Summary: Now is the time for the people of God to be fully equipped to share God's Word in a way that intrigues' people to Biblical truths. Truths to live by in a sin cursed world growing in conflict, confusion and controversy.
Title: Hearing From God in Modern Times
Theme: Discerning God's Voice In a Secular Atmosphere
Introduction: We live in times were people are looking for answers. Now is the time for the people of God to be fully equipped to share God's Word in a way that intrigues' people to Biblical truths. Truths to live by in a sin cursed world growing in conflict, confusion and controversy.
Proposition: I would propose to you that God wants to use His children to provide answers, truths from the Lord that are exhilarating, intimate, unforgettable and ongoing. Truths that motivate and inspire the hungry to listen to God while receiving practical help and hearing from Him. Truths that help Christians to understand that the voice of God is not to be feared, but welcomed, like that of close friend, a loving husband, or honorable wife.
Interrogative Sentence: Just what are Biblical steps that enable Christians to discern the voice of God in a world demanding your attention and allegiance?
"Back in the day of telephone booths, a man stepped into the booth, dialed a number of a friend. When the connection was made, the friend on the other end of the line kept saying, 'I can not hear you!" All the traffic in the back ground caused such a roar, it drowned out the man's voice in the phone booth. In order for communication between the two friends to be effective, that man in the booth had to shut the door, shut out background noise. The world view has such a roar, you need to shut it out for a short season so you can hear the voice of God" (AMG Bible Illustrations. (2000). Chattanooga: AMG Publishers)
When the child of God, for a short season shuts out the world view, he learns to welcome the Lords voice for companionship, comfort, rebuke, and guidance.
Transitional Sentence: The first step to hearing the from God is to take a truth spoken by Jesus seriously, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand." (John 10:27-28) Jesus spoke another truth that must be grasped in order to hear from the Lord, "But you do not believe because you are not My sheep." (John 10:26)
It is imperative that you understand that Jesus is talking to Jews here. (John 10:24) He had been speaking to the Pharisees, (John 10:1) The beloved John makes it clear that the Pharisees could not understand what Jesus was teaching. (John 10:6) A Pharisee (Φαρισαῖος Pharisaios) is a member of a Jewish religious sect. Pharisees were educated (Nelson's New Testament Bible Manners and Customs) The Pharisees are described by two first century sources, the New Testament and Josephus, a Jewish Historian who wrote for non-Jews in the Greek language. The picture of the Pharisees in the Gospels present them as legalists, hypocrites and were blind to Jesus' message.
Jesus had a conversation with a Pharisee, named Nicodemus, they were talking about spiritual truths. As a matter of fact it was the imperative truth for all of man kind. Nicodemus is confused. Jesus said, "You are Israel's teacher, and you do not understand these things? As they continued their conversation, Jesus points out, "...you do not believe." (John 3:10, 12)
The point to grasp, Nicodemus, in that conversation could not hear the voice of God because he did not believe, He was questioning Jesus' teaching.
"I think of ignorant man who was examined on the subject of his faith. He was asked, 'What do you believe?' The ignorant man replied, 'I believe what the church believes.' He was then asked, 'What then, does the church believe?' On which the ignorant man replied, 'The church believes what I believe.' He then asked, 'What is then, what do you and the church believe.' The ignorant man said, 'Why, truly, the church and I believe in the same thing.'"
To "believe (πιστεύω pisteúō) means to imply trust. (Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) This trust causes you to live out what you believe. Pisteuo belief is like:
"I can say I believe there is a game of golf. Golf is real, many play it and there are some that make a lot of money playing golf. My belief in golf does not move me to participate in it. As a matter of fact, when I played golf in high school, I got board. I started chasing ground squirrels with the golf cart and golf clubs. That is not the type of belief in golf one should have. Many have that type of belief in God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. They are reckless in there living for self, while claiming to believe in Jesus.