Romans (XCVII)

ROMANS 10:16-18

(from a manuscript of a sermon preached on 6/24/12 at Sovereign Redeemer Assembly)


 

Please turn in your Bibles to Romans 10, and let’s read verses 13 through 21:

 

Romans 10: (13) For everyone, whoever may call on the name of [the] Lord will be saved. (14) How then may they call on [One] into whom they have not believed? And how may they believe [One] of whom they have not heard? And how may they hear without preaching? (15) And how may they preach if they are not sent? Even as it has been written, How beautiful the feet of those preaching the gospel of peace, of those preaching the gospel of good things. (16) But not all obeyed the gospel, for Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our report? (17) Then faith [is] of hearing, and hearing through the Word of God. (18) But I say, Did they not hear? Yes, rather, into all the earth their voice went out, and to the ends of the world their words. (19) But I say, Did not Israel know? First, Moses says, I will provoke you to jealousy by a non-nation, by an unwise nation I will anger you. (20) But Isaiah [is] very bold and says, I was found by those not seeking Me; I became known to those not inquiring after Me. (21) But to Israel He says, All the day I stretched out My hands to a disobeying and contradicting people.

 

We saw in verses 14 and 15 that all who call on the Lord believe in the One they call on, all who believe in the One they call on have heard of the One they call on, all who have heard of the One they call on have had the gospel preached to them, and all who preach the gospel are sent.  This next sentence is to counter a misapplication of what was just said.  This misapplication is the error that since there is no belief without the gospel preached and heard, then belief is an inevitable fruit of the preaching and hearing of the gospel.  Paul, through the Holy Spirit, is saying that all who BELIEVE the gospel have HEARD the gospel, but not all who have HEARD the gospel BELIEVE the gospel.  Paul clearly says, “But not all obeyed the gospel.”  So they HEARD it, but they didn’t OBEY it. 

 

Now some might say, “Then the gospel fails in some instances.  Since the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, and yet many who hear the gospel do not believe the gospel, then the gospel has failed to be the power of God unto salvation.”  Well, first of all, the gospel is only the power of God unto salvation to everyone BELIEVING, as Romans 1:16 says.  And secondly, if in the preaching of the gospel there were a desire by God to save everyone who hears the gospel (which is what Arminians and many Calvinists believe), then there certainly WOULD be a failure of THIS gospel and an unfulfilled desire by an impotent god.  But this is NOT the gospel WE’RE talking about.  This gospel is absolutely successful every single time it’s preached.  As we will see later, the Lord willing, those who preach the gospel are a sweet smell to God because of Christ in the ones being saved AND in the ones being lost, being an odor of life unto life to some and an odor of death unto death to others.  God uses the gospel as a means of bringing the elect to Himself and blessing them in the continued hearing of the gospel, and He uses the gospel as a means of hardening the reprobate for destruction.  Let’s always keep in mind that the preaching of the gospel is ALWAYS successful.

 

Let’s first look at why the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul uses the word “obey” here rather than “believe.”  When it comes to the gospel, the usual way the Bible words it is that a person BELIEVES or DOES NOT BELIEVE the gospel.  That word is pist-YOO-oh, “to believe.”  But the Greek word for “to obey” is hoo-pah-KOO-oh, which comes from the preposition hoo-POH, meaning “under,” and the verb ah-KOO-oh, meaning “to hear.”  It literally means “to hear under.”  It implies SUBMISSION to what is heard.  Remember in verse 3, there were people who did NOT SUBMIT to the righteousness of God?  Well, the Greek word in that verse is hoo-poh-TASS-oh, which means “to subordinate” or “to obey.”  Hoo-pah-KOO-oh emphasizes the HEARING aspect.  But it is not merely hearing; it is SUBMITTING to what is heard.  It involves OBEDIENCE to what is heard.  Let’s look at two other passages where the word hoo-pa-KOO-oh is used in relationship to the gospel:

 

Romans 6: (17) But thanks [be] to God that you were slaves of sin, but you obeyed from [the] heart the form of doctrine to which you were delivered.

