“Why is my language not clear to you?” asked Jesus to the religious right who were challenging his authority. He continued by answering His own question: “Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil and you want to carry out your father’s desire…He who belongs to God hears what God says.” John 8:43 – 47
In one way this is a tremendous encouragement. It adds weight to my assurance of salvation. If I can understand what Jesus says then it is because I belong to Him. This causes me to consider that this is another example of God’s love toward me. Because I chose to follow His call to me all of those years ago, I get to read my heavenly Father’s mail.
But there is a flip side to this statement by Jesus and it is sobering beyond words. With these words He is drawing a terrible line in the sands of eternity. On one side of the line are the responders to the Word. They are that side of the line because they hear the Word and try to obey. They are learning to hear the Word rather than what seems to be right to them. They put the Word above cultural opinion polls.
On the other side of the line are the rejecters of the Word. The rejecters are the non-hearers. These are the folks who are hostile to the gospel. That hostility can be blatant or it can be non-committal. Either way, those on the wrong side of the line are there because they reject the Word. They value the thoughts of men over what God states categorically through the Word. They find a way that seems right to them. They let men tickle their ears with high sounding philosophical ideas but the end result is rejection from eternal life in God. They cannot bear to hear because they have made the choice to belong to Satan.
Too cut and dried for you? Makes you feel uncomfortable? Surely God is not that harsh…
The Bible is succinctly clear about the things of salvation. I find in the Bible only two types of people…the saved and the unsaved.
The unsaved man is born into Satan’s family and stays there. He is doomed along with his father the devil to the fires of hell…to spend eternity with the god of deception and lies.
The saved man, just like the unsaved man, is born into Satan’s family, hears the Word calling and takes the step to be reborn into the family of God. His willingness to hear and obey the Word places him in eternity with the God of peace.
There is no third choice. There is no “what if” in God’s economy. It is either yes or no. I would challenge you to find a third option in the Bible for eternity.
I love the Word and the words that He speaks. They are final. They are true. They are eternal. They are clear. They are consistent. They are immutable. “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”