Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: NOISE (05/03/18)
- TITLE: As He Hears
By Michelle Gretz
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“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice. And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”
Jesus spoke these words first in the present tense and then in the future tense. Presently He speaks, and those spiritually dead can live. In the future, He will speak anew, and graves will open. Meanwhile, He is doing two things: He is listening and judging. This word, “judging,” is often misunderstood or misapplied and has become almost a taboo word in Christian society. You may wonder in what way is he judging? So, please, let me explain. When a loud, self-righteous person prays recounting their righteous deeds, Jesus hears. He then makes decisions based upon what his ears hear, much like a judge. He decides when, how or if to awaken the self-righteous to their need of mercy.
When we read John 5, what does He hear coming from us? Does the response of our heart sound like music to his ears or is it painfully noisy?
Here is a typical musical response. It is so just that Jesus is the one authorized to judge us. He as God dwelt in mortal flesh and even now understands better than any the struggle of my soul. I am so thankful His word enlivens me and moves me to turn away from sin and into godliness. I know He judges the depth of my love and honesty which is a good thing and something I need. I am sure all His judgments on my account are according to God’s will for my future place in his great kingdom.
Here is a typical painfully noisy response. Hogwash. Jesus, himself, said he didn’t come to judge the world. John 12:47 (KJV) says: “And if any man hears my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.”
The musical response is in harmony with what Jesus said in John 5. The off-key response is not. It rebuffs the concept that their redeemer is judging their hearts and words. It runs and grabs a verse, any verse to dismiss this basic truth. It omits what else Jesus said immediately after John 12:47. Consider verse 48. “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”
Noisy responders love to take verses out of context to justify their belief system which they build on bits and pieces of truth. There will be horrific wails when they discover their life choices were built upon sand and will not withstand the shattering storm of the final judgment.
Little children can believe that God sees and hears them. When their tender consciences are pricked in judgment, they adjust their behavior. In our current generation, many adults would like to dismiss this process. However, the divine stethoscope does not lie. Jesus hears it all: those in tune and those off tune.
If you have ever listened to herds of sheep and goats, you know their voices are deafening. Now consider the noise level of all mankind's bleating hearts; those responding musically and those responding noisily. No human could ever bear the volume of it, but Jesus does so. Let there be no mistake as He hears so also does He judge. Amen.
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