discuss the bored look on the face of many evangelists.

ILLUSTRATION:  Evangelist who came to Yermo. Complained about the crowd.  

I had some problems with the Baptist church in our town in the High Desert.  I think I am now about where they are, but even then, I liked their zeal for souls. They invited a Baptist evangelist to town to preach some meetings, and Lee Brock asked me to come and help. I did so with joy. The night I was there, the evangelist preached up a storm, but I could see that he had a problem. In spite of that, the Lord used him, and one of the town's most rotten teen age brats went forward to be saved. I was blessed to deal with him, and he prayed for salvation. The Baptists later discipled him. Well, after the meeting, the Baptist evangelist went outside and bellyached on and on about the poor attendance. What a sorry soul. Those of us who lived in the desert were just rejoicing for a soul saved while this young child was miserable. Hard hearted, or hard headed?


TWO.  Vs. 35-44- Miraculous provision becomes common, just a job.

Masses become a burden-- "Where are the refreshments?"  

People are not just spiritual, right? They sometimes get hungry for a plate of beans and corn bread. Do you care? Do you gripe if they would like to hold a cup of coffee and stand in the corner and catch up with their friends?  Why? You are a sorry hard hearted soul. Jesus didn't tell them to just go home and be spiritual.  He fed them.

Bible study- 20 min. and food- 40 min. How does this hit the teacher?

No wrist watches in Christ's day!  It is a  sorry commentary on the Lord's church today that many saints can't take more than 20 or 30 minutes of Bible time. So, that's how it is. You can't get used to it, but are you going to tear their faces off with rebuke every time some good old boy looks at his watch. Think of the patience of Jesus and his gentle rebuke in Gethsemene when the guys went to sleep during prayer meeting. Broken heart? Yes, but NOT hard hearted. 

Are these people lovable? NO! Must we love them? YES! with rebuke.  

Cf- John 6:26- "Did you come for the food or the Food?"

Gal. 6:9-10


THREE.  Vs. 45-52- God brings the tension up. Burdens too hard to bear. Why?

2 Thess. 3:13- Weariness destroys faith and joy.

Answer: Mark 6:52 above- Hearts hardened. How can this happen to us?

What is meant? They took Christ for granted- common.

He wants us back totally dependent on Him.

Suddenly, we are amazed at God again.

 Awe and fear return. Isaiah 50:4- How can we help each other avoid the hard heart? Psalm 103:1-8;


FOUR. End thoughts- Vs. 53-56

The boredom has broken. The disciples and Christ are back at the work.

What have we learned? Gal 4:18- "Always????"-

How are we "affected?"  It is a "good thing" to have a tender heart- even with the slobs.  This does not mean we wimp out on the rebuke and the discipline of saints.  But; it DOES mean that we FEEL the sorrow and shame they experience, while we refuse to condone or tolerate their sin.  Tough?  Yes.  Contradictory?  Yes, in a  way, but it is our Lord who "endured such contradiction of sinners" like the best of us alleged scholars.  Let us be blunt while we search for tender hearts and fertile ground.  Then, let us at once encourage and kick forward those who "stay to pray."



Personal: Am I bored? Am I tired of people, at home, at work, in heaven, or in the assembly?

In Christ and the Word, what can I do about it?

Is Christ common to me now? What shall I do to "GET RIGHT?"


Preacher..... Are you a real man?

Preacher Rough
Preacher Tough
Preacher Tender
Where are the strays you have rescued?

Preacher, you sure can raise money for the building fund with that offering plate, right?
Tell me, that little widow who has been so faithful for so many years....
When is the last time she went out to a nice restaurant for a special evening-- on YOUR dollar?

You are the world's premier jerk if you don't know.
She is eternal-- your new building will soon be the meeting hall of the Antichrist's majordomo.
Unless you are still here after the Rapture????
Get that little faithful widow up top of the list of your priorities, or God will bash you real soon.
That is a promise.

And, while you are at it, there is a kid in your church who is in public school. Do you bash his parents for not home schooling him while you ignore the kid? Or, do you go around at noon and take him for ice cream when he gets an "A"? So, you exalt home schooling. That is great. But, have you forgotten that Daniel survived Babylon, and that kid will too, but only if his four flusher pastor gets his posterior out of the church office and spends some time EVERY MONTH with that kid.

Don't hang around here if you cannot take the heat.
Revival time starts with YOU!





So, who was moved to love or hate some Bible truth yesterday
because you spoke words into real life?

Who was helped to deal with sorrow, shame, or uncertainty because you
made them sure Christ would see them through it, and you did it where they live?