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« Worshipping God in the Spirit | Main | No Man Is Able To Pluck Them Out of My Hand »

What Happens When the Word Is Preached?

ear-closeup.jpgHave you ever spoken to someone who did not hear your words?

  • Too far away
  • Too much noise
  • Pre-occupied
  • You weren’t speaking loudly enough
  • The language was not understood
  • You were not seen as relevant or knowledgeable
Who is responsible for the lack of communication?

(It depends on several factors.)

What happens when people do not receive the Word of God?
What does God do when his word does not meet with obedience?
Can we pass judgment on the word of God?
Is there something about the God’s word that bypasses the unbeliever?
What about those who do not obey salvation scriptures?
What about people who refuse to abide by holiness teaching?
What about someone’s rejection of scriptural teaching on the oneness?
What about the utter lack of response to teaching on spiritual discipline?

The fate of Noah’s generation

Matt 24:37-39 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Everything begins with the word.

  • “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
  • “In the beginning was the Word…” John 1:1
  • Heb 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

When the Word of God goes forth, results follow.

Isa 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Noah’s generation heard his preaching.

Yet, the Bible says “they knew not until the flood came and took them all away.”
They heard the word, but it had no effect on them.
My question is: Why?
Why didn’t the preached word result in the transfer of viable, sound knowledge?
Did they have alternative explanations to the preached word?
Noah is crazy, extreme, out-of-touch.
We are on the cutting edge of technological change.
There is no crisis.
Noah’s presence is becoming a liability to society.
The ark is an eyesore that needs to be torn down.
Noah’s message is not truly from God.
There are a thousand other preachers to listen to.

Is it possible to hear without hearing?

  • Matt 13:9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
  • Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
  • Rev 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
  • Rev 2:29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

The Bible seems to be saying that some people have a capacity to hear and respond to the word of God.
Further, those who have the capacity to hear must also have a willingness to respond positively to the word.
Is it possible to understand the facts with no registration on the conscience?

Matt 13:15 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.

Heb 5:11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.

Dull=sluggish, lazy, stupid
Some do not believe the word.
Some do not want to hear the message because they dislike it.

Mark 6:52 For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.

When people hear the word with the right attitude, what happens?

“They that gladly received the word were baptized…” Acts 2:40-42

Why does God bother to speak if he knows his words will not be accepted?

Does God knock on the door of an empty house?
Yes, he does. He will not be at fault for anyone’s failure to be saved.
1Thes 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

Are there different kinds of knowledge?

  • Factual knowledge
  • Deduced knowledge
  • Intuitive knowledge
  • Spiritual knowledge
  • Revealed knowledge

Evidently, there are some kinds of knowledge that we can only receive with a right attitude. If our attitude is not right, it will be as though that word was never spoken to us in the first place.

Is there an interaction between the hearer and the word?

  • Faith I believe it.
  • Doubt I’m not sure. I want more evidence.
  • Passivity I’m not interested.
  • Rejection I despise it.
  • Acceptance I will do it.

What makes that difference?

  • Matthew 13:1-9
  • Matthew 13:18-23
  • Matthew 13:53-58

What, then, should we be concerned about in our reaction and response to the word of God?

  • Make the most, not the least, of the word of God.
  • Be fearful of opposing the word of God.
  • Take care not to overlook the Word of God.


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