48. A totally-hardened heart is the only thing that can separate us from God.

The Israelites are stubborn, like a stubborn heifer. How then can the Lord pasture them like lambs in a meadow? Ephraim is joined to idols; leave him alone! {Hosea 4:16-17}

When Jesus said to be afraid of the one who could destroy both body and soul in hell, He was referring to you. Only you have the power to destroy yourself by turning your light into darkness. And it doesn’t happen by accident. You can’t be deceived into doing it. It takes a long-lasting, deliberate effort where you repeatedly reject the truth that the Spirit brings. If you do it long enough, you will eventually place yourself beyond remedy. This is the only thing that can ever separate you from God.

Surely no more horrifying pronouncement can come from God than the one recorded in Hosea 4: My child is joined to idols; leave him alone! In other words, if we consistently reject the light and turn it back into darkness for long enough, we will create within ourselves a heart that is not only incapable of responding to God, but it is even incapable of recognizing God. In this condition of utter darkness, there is absolutely nothing more God can do to get through to us. There is no light bright enough to penetrate our cultivated darkness. There is no demonstration powerful or supernatural or metaphysical enough to jolt us from our darkened stupor.

What more can God do at that point than to let us go? If we have irrevocably separated ourselves from Him, His light, and His love, what else can He do?

If you want to dig deeper—
Proverbs 28:14
Proverbs 29:1
Isaiah 59:2
Hosea 11:8
Mark 3:5
Romans 1:28
Romans 2:5