 

2 Thessalonians 1: (8) in flaming fire giving full vengeance to those not knowing God, and to those not obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ,

 

Note in the first passage that obedience to gospel doctrine is an immediate fruit of regeneration, and in the second passage that all who are condemned to hell do not obey the gospel.  Also, when you think about obedience, you think about obeying a COMMAND, right?  So what does obeying the gospel mean?  It means obeying the COMMAND to believe the gospel.  The gospel itself is NOT a command; it is God’s promise to save His people conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone.  But all men everywhere are COMMANDED to believe the gospel.  Think about how this puts the lie to those who deny duty-faith.  Those who deny duty-faith say that the command to believe the gospel should not be preached to all the unregenerate without exception, because some of the unregenerate are reprobate, and the reprobate do not have the duty to obey the command to believe the gospel.  Yet the passage we just read in 2 Thessalonians rips that notion to shreds, doesn’t it?  In flaming fire, God gives full vengeance to those who do not OBEY the gospel.

 

We can also see from the second part of this verse that SUBMITTING to what is heard is part and parcel with BELIEVING what is heard.  To prove that not all OBEYED or SUBMITTED to the heard gospel, Paul uses a passage from the Old Testament in which the Greek translation uses the word pist-YOO-oh, “to believe.”  And we also see in John 3:36 the oneness of obedience and belief.  Let’s turn over there:

 

John 3: (36) The [one] believing into the Son has everlasting life; but the [one] disobeying the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

 

Look at what Jesus Christ said was the OPPOSITE of believing into Him.  The opposite of believing into Jesus Christ is DISOBEYING Jesus Christ.  There’s no such thing as one who BELIEVES the gospel who DISOBEYS the gospel.  And there’s no such thing as one who DISBELIEVES the gospel who OBEYS the gospel.  Belief and obedience are both part of the same thing.  And once again, we see that those who obey and believe have everlasting life, and the ones who disobey and disbelieve have the wrath of God remaining on them.

 

Let’s go back to our passage in Romans 10.  Not all who hear the gospel obey the gospel - believe the gospel.  Paul mentions one passage from the Old Testament to prove the point, which is Isaiah 53:1.  But before we get to this passage and others that show that not all who hear the gospel believe the gospel, I want to go over verses 17 and 18.  Verse 17 is a summary of verses 14 and 15:

 

Romans 10: (17) Then faith [is] of hearing, and hearing through the Word of God.

 

If you didn’t get it before, here it is again.  Faith comes by the HEARING of the GOSPEL.  Paul doesn’t say that faith “generally” or “usually” or “commonly” or “customarily” or “frequently” or “more often than not” or “on the whole” or “ordinarily” comes by the hearing of the gospel.  The preaching of the gospel is not merely the “ordinary” means by which God saves people - it is the ONLY means by which God saves people.  GOD SAYS that THIS is the way He chooses to save people, through belief of the truth of the gospel preached, so that HE ALONE gets ALL the glory in the salvation of sinners.  If you have a problem with that, you have a problem with God.

 

Now let’s go on to verse 18:

 

Romans 10: (18) But I say, Did they not hear? Yes, rather, into all the earth their voice went out, and to the ends of the world their words.

 

The reason why I wanted to wait until we went over this verse before we went over passages that show that not all who hear the gospel believe the gospel is because it ties right in with verse 16 and is a response to verse 17.  Since faith comes by hearing the gospel, and if not all believed the gospel, does that mean that all those who did not believe the gospel never heard the gospel?  That would be a non sequitur - it doesn’t follow.  On the contrary, Paul uses Psalm 19:4 to show that their voice - the voice of the preachers of the gospel - has gone into all the earth and to the ends of the world.  Yet, back to verse 16, not all who have heard the gospel have believed the gospel. 

