The Impervious Sinner

by David J. Stewart

"For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened." -Mark 6:52

Impervious: Not admitting of passage or capable of being affected.

Every soulwinning Christian knows the frustration of witnessing to people who have already decided they will never get saved.  I was saddened recently, as I read of the impervious attitude of former president of the United States, Benjamin Franklin, who stated... 

"He (the Rev. George Whitefield) used, indeed, sometimes to pray for my conversion, but never had the satisfaction of believing that his prayers were heard." -Franklin's Autobiography. 

Tragically, Benjamin Franklin heard sermon after sermon by the mighty preacher, George Whitefield, and yet refused to believe upon Jesus Christ.  How sad.  So many people, like Benjamin Franklin, hear the Word of God preached over and over; BUT, their hearts are harder than concrete.  If you haven't guessed it already, the photo to the right is a jackass, a donkey, which is an appropriate symbol of some people's stubbornness to obey the Word of God.

In Mark Chapter 6, the disciples had just witnessed Jesus feed well over 5,000 hungry people with just 5 loaves of bread, and 2 fishes.  The Bible says in Mark 6:44 that the men alone numbered 5,000.  Including the wives and children, there must have been over 15,000 people.  We know for certain there were at least 5,000.  Can you imagine, thousands of people being fed from just one little boy's lunch?  What a miracle by a wonderful Savior!  Yet, just a short time later in Mark 6:52, we read that the disciples feared, lacking faith ... BECAUSE THEIR HEART WAS HARDENED.  Wow!  And these were Jesus' disciples!  I find it interesting that Jesus' own disciples doubted Him at times.  This teaches us that even the best of Christians falter.  This is true of every believer.  We are all emotional creatures, prone to doubt and wander.  This is why it's important that we learn to keep our eyes on Jesus, by living in His Word, which He has given to us.

However, it is an entirely different situation when a man refuses to believe upon Christ as his Savior.  The disciples weren't impervious, they were simply immature in the Lord.  Their hardened hearts were eventually melted away by the Word of God.  To the contrary, Benjamin Franklin was impervious, unable to be reached with the Gospel.  Proverb 29:1 states, "He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy."  A person only has so many breaths to this life, only so many heartbeats ... and then this earthly life is over forever.  Kindly said, Benjamin Franklin was like a jackass, who stubbornly heard the Gospel preached again and again; BUT, HIS HEART WAS HARDENED.  No amount of preaching was ever able to reach Benjamin Franklin, because of his impervious heart of unbelief. 

Are you the impervious sinner?  Have you heard the Gospel your whole life; but, it means nothing to you?  Many of the Israelites who wandered in the Wilderness of Zin for 40 years had impervious hearts.  Hebrews 4:2 states, "For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it."  Can you imagine hearing the Gospel (the good news) of Jesus Christ, preached for 40 years, and never obeying it?  Yet, this is exactly what is happening all over the world today.  Many people have heard the Gospel their whole life; BUT, THEIR HEART IS HARDENED.  If that is you, then the Word of God pleads with you in Hebrews 4:7, "...To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts."

"And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." -Luke 16:31


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