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The Sinner who Hardens his Neck Cannot be Saved

September 5, 2012 3 comments

There is no remedy. The sinner who continues to harden his neck under reproof cannot be saved. He shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy, because it cannot be prevented. Here is a sinner who will not take reproof-the question arises, What shall be done to prevent the loss of his soul? The answer is nothing. He is marching forward to eternity and to the pit of destruction with a proud heart and with a stiff neck, and nothing can stop him in his mad career. Such a sinner must go to destruction and no means can prevent it. This is the meaning of our text.

There is no remedy. The only remedy which can be applied for the salvation of sinners is the gospel. And this remedy never takes effect without alarming and arousing the guilty conscience. But, when warned to break off his sins, and to flee from the wrath to come, the hardened sinner says, “He is not to be frightened to heaven.” Thus it was with the old world. Noah, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world. By his preaching, and by his example, he warned the wicked world of the coming flood. But, they were not to be frightened. Thus it was with the inhabitants of Sodom. The preacher applied the most powerful means, the only remedy to prevent their destruction. Up, get ye out of this place: for the Lord will destroy thee. But, they were not to be frightened. He seemed as one that mocked. They would not be alarmed. And so there was no remedy. What could the preacher do more? Nothing.

Asahel Nettleton-The Destruction of Hardened Sinners

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God’s reproof hardens a sinner

Allusion is made to the bullock which has repeatedly felt the galling yoke. At length his neck becomes hardened, and he can bear it without feeling or flinching. The sinner never hears a galling reproof without producing some effect. If his heart be not subdued, and changed, he becomes at length more hardened. The child which is often corrected, but not subdued, becomes more hardened.

Asahel Nettleton-The Destruction of Hardened Sinners

Chapter XIII : Of Sanctification

1. They who are united to Christ, Effectually called, and regenerated, having a new heart, and a new Spirit created in them, through the vertue of Christ’s death, and Resurrection; are also (a) farther sanctified, really, and personally, through the same vertue, (b) by his word and Spirit dwelling in them; (c) the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, (d) and the several lusts thereof, are more and more weakned, and mortified; and they more and more quickened, and (e) strengthned in all saving graces, to the (f) practice of all true holyness, without which no man shall see the Lord.

a Act. 20.32. Rom. 6.5,6.

b Joh. 17.17. Eph. 3.16,17,18,19. 1 Thes. 5.21,22,23.

c Rom. 6.14.

d Gal. 5.24.

e Col 1.11.

f 2 Cor. 7.1. Heb. 12.14.

2. This Sanctification is (g) throughout, in the whole man, yet imperfect (h) in this life; there abideth still some remnants of corruption in every part, whence ariseth a (i) continual, and irreconcilable war; the Flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the Flesh.

g 1 Thes. 5.23.

h Rom. 7.18,23.

i Gal. 5.17. 1 Pet. 2.11.

3. In which war, although the remaining corruption for a time may much (k) prevail; yet through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ the (l) regenerate part doth overcome; and so the Saints grow in Grace, perfecting holiness in the fear of God, (m) pressing after an heavenly life, in Evangelical Obedience to all the commands which Christ as Head and King, in his Word hath prescribed to them.

k Rom. 7.23.

l Rom. 6.14.

m Eph. 4.15.16. 2 Cor. 3.18. ch. 7.1.

The 1677/89 London Baptist Confession