Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hank Hanegraaff - Does God Harden Hearts?

Hank Hanegraaff has offered an answer to the following question:
If God wants all people to come to Him, why does He in both the Old and the New Testaments harden their hearts? Or, as 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 says blind the minds of unbelievers and veil the Gospel to those who are perishing? So in essence Chris is asking: Why does God blind people’s hearts? Why does He veil the Gospel? Why does He harden people’s hearts, after all He wants people to come to Him, why would He do that?
I really respect Hank Hanegraaf and I agree with most of his answer. Indeed God does not deserve blame for those who are blind to the gospel message. I'm disappointed that he brought up Pharoah hardening his own heart without dealing with the scripture where God says that God hardened Pharaoh's heart. The passages cited in Exodus 4:21;7:3;9:12;10:1,20,27;14:4,8,17 are ignored.
I think what is ignored is the fact that our hearts are hard by default. God has to change us so that we can yield to the message. We resist by dI alsefault.
5Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. - Romans 8:5-8
If the Bible is right about the minds of sinful people (and I know it is) and everyone starts out this way, I don't see how anyone can ever be saved outside of a sovereign act of God.
7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died
for us.
9Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! - Romans 5:7-9
I also totally agree that the gospel is not hidden. It's in plain sight. And I also agree that it is Satan that veils the Gospel because that is what the text says.
3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. - 2 Corinthians 4:3-4
Also people who don't want light, don't want light because they can't want it. The final point is that God is in ultimate control. The enemy can't veil the truth unless he is allowed to do so. I mean we can't seriously consider the devil more powerful than God when it comes to revealing or veiling truth. Therefore howcome some people see it and others don't? I don't know. God does know. I don't understand how people miss it. But I do understand how we make it.
1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. - Ephesians 2:1-10
God has good reason for everything He does - decrees and allows.

Hank Hanegraaff - Does God Harden Hearts?
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