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Can You Hear Me Now?

Can You Hear Me Now?

       Most everyone remembers those Verizon commercials that lasted about nine years. Being heard clearly is very important, especially in the realm of personal communication devices.  It seemed during that timeframe every program on television had at least one spot to draw buyers to this specific brand. As it turned out, this became a very successful method of convincing customers to purchase their products and services.  
     Everyone wants to be heard. We all want to be heard especially when we think we have something to say. For example, have you been in a restaurant lately? All the patrons, involved in conversation, try to “out-talk” everyone else in volume. This is simply because they want to be heard.   Perhaps their actions (volume) were asking “Can You Hear Me Now?”  
       Does God ever have occasion to ask you the question that heads this article? This came to mind when recently, my wife asked me a question. That was: “Have you ever wondered, that of all of God’s creation, man, the only to be created in the image of God, is that which refuses to hear (listen) to Him?” How profound! Honestly, I had never really thought about it. Have you?
      We have ample examples of this within the Word of God. We have the case of creation, when even the elements heard and obeyed as God spoke, and it was so.   There were also the animals of Genesis 6:19-20. Some may think that Noah went and gathered them, but the scriptures show this is not so. How then, did they know to “come to the ark”?   They heard God, and did as He Commanded.   And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. 20 Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. Their salvation depended upon hearing God and doing as He Commanded. The same went for Noah and his family.   All others of that day perished in the flood. Why? They refused to “hear God”.   All who possess a soul and refuse to hear God and obey Him as He has directed will perish in eternal Hell fire.
      As time passed, God continued to carry out His plan to save the souls of man. He had separated out a people, Israel, provided the means where they could grow to be a great nation, and then delivered them from the bondage they suffered at the hands of the Egyptians. Shortly afterward, He spoke to them through their deliverer, and prophet Moses. Notice what God had Moses tell them as we read Deuteronomy 4:35-36.  Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him. 36 Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might instruct thee: and upon earth he shewed thee his great fire; and thou heardest his words out of the midst of the fire. Did they hear? At times.   Did they obey? Not all the time. Why? Because they refused to hear.  
     Not even the waters and the weather refuse to hear the Lord. We have a great example of this in Matthew 8:26-27 – When Christ was asleep on the ship, and the storm arose. His disciples, many of them, rugged men of the sea, were sorely afraid. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. 27But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!  Neither the Father, the Son, nor the Holy Ghost has ever had to ask any of God’s creation, with the sole exception of man, “Can You Hear Me Now?”   Ever wonder why this is?
     God has provided this answer in the Words of His Son in regard to that very people, Israel.   Jesus came to “seek and to save that which was lost” as we read in Luke 19:10.   Why then are not all saved?   Because they refuse to hear and obey what God has said.   When Jesus came His message was one of repentance to Israel so they could be saved. But before they could be saved, they had to “hear” Him and obey. He came to call Israel to repentance and then to die on the cross to purchase the church. This was the event in which He gave Himself as the only sacrifice that could bring about the saving of a soul.  In His coming, dying, and resurrection He “fulfilled all righteousness.
     But His death on the cross is without effect on those that will not hear. We also have Jesus’ own Words of Matthew 13:14-15 to tell us why many of the Jews of His day would not be saved when the church came into being on the day of Pentecost. He said: And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. God had said to them, “Can You Hear Me Now?” and they refused. These folks, like many of their ancestors who refused to hear, were lost.
     Even to those “baptized into Christ”, God’s children, has God had to ask Can You Hear Me Now? so they wouldn’t go astray. We have an example of this in Hebrews 3:7-9 to the Hebrews that had been converted to Christ. Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, 8Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.  They knew the history of their forefathers and knew that some died in the wilderness and never reached the Promised Land.
     God is asking you and I today: “Can You Hear Me Now?”.  Won’t you hear? He speaks through His Word to Christians, and Christians are to take His Holy message of Salvation to all who will hear.   Can you hear Him?   Obey Him.  Let us help you understand God’s message and how to follow it so you too can have the hope of Heaven, that eternal Promised Land. If you refuse to hear Him and obey, you too shall be eternally lost!  

Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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