SermonHardened Hearts Cause Animal Suffering
An all-creatures Bible Message

Hardened Hearts Cause Animal Suffering
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
10 June 2018
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

1 Samuel 11:11-15
Mark 3:20-35

Hardened hearts cause animal suffering, because the people with soft hearts also possess a heavenly love that feels the pain and suffering of the whole of creation and they want to do everything they can to eliminate that pain and suffering.
Unless people harden their own hearts and souls, they cannot stand to cause any other living beings to suffer or die.
Hunters and fish killers know that what they are doing causes the animal to suffer, but they just donít care, or worse, they enjoy watching their victim writhe in pain.
And those who hook fish and release them are prolonging their pain and suffering, because what they have done can cause infections that will eventually bring about the animalsí slow death.
The Bible has very little to say about this directly, but all through the pages of the Bible we see examples of people with hardened hearts doing things that are against Godís heavenly will.
As an example, in 1 Samuel 11:11-15, we can see examples of people with hardened heartsÖ

11. And it happened the next morning that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the camp at the morning watch, and struck down the Ammonites until the heat of the day. And it came about that those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.

We need to remember that Saul was appointed king because the people rejected God as being king over them, and he is also fulfilling the warnings that God told the people about before they insisted on having a king like all the other nations.
So, now Saul is leading the people into war instead of peace.
If God wanted the Ammonites removed from the land, He could have removed them from the land without having the people fight a war, because He knows that before people can fight a war, they first must harden their hearts so that they no longer have empathy for their enemy.

12. Then the people said to Samuel, "Who is he that said, 'Shall Saul reign over us?' Bring the men, that we may put them to death."

We hope we all see the hardness of heart of the people who seem to be blinded to their victory, and are now intent on even more bloodshed by putting to death those who opposed making Saul king; such thoughts and acts are not in the heavenly will of God, but in the corrupted and evil ways of this world.
They are following the devil and not God, whom they rejected in favor of having a human king instead of God as their leader.
This is the same problem that leads the majority of the human race to be violent abusers of Godís beautiful creation, and cause millions of other humans and billions of animals to suffer and die every year.

13. But Saul said, "Not a man shall be put to death this day, for today the LORD has accomplished deliverance in Israel."
14. Then Samuel said to the people, "Come and let us go to Gilgal and renew the kingdom there."
15. So all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before the LORD in Gilgal. There they also offered sacrifices of peace offerings before the LORD; and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.

Unfortunately, in those days, a peace offering was a sacrificed animal, and there is no way that such an act could be considered peaceful; it is an act of violence and cannot be in the heavenly will of God.
Those animals wanted to live just as much as we do.
This is the same kind of violence that we just mentioned.
We are supposed to be the peacemaking children of God who live in His heavenly will, and help free creation from its present corruption.
Letís now take a look at Mark 3:20-35, and observe the people with hardened hearts, and even though this passage doesnít speak about animals, we hopefully can see how hardened hearts cause animal suffering.

20. And He [Jesus] came home, and the multitude gathered again, to such an extent that they could not even eat a meal.

We hope we can all see the selfishness of the people; they were only thinking about their own needs and wants and not what the Lord wanted or needed.
This is the same kind of selfishness, coupled with gluttony and greediness, that every person who eats animal products exhibits; they only care about their wants and needs, and donít seem to care anything about the horrible suffering inflicted upon the animals.
We need to wake up to the truth and end the ungodliness.

21. And when His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, "He has lost His senses."

Instead of recognizing the evilness of the people for what it is, they scapegoat Jesus, the Prince of Peace, as if He was the one in the wrong, and it gets even worse.

22. And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, "He is possessed by Beelzebul," and "He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons."

These scribes definitely werenít peacemakers, and they didnít travel all that way to bring peace; they were there to cause the people to turn against Jesus.
Their hearts and souls were already hardened, and such people can never be true ministers of God.
Note how Jesus, as a peacemaker, challenges their hardness of heart actions.

23. And He called them [the people] to Himself and began speaking to them in parables, "How can Satan cast out Satan?
24. "And if a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
25. "And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.
26. "And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished!

But unfortunately Satan has too many supporters, like the scribes, who enjoy the corrupt and evil ways of this world, and donít want to leave what it has to offer them.
They have blinded themselves from seeing that what God has to offer them is far greater than anything the devil has to offer.
So, Jesus goes onÖ

27. "But no one can enter the strong man's house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house.

We are to be strong in the Lord and, if we are, the worldly people can only overpower us physically, but never spiritually.

28. "Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter;
29. but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin " ó 
30. because they were saying, "He has an unclean spirit."

God gave each and every one of us the ability to distinguish the difference between the ways of heaven and the corrupt way of this world, and we have to choose to ignore this fact if we choose evil over good.
With this in mind, letís really think about what Jesus is saying nextÖ

31. And His mother and His brothers arrived, and standing outside they sent word to Him, and called Him.
32. And a multitude was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, "Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are outside looking for You."
33. And answering them, He said, "Who are My mother and My brothers?" 

Jesus recognized His family, but He was trying to teach the people a valuable lesson about the way God sees us.

34. And looking about on those who were sitting around Him, He said, "Behold, My mother and My brothers!
35. "For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother." 

Jesus is speaking spiritually, and not about the physical beings that constitute His earthly family.
If we are truly born again peacemaking children of God, who live in the heavenly will of God, we can become closer to the Lord spiritually than the physical members of our family who remain in the corrupt and evil ways of this world.
The people who choose to remain in the corrupt and evil ways of this world are the ones who have hardened their own hearts.
These are the people we are talking about when we say, hardened hearts cause animal suffering, and we need to take a strong stand against them, and set the example of living in the heavenly will of God here on earth as it is in heaven.

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