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Do I Have a Hard Heart? - Ask Pastor John

Video from Desiring God

Do I Have a Hard Heart? - Ask Pastor John

"Over the years, we have taken up a lot of questions from listeners who struggle with self-doubt — wondering if they are in fact an unbeliever; asking whether they have committed the unpardonable sin; asking whether they have or will fall away; asking whether they are one of the non-elect. There are a lot of sober, fearful, self-reflective questions like these that come up all the time in the emails we get. That’s true today in this question from Aaron.

“Hello, Pastor John! I’d like to first say that you have truly been a blessing to me. I thank God for you. I’ve recently started to pursue a better relationship with the Lord. I often come across this phrase, though, in the New Testament about the ‘hardened heart.’ My question is: How would I know if my heart was hardened against God? What does this mean? And how can I ensure that I don’t have a hardened heart toward God?”

Let’s start with the most general meaning of “hardness of heart” in the Bible, and then we can move to the specifically Christian meaning of “hardness of heart” in relation to God — and how to avoid it or how to get rid of it.

Unfeeling Heart

The most general meaning of the hard heart is a heart that lacks ordinary feelings of tenderness and compassion — for example, compassion for the poor. “If . . . one of your brothers should become poor . . . you shall not harden your heart . . . against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him” (Deuteronomy 15:7–8)..." Audio Transcript

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