God tells the prophet Isaiah to speak comfortably or literally to speak tenderly to the heart of his people (Isaiah 40:2). The heart is the priceless human soul (Mt 16:26) the source of our affection and appetites and it is the divine target of redemption. I was pondering the verse where King David says, “No man cared for my soul.” (Ps. 142:4). That is no feeble accusation of today’s church. Many times we have failed to do this. We talk to people’s felt needs and offer life enhancement principles but we have such difficulty addressing heart issues and their real needs concerning Christ, sin, repentance, forgiveness and spiritual birth. Perhaps we fear turning them off to church and God? Maybe we fear not being “loving” enough? We can give dangerous superficial comfort to people in the name of being sensitive to their needs.
Christ sees past all the surface issues and looks into the inner recesses of the heart. This does not refer to the Son of God using a soft voice when he speaks. It refers to those who realize that God’s still small voice through the scriptures carried by the Holy Spirit speaks life to the wounded human heart and lifeless spirit. While we are to be those who tenderly and affectionately speak his truth, let us not be confused about genuine comfort! The Holy Spirit is called the Comforter and yet he functions in his office to convince “the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.” (John 16:8NLT). If that is what the Holy Spirit does-why don’t we do the same in our message?
HEARING CHRIST ABOVE THE NOISE
Popular preachers along with the mega-church phenomenon engage in marketing, religious entertainment, mushy self-esteem psychology and motivational speaking. There is a developing concern that droves of people will end up filling these religious stadiums and campuses that have never been saved or born again. These preachers and churches run the risk of being what Job called, “miserable comforters” (Job 16:2) and when it comes to the soul they could easily be called, “physicians of no value.” (Job 13:4). God alone knows the heart; he alone knows its condition and cure! They do not preach the heart of God in the scriptures and thus do not reach the heart of people!
There are so many religious salesmen crying for our attention today producing torrents of spiritual confusion and biblical error. They try to sell you whirlwinds in their books, earthquakes in their seminars, and fire in a bottle. But few offer the free gifts of the still small voice in the scriptures as sufficient! Christ the Heart Whisperer has bent low to bring people out of this “horrible pit” (Ps. 40:2) or a “pit of noise” and wants to “set their feet upon the rock” of Bible promises. Christ’s still small voice in the scriptures will be lifted up above this racket and that voice that they were deaf to will become like the roar of the ocean waves in the new heart and in the real church (Rev. 1:15).
FOOTSTEPS OF THE HEART
What is God’s assessment of the human heart? “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9). That is what God says about the heart-GOD! The word deceitful in Hebrew is two adjectives which form the phrase “footprints on a path.” With every heart beat there is a footstep, it shows the direction the sinner’s life is going. They are heart-prints. In the scene of a crime footprints would serve as crucial evidence to showing the presence of a person who perpetuated the crime. God even now is tracking the criminal footprints of people’s heart or heart-prints and he acts in wrath against them (Rom. 1:18)! He says, “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). The death sentence is the wage-or what the sinner deserves (Ezek. 18:4). Sin is dangerous and results in infinite crimes and an infinite penalty against an infinite God. The apostle Paul said the sin in his heart, “deceived me, and…killed me.” (Rom. 7:11). Every person who is not saved is dead spiritually (Eph. 2:1-3). That is a great problem and need.
CHRIST EXPOSES THE HEART
The heart was not hidden from the eyes of the Son of God. Jesus said, “For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.” (Mk 7:20-23NLT). How can one preach self-esteem to those who should be ashamed that they have committed treasonous crimes against the crown of heaven? The only hope of the sinner is that his self-esteem is brought into the dust and he sees the glory of God. The Heart Whisperer exposes the real condition of the heart.
THE HEARTPRINTS OF CHRIST
Christ whose heart full of love, made his way up to Calvary marking each step with heart footprints to pay for your sin and satisfy the anger of God against the sins of the heart. God only saw his footprints not mine, not yours. There his footprints were stained with blood as he bore our sins to the Cross. Now the evidence of our crimes and sins fell upon him! The justice of God tracked it all the way to Calvary. Christ took my sin, gave me his righteousness and was judged on my behalf and I went away free. He who lighted the light of the sun and furnished the light of the night, he who made springs in dry lands, the Lord and of the heaven and earth, the sea and rivers, the sun moon and stars, the lofty mountains and the lowly valleys, the God of the heaven and in heaven and under heaven. Alas, we have seen the son of the living God stretched out on a cross. Alas, the body that possessed wisest dignity had been plunged into blood. A crown of thorns was placed about his beauteous head; the blood of Christ is flowing from his bleeding side; this cross is like the parting of the day from night! The Heart Whisperer comforted me. He took the punishment I deserved. The Heart Whisperer spoke salvation into my heart of those who he calls and his heart-prints mark our lives forever.
