Who Are You Listening To?

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Who Are You Listening To?

Who Are You Listening To?

John 10:27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
30  I and my Father are one.

The fall of man required a way for man to be forgiven and restored to a place of fellowship with the true God. Adam obviously did not see the need to be forgiven and restored. He decided to play the blame game rather than confess his sin. God did not create man to destroy him. That is not God’s design. We have a Bible with 66 books that clearly shows us that God did not create man to destroy him. Man was created with the ability to choose to follow God’s simple and straight forward commands, or not. Man had all the “tools” needed to be able to choose to follow God’s way. The facts reveal that Adam made a very foolish choice.
After the fall of man, God promised that He would provide the way for man to be forgiven and be restored to fellowship. That way was through the seed of the woman. In Genesis 3 God also showed man that he needed a covering for his sin. He would never again be able to walk around naked and not be ashamed.
We know that nakedness has been entertained by many people in defiance of God’s standard. The primary problem God addressed in Genesis 3 was the spiritual nakedness of man. Man’s defiance of God’s order stems from his spiritual nakedness. Adam and Eve were ashamed before God and they tried to resolve that issue on their own but they discovered they could not fix their sin problem themselves. God killed an animal and made coats of skin for them. In killing that animal, there was the shedding of blood.
Adam became a sinner at the moment he defied God. He died spiritually at that moment. God showed Adam and Eve the necessity of the shed blood of an animal to provide for the skin that was needed to make the covering for their sin. The shed blood of the animal did not take away their sin. God shows us this throughout the Old Testament, in the fact that He taught the necessity of continual animal sacrifices to make an atonement (covering) for man’s sin. All of those sacrifices pointed to the promise of Genesis 3:15 where we read that the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent and the serpent would bruise the heel of the seed of the woman. It would require a sinless man, born of a woman, to take away the curse that was upon man. The bruising that the seed of the woman would receive would involve the shedding of this seed’s blood.
We know that Adam and Eve understood the significance of the shed blood by looking at God’s response to Cain and Abel’s sacrifices in Genesis 4. The Bible is clear that God never expects something from man that He has not instructed man about first. In Genesis 4 Abel brought an acceptable sacrifice to God and Cain did not. Abel’s sacrifice was acceptable because he came with a humble heart in obedience to God’s will and the evidence of this was that he brought a blood sacrifice before the Lord.
Cain came before God with pride and with no desire to obey God. We know that because Cain brought a sacrifice of his own choosing and it lacked the key ingredient of the shed blood, that God required. Cain was not a trailblazer. He was a fool. He rejected God’s way and then fought against God when God told him to repent and follow His way.
In the New Testament, we see clearly who the seed of the woman was. The Old Testament prophesied of the coming of the Messiah. We are told that He would be born of a virgin. We are told He would be born in Bethlehem. We are told that He would be cut off at a specific time. We are told that He would rise again.
The Old Testament shows us clearly the importance of obedience to God’s Word. Obedience did not make Adam a sinless person. He was created without sin. He was not created as a god, but he was without sin. His disobedience was his fall.

Romans 5:19  For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Jesus Christ did not become the Saviour by obeying God’s will. Jesus Christ was the Saviour and proved to be that by His obedience to the will of His Father.
In our text verses, Jesus taught the importance of hearing His voice. Biblical hearing has to do with doing that which we hear.
In John 3, Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born again. That was not a message just for Nicodemus. That was a message that all need to hear and respond to. Jesus made it clear that without the new birth, no one could see or enter the kingdom of God.
In John 10, Jesus taught that His sheep hear His voice. God is calling all people to repentance. That is what II Peter 3:9 tells us. We already noted that God called Cain to repentance. He needed to turn to God’s way from his stubborn and rebellious way. Cain chose not to do that and chose rather to continue in his sin and act out that sin by murdering his righteous brother. He added to his sin, rather than listening to God and being forgiven.
Again, in John 10, Jesus says His sheep hear His voice. His sheep hear His call to repentance and salvation. All sheep are called.

Matthew 20:16  So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

Matthew 22:14  For many are called, but few are chosen.

God is working in the heart of every individual to bring them to repentance. God has many ways in which He does that. He calls on His saints to testify of the Lord Jesus Christ to the lost around them. That is one of the ways that God is calling the lost sheep to come to Him.
In our text, we see that those who hear Jesus’ voice, are known as “my sheep”. A person cannot become one of Jesus’ sheep unless He heeds His call. The call is to salvation first of all, and then to faithfulness after salvation.
It is important to note that we need to hear His call. There are many versions of salvation out there. Cain was the first recorded distorter of God’s call. He came with his own method of religion and he expected God to accept it. When God did not accept it, Cain took it out on his brother. He wrongly assumed that if the right way was taken out of the way, then the wrong way would have to be accepted. God showed him and us that it does not work that way. No one can hold God ransom. No one can force God’s hand. God does not have to bend His laws because man does not want to accept His laws. Cain was told that and we can see that throughout the Bible.
Those who hear Jesus’ voice, will follow Him. To hear is to respond favourably. Any parent will understand that their children often hear what they say, but they do not follow what they say. If they are confronted with their disobedience, the child can usually answer exactly what they were told to do. The problem is that they choose not to do what they are told to do.
There are many people who hear Jesus calling them. They refuse to respond favourably to that call. They insist on having their way. However, when death comes, they want to know they are going to heaven. They just want to go on their terms. God’s Word shows us that this method will never work. The devil tries to convince every generation that they can defy God and win. God’s Word makes it very clear that this will never work. Jesus Christ came from heaven and He told us the same thing that the true Old Testament prophets had already declared. God has preserved His Word so that every generation can know the truth. It is important to hear Jesus’ voice.
Pastor Bartel

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