You're in limited preview mode.

Login or signup for free to unlock more content.

The Frosty Creep of a Hardening Heart

Hardness of Heart Disobedience Unbelief

Source: The Way Into the Holiest: Expositions of the Epistle to the Hebrews By Frederick Brotherton Meyer, p. 75-76.

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2023-02-01

Scripture: Hebrews 3:15

Author: F. B. Meyer


Guard especially against heart-hardening. Hard hearts are unbelieving ones; therefore beware of ossification of the heart. The hardest hearts were soft once, and the softest may get hard. The chalk which now holds the fossil shells was once moist ooze. The horny hand of toil was once full of soft dimples. The murderer once shuddered when, as a boy, he crushed a worm. Judas must have been once a tender and impressionable lad.

At first the process can be detected by none but a practiced eye. Then there is a thin film of ice, so slender that a pin or needle would fall through. At length it will sustain a pebble, and, if winter still hold its unbroken sway, a child, a man, a crowd, a cart will follow. We get hard through the steps of an unperceived process. -- F.B. Meyer


Meyer concludes,

The constant hearing the truth without obeying it. The knowing a better and doing the worse. The cherishing of unholy things that seem fair as angels. The refusal to confess the wrong and to profess the right. All these things harden. Beware of the deceitfulness of sin! Take heed to yourselves! Exhort one another daily.

"As it is said, 'Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion'” (Hebrews 3:15, ESV).

England’s Darkest Tourist Attraction

Sin Disobedience Spiritual Death

Source: “Welcome to the Alnwick Poison Garden, where everything wants to kill you,” by Lauren McMah, NEWS.COM.AU, May 14, 2016

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-08-26

Scripture: 2:16 ; Proverbs 8:36

Author: Illustration Exchange


Lauren McMah, with NEWS.COM.AU, reports:

AT FIRST glance it seems like a typical English country garden: lush trees billowing over manicured topiaries, pretty blooms dotted along gravel paths, and everything neatly enclosed in an antique-style, wrought-iron fence.

But on closer inspection, nothing here is really that innocent.

On the gate leading to this green oasis is a grim message, a genuine warning of what lurks inside: “These plants can kill.”

That is the sign that greets intrepid visitors to the Alnwick Poison Garden in Northumberland, UK, a sinister botanical wonderland that is home to 100 of the world’s most lethal plants.

Tourists have fallen ill and fainted here, having flouted stern advice to not smell or touch anything that grows inside.

... Among the deadly flora at Alnwick are foxgloves, atropa belladonna — also known as the deadly nightshade — and hemlock, the plant that killed the philosopher Socrates.

There is also ricinus communis, which can annihilate internal organs with a single seed, and nux vomica, which is the source of the pesticide strychnine.

Even some common plants are seriously dangerous: a daffodil bulb can kill a person, and leaves from the seemingly innocuous laurel hedge are not much safer.

... Datura is an incredible poison, but an amazing aphrodisiac, too, and you see it everywhere.

In Argentina, even nowadays, some people put a bell of datura ... on a baby’s pillow at night, then take it away after five minutes and the baby has gone to sleep. If it were left all night the baby would be dead in the morning.


This is not the first garden to come with an ominous warning. Neither is it the first time that warning wasn’t heeded, with dire consequences.

Like Adam, we are free to enjoy most of what we find in life. But there are certain restrictions placed upon us by God.  Paul writes, “ … Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don't be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world” (Colossians 3:5, NLT).

But just as it was in the Garden, sin continues to hold an allure for us today.  Partake at your own peril, but don’t be surprised at the consequences that are sure to follow.

“And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Genesis 2:16-17).

“But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death” (Proverbs 8:36, KJV).

Evangelist Arrested for Preaching Against Sexual Sin

Persecution Disobedience Word of God

Source: "Preacher Arrested for Calling Homosexuality a Sin" by Todd Starnes, published Fox News, 7/8/13

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-07-12

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:18 ; 1 Peter 2:8

Author: Illustration Exchange


Tony Miano, a retired California deputy sheriff and former chaplain with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was recently evangelizing on the streets of London during the 2013 Wimbledon Tennis Tournament. Miano says he was preaching about sexual purity and repentance, making reference to all manner of sexual sins, including homosexuality.

“I talked about women addicted to romance novels, men addicted to pornography, people with lustful thoughts, heterosexual fornication and homosexuality,” Miano told Fox News. “When I mentioned that the Bible was clear that homosexuality is a sin, a lady walked by and she glared at me and hurled the f-bomb.”

The angry passerby began video taping Miano's "sermon." She then left and called police, who returned and arrested Miano, charging him with “using homophobic speech that could cause people anxiety, distress, alarm or insult.”

Miano claims he never used hate speech or gay slurs of any kind. "That would be contrary to my faith," he says.

In an ironic twist, the officers made arrangements to provide the evangelist with a Bible to read in jail – the same book that led to his arrest. “The same book I read from in public which resulted in my arrest, was now the same book the police were giving to provide me comfort,” he said.

After being fingerprinted, interrogated, and held for a time, Miano was eventually released.


Apparently, it's ok to own a Bible, but not to preach from it!

How interesting it is that the same book that brings "anxiety, distress, alarm or insult" to one, brings comfort and assurance to another. But either way, God's word does not return void. It always accomplishes its work, regardless of the response its message engenders.

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" (1 Corinthians 1:18). "He Jesus is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that makes them fall. They stumble because they do not obey God's word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them" (1 Peter 2:8). "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it" (Isaiah 55:11).

God's Relentless Pursuit of Man

Disobedience God's Patience Love (Divine)

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-02-23

Scripture: Genesis 3:9 ; Nehemiah 9:17

Author: John Chrysostom

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

One Excuse As Good As Another

Excuses Guilt Disobedience

Contributed By: Lynn Schuyler | Date Posted: 2013-02-06

Scripture: John 9:41

Author: Zig Ziglar

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Preserving Order and Promoting Peace

Wrath Disobedience Revenge

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-11-09

Scripture: Isaiah 30:1 ; Isaiah 65:2

Author: Albert Barnes

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Escape Into Prison

Bondage Foolishness Disobedience

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-01-18

Author: Illustration Exchange

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Ignoring God's Commands

Obedience Commandments Disobedience

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-01-23

Scripture: James 1:22

Author: Philip Yancey

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Futile Effort

Success Obedience Disobedience

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2010-11-29

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 3:13

Author: Thomas Merton

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

What Seems Right Might Be Wrong

Disobedience Wisdom Consequences

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2010-10-17

Scripture: Proverbs 14:12

Author: Matt Friedeman / Illustration Exchange

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or