TERMINAL HEART CONDITION
God’s says the heart is desperately wicked which refers to an incurable disease. The heart is injured by sin, it is bruised and broken. It has a life threatening illness. “This is what the Lord says: “Your injury is incurable, a terrible wound. There is no one to help you or to bind up your injury. No medicine can heal you.” (Jer. 30:12-13NLT). The Lord says again, “Why do you continue to invite punishment? Must you rebel forever? Your head is injured, and your heart is sick. You are battered from head to foot-covered with bruises, welts, and infected wounds-without any soothing ointments or bandages.” (Isa. 1:5-6NLT). It is not just life’s trauma, exploitation and abuse that broke your heart. It was already broken by sin when you were born (Ps. 51:5). The heart is helplessly sinful, it is broken beyond repair, it is wounded beyond relief, and it is beyond human treatment. Only Christ can heal the cancer of the heart! The Lord who sees the heart is the only qualified surgeon of the soul. No psychology or religion can help you. Christ is the help of the helpless. Here is a novel idea: preach more about Jesus Christ! He is the Heart Whisperer he can only speak a word and they will be healed.
THE STUBBORN HEART OF ROCK
The Bible warns of the hardening that comes from the, “deceitfulness of sin” (Heb. 3:13). Sin deceives the heart and hardens it, making it cold, brittle, and resistant to change. When the message of the gospel comes to the hearts of some people, they are like Pharaoh (the poster boy of hard hearts) and in their hearts they say, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey him …I do not know the Lord.” (Ex 5:2). God’s reply to them is, “Because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.” (Rom. 2:5). Unless there is a one hundred and eighty degree change, the hard hearted person will face God’s perfect justice one day and their unrepentant soul will be smashed upon the rocks of his righteous anger. There is no safety outside of Christ. Their refusal to turn from sin is storing more and more wrath where only an eternity in hell will satisfy the justice of God against them. That is a deep problem-a great need wouldn’t you say? Only the fire of the Holy Spirit can thaw a frozen heart. Preach to meet that need. Only Christ can conquer the feral, untamed human heart, only he can save the soul! No methodology, no program, no other religion can help the hard heart. The Holy Spirit is speaking to hearts here though scripture, “Today if you will hear his voice harden not your hearts.” (Heb. 3:7-8NLT). The Heart Whisperer may be speaking to you tonight.
THE NEW HEART OF THE NEW BIRTH
God tells us in Ezekiel’s prophecy that he will take away the heart of stone and give us in its place a heart of flesh. Jesus tells us, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3). Here is the most foundational, cardinal and essential truth the Heart Whisperer can speak! YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN! It at the very heart of the gospel message: regeneration must take place in order for a person to repent and trust in Christ for salvation.
W.A. Criswell comments, “How can you preach the gospel to a stone? And how can you argue with a rock? The man in his nature is hard. He is indifferent. He will pass by the sacrifice and the cross of Jesus without any repercussion in his soul at all. He is lost. He is hard. His heart is like a stone. And you can talk to him, and you can plead with him, and you can speak to him of the grace of the Lord. He is impervious. He is unmoved. He is untouched. His heart is like a rock. He is lost. God must do something.
God must give him a new heart if he is ever responsive, if he is ever teachable, if he is ever sensitive, if he ever repents. But when God gives a man a new heart, he is almost unrecognizable compared to what once he was. You talk to him about the Lord Jesus and point to the cross and he will weep. You talk to him about the grace of God, and his heart will overflow. You speak to him about the Spirit, and the call, and the way of the Lord Jesus, and he is all attention. He has a new heart that is the difference.”
Please stand. The Holy Spirit wants to introduce you to Jesus Christ who is the warm satisfying bread of life to those who are spiritually hungry (John 6:35) and he is cool running water to the spiritually thirsty (John 4:14). I think of the scriptures that says, “Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.” (Mk. 10:49). Only he can satisfy! What he has done for others he can do for you! You never need go, “hungry while the daily bread of grace is on the table of mercy.” (CHS). The Holy Spirit will be placed in your heart so he keeps fresh and alive in your new heart your desire to love and obey God. Isaiah 53 asks who will believe the report about Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God. You see him despised so you could be loved, rejected so you could be accepted, experiencing the depths of grief so you could have the heights of joy. He carried your weakness and the burden of your sorrows and was punished for your sins! You see him pierced for your rebellion, crushed for your sins, beaten and whipped so you could be whole.
You must see this as the one and only remedy for sin. You must see that God will only accept one payment for sin and the propitiation of Christ to appease his justice against you. You must see that Christ and his death is the one and only way to be saved. You must put your whole confidence in what Christ did in payment for sin. Lay aside your good works. They cannot save! Put down your sin and turn away from them and call upon the Lord to save you from the power of evil. ! Through a message like this it is my prayer that God will shoot a bullet of the gospel into some soul that triggers a wound that only he can heal. “For He inflicts pain, and gives relief; He wounds, and His hands also heal.” (Job 5:18). Such is the way of the Heart Whisperer.