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REPROVED BUT HARDENED

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Friday Evening, August 12, 2005
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

"He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy" (Proverbs 29:1).


Listen to the comments of Dr. John Gill on this verse:

A man that is often reproved by…parents, by ministers of the Gospel, by the Lord himself…by his word and Spirit…and yet despises and rejects all counsel and [warning] and hardens himself against them, and shows no…regard [for] them. The [illustration] is taken from oxen, which kick and toss about, and will not [allow] the yoke to be put [on] their necks. Such [a person] shall suddenly be destroyed; or broken; as a [piece of pottery] is broken to pieces with an iron rod, and can never be put together again; so [in the same way] such persons will be punished with everlasting destruction, which shall come [on] them suddenly, when they [think they are at peace, even though they have been reproved] by God and men. And that without remedy; or, and there is no healing; no cure of their disease…no pardon of their sins; no recovery…out of their miserable…state and condition; they are [lost beyond hope]; there is no help for them, [because they have] despised all advice and instruction, "and thou mourn at last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, and say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof" (John Gill, D.D., An Exposition of the Old Testament, The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1989 reprint, vol. IV, page 524).

"He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy" (Proverbs 29:1).

"Hardeneth his neck" means that the person is obstinate and unteachable. There is no stronger proof of an unconverted mind than an unwillingness to receive advice and warning. True Christians are thankful for correction and counsel, but proud and arrogant sinners are always right in their own eyes. They reject warnings, advice and correction. There is no use to rebuke or correct a person who hardens his neck.

"Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee" (Proverbs 9:8).

Such is the difference between a converted person and an unconverted one when reminded of their faults.

"He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy" (Proverbs 29:1).

Tonight I want you to see five ways that God reproves unconverted sinners.

I. First, by your parents.

God uses parents to rebuke and correct their children. It is the duty of parents to restrain the wickedness of their children and to correct them. The Apostle said,

"We have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence [we respected them]" (Hebrews 12:9).

What a load of guilt rests on the head of an ungodly child who despises the warnings and prayers of a Christian father or mother! A young person who will not be corrected by his Christian parents will certainly not be converted.

"He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy" (Proverbs 29:1).

II. Second, by the Scriptures.

God rebukes and reproves the unconverted by the Scriptures.

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof…" (II Timothy 3:16).

All of the invitations, commands, threatenings and warnings in the Bible are reproofs and warnings to those who are still unconverted. How can you read about Korah falling into Hell, Herod eaten with worms, or Ananias and Sapphira struck dead without feeling the fear of God? Indeed, how can you read in the Bible about God's judgment and the Hell that awaits you and yet feel no fear of Almighty God?

"He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy" (Proverbs 29:1).

III. Third, by the sermons you hear.

God rebukes and reproves the unconverted by the sermons they hear. The Apostle Paul said,

"Preach the word…reprove, rebuke, exhort…For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine"
     (II Timothy 4:2-3).

The faithful pastor is called on to preach with reproofs, rebukes and exhortations. He warns of judgment and Hell. Has the time come when you "will not endure sound doctrine"? If you are too hard-hearted and stiff-necked to receive such preaching, you are already in a hopeless condition.

"He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy" (Proverbs 29:1).

IV. Fourth, by the Holy Spirit Himself.

God reproves and rebukes the unconverted through the operation of His Spirit.

"And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin…"
     (John 16:8).

Has the Spirit of God come to you? Has He reproved and rebuked your heart? Has He convinced you of your sin? Have you felt the Spirit of God say within you, "Sinner, where are you going? How will your sinful life end? You are not prepared to meet God when you die." Have you heard promptings and reproofs like that from the Spirit of God?

"He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy" (Proverbs 29:1).

V. Fifth, by the conversion of others.

God sometimes reproves one sinner by the conviction and conversion of another. That person was your friend and companion. Your feelings and thoughts were much the same. Not long ago he was just like you. But then he became alarmed and convicted of sin. Now he is no longer the same as you. This, my friend, is loud preaching to you. When a close friend is converted, it's time for you to wake up. This is a strong warning to you to

"flee from the wrath to come" (Matthew 3:7).

When you see or hear of a hardened sinner alarmed by his awful condition, it is a strong reproof to you. See where your life is headed. Although you may think you can hold out and not give in to God, yet you cannot hold out too much longer. Soon your hard heart will tremble and your stiff neck will twitch with fear. And all your so-called courage will end in cowardice and panic. See the fearful end to which you are fast approaching. You too must be converted - or you will perish.

"He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy" (Proverbs 29:1).

Look into the boiling pit of Hell. That is where your future lies. That is where your soul will spend its never-ending existence.

"All the men that appertained unto Korah…went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation" (Numbers 16:32-33).

"He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy" (Proverbs 29:1).

[Herod was very proud and self-assured] "And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost"
     (Acts 12:21, 23).

"He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy" (Proverbs 29:1).

"And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things" (Acts 5:5).

"He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy" (Proverbs 29:1).

Flee from the wrath of God. Flee to

"the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world"
     (John 1:29).

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.rlhymersjr.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."


THE OUTLINE OF

REPROVED BUT HARDENED

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


"He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy" (Proverbs 29:1).

(Proverbs 9:8)

      I.   God reproves you by your parents, Hebrews 12:9.

      II.  God reproves you by the Scriptures, II Timothy 3:16.

      III. God reproves you by the sermons you hear, II Timothy 4:2-3.

      IV. God reproves you by the Holy Spirit Himself, John 16:8.

      V.  God reproves you by the conversion of others, Matthew 3:7;
      Numbers 16:32-33; Acts 12:21, 23; 5:5; John 1:29.