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Hearts of Stone
by Wayne Blank
"I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh"
If you've ever had any experience teaching what the Holy Bible actually says, whether to atheists, or to people who merely base their "Christianity" on their own self-serving, self-satisfying, self-righteous philosophy, you know how well "the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" describes the state of mind of those who have yet to come to the Light. It is like talking to a stone wall because without the Holy Spirit, that comes within a repentant person, people have a "stony heart" that, as described in the verses above, "is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."
"A new heart also will I give you, and a new Spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them." (Ezekiel 36:26-27 KJV)As the Scripture quotes above both clearly state, no one is truly a Christian without the Holy Spirit which makes conversion possible - otherwise one remains hopelessly carnal. Converted people are carnal, "in the flesh," too, but they have a sure hope. From a Christian point of view, conversion means to turn, or change, from the world's way, that is, our own way, to God's Way, which will, in due time, free repentant people from their body of death.
Very few people will ever be as "Christian" as the apostle Paul (see Paul's Ministry) and yet he described himself as much being that wretched hostage awaiting a Deliverer as any one of us. His "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me" was a rhetorical question. He knew the answer.
"For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Romans 7:18-24 KJV)
Paul described that deliverance, not as something present, but rather as a future event.
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in The Clouds of Heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together [see also Spiritual and Physical Gatherings] His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." (Matthew 24:29-31 KJV)