Our Response to the WordBro. David Chancellor
4/4/2004 6:00 PM
As people of God, we should love the word of God. There are blessings to be found there. We should give it great importance and value.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 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.
If we hear and believe, we'll have everlasting life. We want people to come into a right relationship with God. The ones that hear shall live. There is a life to be had in Christ, now. It's found in the voice of God. The ones that take heed to God will live. When God speaks, even when it's a small voice, we need to listen. Sometimes God speaks in a small voice, and sometimes he thunders. The Son has life to give to us. He makes a way for us to have life in God.
When we stand before God, no excuse will work. Jesus proved that we could live right in a human body. He took on a human body with its limitations to prove it to us. His judgment will be a true judgment. The excuse that "he was the Son of God," doesn't work because we can have his Spirit within us. We can be the sons of God.
If we find Christ and take heed to him, we'll come forth to the resurrection of life. Take heed now. This life is where you must prepare to go into the presence of God. The devil encourages people to put off their eternal destiny. Address the need now. Make sure that you have made the right choice. If you've made a wrong choice, make sure to correct it while you have opportunity.
Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
This is Stephen's last message. He was preaching to Jewish elders. This is the finishing up of his sermon and how the people responded. His words were pointed and plain. We want to be kind in our words, but the truth will sometimes get personal. It has to come down to where we live.
Stephen told them they had rejected God's word just like their fathers had. If you don't want to hear the word, you need to change. These didn't listen to Stephen's message. It convicted them. They didn't listen; they attacked the messenger. It may not be a physical attack today, but people still attack verbally. If we're not doing right, it's better for that to be exposed and taken care of than to attack the messenger. Don't stop your ears. You don't have to listen, but it doesn't help. You will have to answer for it. These tried to shut out Stephen's message, but it was truth and they had to answer for it. God told Saul that he had better listen up. He ignored Stephen's message for a while. God kept talking because of his mercy. For some, the message gets through. Everyone who doesn't listen will regret it on the day of judgment.
The message gets down to where life is lived. When it hits home, are you going to destroy the messenger or will you listen? Don't you want the word to come when you can do something about it? We want to be concerned about the issues that get down to where we live. The word deals with where we go and with what we do.
These had rejected the one they were looking for. If the world's taking you out, someone may have to get plain with you. If someone comes, it's because they care. Stephen said what he did because he cared about these.
We want to be careful what we say and do, but we also need to watch our attitude when the word comes. When the word comes, don't stop your ears, ask God to help you to take it and use it. A person who's serving God won't stop their ears against the message. They'll ask God to help them to understand it.
Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
This message is the same as Stephen's message. It wasn't the message that was the problem. These had a different response. Some might blame the messenger. The message was the same. Both used plain words. These wanted to know, "What do we do?" If someone tells you that you've messed up, how do you respond? Do you look for a way to fix it? This is your response if you love the truth. Look to line up with God's word. God doesn't ask us to digest the whole Bible in one bite. He opens our understanding as we go through life. He helps us to grow. He knows what we can handle. He will help us to be pure in our hearts and in our lives. What God cleans on the inside spreads to the outside. His message applies to the outside. It affects what we say and what we do. It cleans up our language and helps us to watch our words.
Language changes over time, but there's some that is better left off. These are words that aren't becoming to a saint. They're words that are misused and misapplied. The world makes some words vulgar, crude and inappropriate. Our lives should be cleaned up by the gospel. When the message comes, we need to hear. What is your response? Ask God to help you get the victory. This response will help you to overcome.
Peter was glad to hear the response of these. There's life, help, benefit, and many other good things in the word for us if we seek God for help. Take heed now. Let him speak to you where you're at. When he speaks, walk that way. Rejecting God's word brings death and separation from God. Eternal life is to know him whom he hath sent. Jesus is eternal life. When he speaks, ask, "Lord, what would you have me to do?"