When the physical heart is cut, by purpose or by accident, the result is, in the vast majority of cases, death. May I suggest that the same is true of the spiritual heart. In thinking on this subject, two passages in the New Testament come to mind - Acts 2:37 and Acts 7:54. A brief look at these passages reveals some interesting truths.
First, in Acts 6: 8, we read of brother Stephen as he contended with the Jews of the synagogue of the Freedmen and those from Cilicia. Stephen spoke with wisdom and the Spirit which his Jewish audience was not able to resist. When they stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes, they set up false witnesses to persuade the council in their favor.
When the high priest asked Stephen if these things were so, Stephen proceeded to give the council a lesson in the history of their own people, starting with Abraham and continuing to the time of Solomon. He then, by the Holy Spirit, charged them with being "stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears!" Then he accused them of being the betrayers and murderers of the Just One. Upon hearing this, they were "cut to the heart." (Acts 7:54). They gnashed at him with their teeth.
Stephen then told of seeing the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God. When they heard this, they cast him out of the city and stoned him to death. No record is found hereafter that there was any repentance of this foul deed. We may well surmise that their hardness of heart led to their spiritual death, after having been cut to the heart.
Secondly, we note Acts 2:37. With the detailed description of the events which occurred on that first Pentecost after the resurrection of Christ, Peter and the rest of the Apostles defended their actions by referring to Joel's prophecy. (Joel 2: 28 -32). Beginning with that same scripture, the Apostles preached unto them Jesus! The conclusion of that preaching was "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ." (Acts 2: 36, NKJV). Now, when they heard this, they were "cut to the heart." Their reaction was different from that of Stephen's council, for these asked, "What shall we do?"
Their being cut to the heart also produced death! But dear readers, this death was the death of the old man of sin and a rebirth into the family of God, (Rom. 6:6), upon their obedience to the gospel. We read, "Then those who gladly received his word were baptized," ... "and they continued steadfastly in the Apostle's doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers" ... "Praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved." (Acts 2: 41, 42, 47).
Let us not lose sight of the fact that the cutting was done by the preaching of the Word. "For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Heb. 4:12).
A song we frequently sing says, "Some day you'll stand at the bar on high, some day your record you'll see, some day you'll answer the question of life, What will your answer be?" -5636 Cherrywood Drive, Lorain, OH 44053.
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