Sunday, October 16, 2016

To Hear or Not To Hear

Temple Baptist Church - 10-16-2016
John 5:24-29

A.  This has always been one of my favorite passages of Scripture. 
1.  It describes two different types of people with two different eternities at stake.  To so many, life comes through evolution and there is no eternal purpose for it all.  To dies is to cease to exist.  Man just becomes another animal.  This has been the teaching of humanists for many years. 
2.  I remember a “Forest Fire” commercial on TV years ago that said that man was the most dangerous “animal” in the forest.  Man is no an animal!  Man was made in the image of the Creator and is different from all other living creatures on earth.
B.  Man’s body is temporal but his spirit is eternal.  In the Sermon on the Mount, out Lord set forth two types of travelers with two vastly different final destinations.
Matthew 7:13-14  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  (14)  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
C.  Here in John 5:24-29, the Lord set forth important truths concerning our life, death, and eternity.
1.  Two Appointments.  Vs. 28-29
a.  The Appointment of Death.  Job 7:1  Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?
Job 14:5  Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;
Job 30:23  For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living.
Hebrews 9:27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
b.  The Appointment of Judgment.  Hebrews 9:27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
2.  Two Hearings.  Vs. 25, 28
a.  The Hearing Ear Of Salvation - vs 25  “and they that hear shall live”
1)  The Appointment of Salvation - “hour is coming and now is”  2 Corinthians 6:2  (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured         thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
2)  The Agent of Salvation - “my Word”  Romans 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
3)  The Acceptance of Salvation - “dead shall hear (those that are lost), they that hear shall live (they that hear are saved)”  John 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
4)  The Assurance of Salvation - “shall not come into condemnation”  John 10:28  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
5)  The Attribute of Salvation - “death to life”  John 10:10  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
b.  The Unhearing Ear of Damnation – “and they that will not hear shall die”  (No, this is not the King James Bible statement but often what the Bible does not say which is the opposite of what it says is also an invaluable truth.)
1)  In the beginning, Israel heard the Word of God.  Exodus 19:6-8  And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.  (7)  And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.  (8)  And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.  (There was a time when the Bible Belt of America heard and received the Word of God.  Revival fires swept across the south and then spread.  Thus it is with the individual.  God not only gives us ears that can hear but also hearts that can understand.)
Romans 10:15-17  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!  (16)  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?  (17)  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
2)  Later, Israel WOULD NOT hear the Word of God.  Zechariah 7:11-12  But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.  (12)  Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.  (There came a time in the Bible Belt of America when the people heard and understood the Word of God but refused to obey it.  Thus it is with the individual.  It they do not come to Christ, eventually they will harden their hearts by refusing the Word of God, pulling away from the conviction of the Holy Ghost, and refuse to sit under the preaching of the gospel.)
John 5:38-40  And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.  (39)  Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.  (40)  And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
3)  Finally, Israel COULD NOT hear the Word of God.  Romans 11:7-8  What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded  (8)  (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.  (Today, the Bible Belt no longer hears the Word of God.  As Israel sleeps, as England and the British Isles sleep, so America sleeps!  Thus it is with the individual.  Their ears no longer hear the message preached.  The message has not changed.  It is the ears and hearts that have changed.  Because, when they heard they refused!) 

3.  Two Eternal States - vs. 28-29
a.  Eternal Life - 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18  (16)  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  (17)  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  (18)  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
b.  Eternal Damnation - Revelation 20:11-15  And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  (12)  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  (13)  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  (14)  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  (15)  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

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