Hearing the Word of Jesus

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, September 8, 2015 0 comments

by Bill Seng

“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” ~Romans 10:17

People are wicked to the core. It is not in our corrupt nature to do what is good or to humble ourselves under the supreme authority of God. If this is the reality of human existence, how can anyone make a free decision to receive Jesus?

I think that sometimes we fall into the trap, as the church, of over thinking certain truths revealed in the Bible. One of which is that we are not saved by our works, but through faith. This is a truth preached upon by Paul throughout Romans. It is not through works that we are saved but by grace through faith. But then one day somebody got the idea that a free choice regarding salvation constitutes as a work because it would then be based on one’s understanding of the Gospel and not solely God’s grace and sovereignty. Does this reasoning sound kind of strange to you? Romans 10:17 says that faith comes from hearing the Word preached. It is in hearing the true message of the Gospel that we hear the words of Jesus and are presented with an opportunity to receive God’s grace. Are there other ways that this can be interpreted?

It is strange to me that many people do not catch on to the obscure relationship between predestination and free will. I am not saying I am surprised people do not understand it; I do not fully comprehend how we can be both free and predestined. What I see in Scripture is the reality that both hold true. I would say that this passage, however, is more so speaking of the mechanism that allows people to make a free choice.

When the Gospel is presented, the listener is hit square in the face with a truth that he or she cannot deny: we are all sinners. We all deserve to go to hell and without someone to save us, we are destined to go there. I think that in our heart of hearts we know this is true, which is why some people upon reading this will be offended. The Bible tells us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and that anyone who says that he or she has not sinned is a liar and is calling God a liar (1 John 1:8-10). If the consequence for sin is death, there is no way to deny that we all deserve to go to hell because just one violation against God’s law is enough to condemn anyone.

The Holy Spirit, who I believe is actively working on each and every one of us, reveals the truth to us through the preaching of the Gospel. To reject the message is to reject the Holy Spirit. Doing this until the day you die leads to eternal separation from God.

Fear not if you are afraid of being ostracized for believing the message of the Gospel. Some might ridicule you because you are believing some fairy tale your parents told you. Some may diminish your intellect by claiming you are only believing a message an uneducated pastor told you to believe. Truth be told, the only things we believe are things that other people have told us. There are no original ideas or messages out there. The Gospel message just happens to be the truth and God freely presents it to everyone so that all might have the opportunity to believe.

This is why it is so important to share the Gospel with people. Everyone needs to hear the message so that the Spirit can speak to them. The Gospel message liberates minds and frees people from the bondage of sin. Do not ridicule those who share the Gospel message; instead, listen just a little more carefully and it just might make enough sense to you that you might be saved.

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