The serious side of the heart

What should be done with the men who are of the covenant of Abraham but serve other Gods.  It isn’t that they had actual idols in their possession.  It was that they had set up idols in their hearts.  It reminds me of Jesus when He speaks of the sin of the heart and not just the actual commitment of the sin.

But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.[1]

Ironically we think Jesus had raised the bar on sin, but in reality He was only restating the sin of the heart found in the Old Testament.

And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be inquired of at all by them?[2]

God speaking of men in Ezekiel’s day says men have set their hearts to serve other things above God.  They have let things pass in front of their faces that became a stumbling block to them.

How many things do we allow to pass before our eyes that become stumbling blocks to us?  How many messages of sensuality do we receive from TV programming, let alone the commercials?  How many things do we have pass before our eyes even on the back of vehicles now days?  It is a shame the soft porn that has crept onto the windows of trucks now days.  It is almost impossible now days to keep things from passing before our faces, even for the most conscientious person, and not to be bombarded with garbage in every avenue of life now days.

From Library books, magazine racks at the grocery store, to movies, TV and the internet there is so much garbage that passes before our faces to give opportunity to become stumbling stones to us.  How does one keep their hearts pure before the Lord when the world is doing just the opposite of what we are commanded to do?

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.[3]

But what happens to the individual who after doing all to stand does not stand?  What happens of the individual, who has the covenant of God, now giving place in their heart to the idol of sins of the heart?  Should they now be allowed to call upon the name of the Lord?  In the above verses God ask Ezekiel this very question.  Well what do you think God should do to such a people, who have given themselves over to sins of the heart that have become stumbling stones and idols to the believer?  Should God let them inquire of Him?

God says He will answer those who have stumbling blocks of iniquity and establishes idols in his heart, according to their sins.

Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;[4]

God sums it up by saying those who have inequity in their hearts will be punished.

And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him;[5]

If we find ourselves with stumbling stones passing before our faces and idols of sins of the heart in place of our God, don’t let the Lord answer you according to your sins and cut you off from His people.  Don’t let God use us to show to His people that He is the Lord.

For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to inquire of him concerning me; I the LORD will answer him by myself: And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.[6]

Don’t take comfort in the false teaching of eternal security.  Jesus has said over and over again He says nothing on His own and that He only says what He has heard His Father say.  So if Jesus is not setting a higher standard and only reinforcing what He has heard His Father say, let us hear the world of the Lord.  Let us know that we as a people who have a hope salvation, we can be cut off from His people.  We can be cut off from our hope of salvation.

Let us repent as the people of God.  Let us remove what passes before our eyes that can become a stumbling block and a snare to us.  Let us turn our faces away from all those things that cause sin in our hearts.

Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.[7]

God will judge the sins of the heart.  He will cut off and destroy those of us who do not repent of the private sins of the heart.  He will not comfort His people who have set up idols in their hearts.  He will not comfort those who sin in their hearts with the idolatry of eternal security.  He will cut them off as an example, so His people will know He is the Lord.  He will do this so His people will stray no more nor be polluted by society.  They will be His people and He will be their God.

That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the Lord GOD.[8]

May we as His people have not only the belief in the gospel but also have the power of the gospel at work in our lives that we may be born again and set free from the power of sin and death, as discussed in yesterday’s post “Can we believe in God in vain?”

God we confess our sins of the heart to you, sins we do not seek out but sins we allow into our hearts.  Please God forgive us our secret sins that we have set up as idols in our hearts.  By your Holy Spirit set us free from the power of sin and death in our lives so that we may live to righteousness, as your word proclaims for those who have a hope of salvation.

[1] Matthew 5:28

[2] Ezekiel 14:2-3

[3] Philippians 4:8

[4] Ezekiel 14:4

[5] Ezekiel 14:10

-[6] Ezekiel 14:7-8

[7] Ezekiel 14:6

[8] Ezekiel 14:11

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