You see its better to be a pagan with no interest, and the possibility of being reached, than to be a casual almost believer. Learning the menu and memorizing the menu but never eating the food and never taking the journey. Be careful. Be careful.
To listen to the Gospel while remaining destitute of faith is to fall short of God’s promised rest. The parable of the sower, what was the issue? The issue was not a problem of the seed; the issue was a problem of the soil. All the people had the same seed sown; the issue was the soil. Hard hearts, acidity, alkalinity, anger, bitterness, resentment, jealousy, disappointment, self pity, all of these things fouling up the soil, so that when the seed of the word is sown it means nothing. That’s why you can’t listen to the word of God preached with a bitter heart, I don’t care who you are, and I don’t care what you say. The reason I can say that with such confidence is that the bible say it with clarity and I know it because I have lived it. So until we come to the point where our hearts are broken and our knees are collapsed, and we are before God with a genuine desire to hear His voice, than you can sit for a month of Sundays and it doesn’t mean a rip. That’s why people can end services and the service ends and they go “Hey what are doing next? What do you want to do know? Hey let’s go. Will there ever going to come a time in your life when you are going to want to crawl out on your hands and knees? Will there be a time when you say “Hey, don’t speak to me. I’ve been listening to the word of God with a hard heart for seven months, and God has broken my heart this morning. I gotta go walk and talk with God. If you feel that, go do it. Less you soil is like the soil where the birds came and ate it before the word could ever get down.
Be careful. That is what He is saying. This is not something to be trivialized or fiddled with. Don’t do what they did, and that is a continuous rejection of God’s written and spoken word of God. Combining it with faith. What does it mean to combine it with faith? It means to believe it. It means to trust is. I don’t know how to put it except to tell you what I do. Like when someone else it praying and I’m listening, I try to listen in such a way so that when the person says “This week our tongues were sharp” I say “God that is true, my tongue was sharp this week. Get underneath it, and when the word of God is preached think that’s for me that’s mine, not so much write it in a sheet, as God write it in my heart. I may never pass this way again, I may never hear your voice again, I may never have this truth conveyed to me again. Therefore, today Lord, don’t let me harden my heart, make it mine today. Weak as my effort of my heart and cold my warmest thought, but when I see thee as thou art, I will praise thee as I ought. I want to see you as you are, because I know how weak and horrible my heart is, that’s what you have to do, that’s how it happens.
That is something different than listening to sermons, that is a very different experience than “Oh very good today Pastor, I liked that thing on such and such” I don’t give a flying rats tail whether you liked it or not. But I have a compassionate burning longing to see these congregations get serious about the bible and about Jesus. Serious, like our lives and heaven depended on it. That serious! So serious that we would be careful least we would have a number strapped to our front, least we be marked in a book least we began the marathon and within six and a half miles we were drop outs. THAT’S SERIOUS!