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(JUST PLAIN HARDHEADED)
SCRIPTURE - Rev 3:22
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
- JUST PLAIN HARDHEADED
The message, for this month, could be looked at, as a kind of continuation of the previous two messages, in that this, as well as the others, addresses Christians, and challenges them directly, to examine themselves, and their walk with Christ.
However, even if you are not a Christian, this message may just be what you need, to realize just what it is you are looking for, and that Jesus Christ is the answer.
Now, this little verse of scripture, has a wealth of information in it. For, it addresses the 'key' to being the victorious individual that God wants you, and I, to be.
Why do I say this??
It is because everything that we get from God, usually comes from one area, and that is hearing.
All of us that are Christians, became what we are, usually through hearing the preaching of the Word of God. Or maybe it was through the testimony of someone. Maybe someone witnessed to you. But, whatever the case, hearing, had a lot to do with our salvation.
And, once we got saved, then, in order to grow in our faith, we still had to hear the Word, moreso than reading it. Reading does have its part, but, usually, it is the hearing, either the confirmation to what we think a passage of scripture that we just read, says, or the rejection of it. And it is this area that I want to address.
Two verses above the subject verse, Jesus, is addressing one of His churches. And He makes the statement, Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
He says He is standing at the door, and is knocking, meaning He wants to come in. He then says, if any one hears His voice, and opens the door to Him, He will come in to them and sup with them, and they with Him.
The significance here is, hearing and opening the door.
You and I both know, just because you hear someone knocking at the door, or just because you hear the phone ringing, or just because you hear someone call your name, does not mean that you want to converse
with them. Therefore, you ignore them.
Well, in this case, Jesus is addressing a church, known as the Church of Laodecia, about its 'lukewarm' attitude, to the things that should be the most important to it, and that is their attitude towards Him.
When I say their attitude towards Him, I am more specifically talking about His Word, and direction.
This church, had gotten so big, rich, and popular, that it began to take on an air of. 'Hey, we've got it made, and we know everything, so we don't need to listen to anything that anyone has to say.'
And when they got like that, they started taking God, and His Word, for granted. It became too much trouble to walk the narrow paths of righteousness, and, there was a lot of pleasure in worldly mindedness. They began to slack off, in pursuing pleasing God, and started pursuing their own self gratification.
And this meant, that when God sent someone to them to tell them about their attitude, they didn't want to hear it. They outright rejected them, and in some instances, persecuted, beat, and even killed them.
This is the same attitude, that a lot of Christians, have today.
You can't tell them anything, that may be the truth, if it goes against their own way of thinking. They feel like they know everything, and if you try to show them, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, where they are wrong, they throw up their hand,, and say, 'Talk to the hand!!'
There are many instance in the bible, where issues are addressed about the behavior of individuals, that God wanted them to correct, and they literally thumbed their noses at Him.
Go in to the old testament book of Exodus, and read about how many times, God told Moses to tell the people either to do something, or not do it, or to change their ways, and they jumped all over him. Why?? Because they heard what he was saying, but the didn't want to hear it.
This is why Jesus is making the statement He is making, in the subject verse.
Having an ear to hear, means that you are open to everything that God says you need to do, even if it is correction. But that is where the hearing stops.
When the message is about prosperity, people will flock to the messenger. When it is about deliverance, they will flock to the messenger. When the message is, 'You are OK, I'm OK, everyone is OK, people will come from miles around.
But, if that same message, is coupled with the need to turn from wickedness, and repent, then all of a sudden, there are only a handful of people showing up.
And why is that?? Because they have an ear to hear, while the others, don't.
And, here is why most Christians live lives, far short of the potential that they could have. They don't want to be told anything, that makes them feel that they are missing the mark.
If you will recall, when God delivered the children of Israel, from the bondage of Egypt, He told Moses, that he was going to give them, a land, flowing with milk and honey, 'Exo 3:8 And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.'
Now that was His promise to all of them, but, because of their continued disobedience to Him, and their rejection of His correction, 'Heb 3:9-11 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)
only a handful of more than 6 million, made it in.
There are many people that may read part of some of the messages that are produced by this ministry, and as soon as they come to a passage that rubs them the wrong way, they put it down. Why?? They don't want to see, or hear it. They can't stand the fact that they are not perfect.
That, my friends is the nature of the flesh. That is the same nature that I had, before I got saved.
Let me tell you about myself.
Before I got saved, I was one of the biggest devil's on the street. Womanizer, pimp, hustler, made fake ID's for people, and a few other things. Nothing really extreme though.
But, having said that, my life was one big party. I was living the life I loved, and loved the life I lived. I felt like I was on top of the world. As the beer saying says, 'It doesn't get any better than this!!'
While I was in that lifestyle, I thought I had it all. Anything else, was a step backwards, and I would have none of it. Especially, when I was approached by a foreman of mine, yes, I had a job, that wanted to witness to me about getting saved.
Well, in the process of doing that, he mentioned that 'we all are sinners, and needed to repent.'
'Now hold it right there!! That is going too far!! Me?? A sinner??
Man, take that mess somewhere else!! I got no time for that Holy Roller stuff.'
That was me, back then. I had no time for what I thought was nonsense. After all I was having so much fun, and besides that, there were plenty of so-called Christians that I knew, that were hanging out where I was, and doing a whole lot worse than I was. And they certainly didn't have repentance on their minds.
So, having said that, you can see why the unsaved, don't want anything to do with the so-called 'Religious Right, or Holy Rollers.'
Yet, it is something that I had to face up to, if I wanted to experience, what God really has in store for me.
Now that I am saved, the life I thought was so great, was a one way train to destruction, and hell. Just like Paul said, 'Phi 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,'
Now, why would a person say that, unless what he was pursuing, prior to knowing Christ, didn't amount to anything more than dung, when compared to what was in store for him, from Christ. 1Cor 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
But, as I said, most Christians, never understand, see, or even less, experience any of these things, because they really don't love Him. And why do I say that?? Because, 'Prv 3:11-12 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
Because God loves us, He chastens us. And if we despise that chastening, then that means, we hate Him. And why should God, do anything for those that hate Him??
Well, if you can answer that, then you can see what the problem is, with most people, that go to church every Sunday. They are living a lie. A lie that will make them miss out on the best that God has to offer.
And, you know what?? When they hear someone telling them, about how, if they would straighten up their act, they could be experiencing that life, they don't want to hear it.
Many preachers would rather teach that God doesn't do miracles today, like He did back in the time of the apostles, than to admit, that the reason that there are no such things happening in their churches, is because they are living a lie, and refuse to admit it. The lie being, that they think they have it all together, since they went to college, or divinity school, and have a lot of degrees, that man has bestowed on them.
Let me tell you something. God couldn't care less about degrees, and education. That is why Jesus, took the most unlearned men, for His disciples, because they had ears to hear, and not education.