Arm Yourself – Prodigals

August 17, 2009 at 6:30 am | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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There is a large, and growing, class of individuals in the church today (especially in America). This group is known by many and even seems to have their own passage of scripture: Continue Reading Arm Yourself – Prodigals…

He who has ears to hear

March 3, 2009 at 4:54 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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While many people talk about Jesus and knowing Him, I can’t help but wonder when I look at those who profess Christianity how many are listening? There were a number of times when Jesus spoke that He told His listeners, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear”. He did this when explaining that John was Elijah to come. He said it when telling some of the parables He spoke. He also said this to John the Apostle when John received the Revelation. When John wrote to the seven churches, everything that Jesus said to them was ended with “he who has an ear to hear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches”.

 

But how many today are actually listening? How many people today actually look like the description of a Christian found in scripture? The Word tells us what to do and not do. Do our lives line up with this? If they don’t, then we aren’t listening. When Jesus spoke, it wasn’t up for debate. He never corrected Himself or changed His mind on an issue. Those who actually listened to His parables, heard more than just stories. They heard how to receive salvation. They heard how to live their lives in obedience to God. They heard that judgment was to come. Those who were listening understood what He was saying and it showed in their response to Him. This is the opposite of what’s happening today. Today, pastors aren’t preaching the truth. If what is being preached from the pulpit doesn’t line up with the things that Jesus Himself or His Apostles preached, then it’s not the truth. Instead, pastors are entertaining their audiences with dietary tips and worldly music. People need to hear the truth of Jesus Christ and many of them are not. It reminds me of what Jesus said in Matthew 13:14-15:

 

“In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, ‘YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE; FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES, OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES, HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.’

 

What did Jesus want us to hear? He wanted us to hear the truth. He wanted us to know about John the Baptist. He wanted us to hear the parables. He wanted us to hear that until He returns, there will be false converts in the church along with those who truly believe. He wanted us to know that true Christians bear fruit. He wanted us to know that those who commit lawlessness will be thrown into the furnace. He wanted us to know what defiles a man is what comes out of his heart. Jesus wanted us to know that we should count the cost of what it means to be a disciple. He wanted us to know that if we love anyone or anything more than Him, we cannot be disciples.

 

He also wants us to know what will happen to those who overcome. In the book of Revelation, Jesus tells John to write to the seven churches. In each one, He told the churches some of the things that they were doing well and the things that Jesus had against them. He then reminded them what would happen to them if they overcame. If a Christian overcomes, he will be able to eat from the tree of life (Rev. 2:7); they will not be hurt by the second death (Rev. 2:11), and they will get some of the hidden manna and a white stone with a new name on it (Rev. 217). The one who overcomes will be given authority over the nations to rule them with a rod of iron and be given the morning star (Rev. 2:26). The one who overcomes will be given a white garment, his name will not be erased from the book of life, and Jesus will confess his name before God (Rev. 3:5). The one who overcomes will be made a pillar in the temple of God and he will not go out. Jesus will write the names of God, the city of God, and the new name of Jesus (Rev. 3:12). The one that overcomes will sit down on the throne with Jesus (Rev. 3:21).

 

We have to hear the Word the way Jesus spoke it. We have to preach the Word the way that Jesus spoke it. We have to understand the Word the way the Jesus meant it to be understood. We have to bear fruit through the Word. We have to realize that not everyone that claims to be a Christian is one. We have to understand what it means to be a Christian, what it will cost us, and be willing to pay the price.


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