I have heard dictators, responsible for murdering thousands of their own citizens, swear that they wouldn’t as much as harm a bug crawling across their kitchen table. Their gold-teeth smiles, meticulously decorated uniforms, military guards, and palatial surroundings scream, “Life for me, but not for thee.”
Nobody believes that they have a hard heart.
God sent Moses to confront Pharaoh about the oppression of the Israelites in his care. Instead of humbling himself before God, he hardened his heart and thus chose to watch God destroy Egypt one plague at a time.
Pharaoh is but one of the billions like him. People who would rather God break them than bend to His will.
Man cannot do evil and think that “God won’t mind.” The image of God as an indulgent grandpa is best deleted. God is Sovereign over heaven and earth; He rules!
God reveals Himself to everyone. Whether a person chooses to seek Him is up to them. How they deal with God’s constant call through their conscience is also up to them. Their hearts either yield unto repentance or harden unto condemnation; it’s one or the other.
After Jesus had risen from the dead, he met with the eleven apostles. While among them, “He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen” (Mark 16:14).
As we preach the Gospel, we are telling everyone to “believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.” Their testimony—the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ—is recorded by the Holy Spirit in the Bible for all to see and believe.
“God again set a certain day, calling it “Today,”… if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” (Hebrews 4:7).