 

Now let’s go into some passages that show that not all who hear the gospel believe the gospel.  The particular verse that Paul uses is Isaiah 53:1.  Let’s turn to that first:

 

Isaiah 53: (1) Who has believed our report? And to whom is the arm of Jehovah revealed?

 

Now was Isaiah surprised that no one believed his report?  Well, let’s turn back to chapter 6 to see what God had commanded Isaiah.  Let’s read verses 8 through 12:

 

Isaiah 6: (8) And I heard the voice of Jehovah, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us? Then I said, Behold me. Send me! (9) And He said, Go and say to this people, Hearing you hear, but do not understand; and seeing you see, but do not know. (10) Make the heart of this people fat, and make his ears heavy, and shut his eyes, that he not see with his eyes, and hear with his ears, and understand with his heart, and turn back, and one heals him. (11) Then I said, Until when, O Lord? And He said, Until cities lie desolate without [one] living [in them], and the houses without man, and the land is laid waste, a desolation; (12) and [until] Jehovah has sent mankind far away, and the desolation in the midst of the land [is] great.

 

So if you were to evaluate Isaiah’s preaching as to its success, what criteria would you use?  Would you use the number of people saved under Isaiah’s ministry?  Not if you used BIBLICAL criteria.  Those NOT using biblical criteria would say things to Isaiah like, “You know, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, Isaiah.  You’re just driving people away.  What kind of ministry is that?”  Yet the BIBLICAL criteria for success would be this: Did the preaching of the gospel make the heart of Isaiah’s audience fat, make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes?  If so, then Isaiah did what God commanded, and the preaching was SUCCESSFUL.  And we know that this is quoted several times in the New Testament.  Let’s go to one of those times, which is in John 12.  I want to read more than this quote from Isaiah to put it in context and to give a broader context of the unbelief Jesus is talking about.  Let’s read verses 35 to 41:

 

John 12: (35) Then Jesus said to them, Yet a little while the Light is with you. Walk while you have the Light, that darkness not overtake you. And the [one] walking in the darkness does not know where he is going. (36) While you have the Light, believe into the Light, that you may become sons of Light. Jesus spoke these things, and going away [He] was hidden from them.  (37)  But [though] He had done so many [miraculous] signs before them, they did not believe into Him,  (38)  so that the Word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he said, Lord, who has believed our report? And the arm of the Lord, to whom was it revealed? (39) Because of this they could not believe, because Isaiah said again, (40) He has blinded their eyes and has hardened their heart, that they might not see with the eyes and understand with the heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. (41) Isaiah said these things when he saw His glory, and spoke about Him.

 

Note in Isaiah that the preaching of the word was for the specific purpose of hardening, and in this passage, some of those COULD NOT believe because God had blinded their eyes and hardened their heart.  As we have seen in a previous sermon, God uses the gospel as a means of hardening. Let’s turn to a familiar passage about this, which is 2 Corinthians 2:14-16:

 

2 Corinthians 2: (14) But thanks [be] to God, the [One] always leading us in triumph in Christ, and [the One] revealing through us the odor of the knowledge of Him in every place. (15) For we are a sweet smell to God because of Christ in those being saved, and in those being lost; (16) to the one, an odor of death unto death, and to the other, an odor of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?

 

Those who preach the gospel are an odor of death unto death in those being lost and an odor of life unto life in those being saved.  The preaching of the gospel is ALWAYS successful.  When the gospel is preached and some believe it, then it has been successful.  When the gospel is preached and some or even all do NOT believe it, then it has been successful.  Those who preach the gospel are a sweet smell to God because of Christ in those who BELIEVE the gospel and in those who DO NOT believe the gospel.

 

Now let’s go through a bunch of passages showing that not all who hear the gospel believe the gospel:

 

Matthew 7: (21) Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter into the kingdom of Heaven, but the [ones] who do the will of My Father in Heaven.  (22)  Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name do many works of power?  (23)  And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, those working lawlessness! (24) Then everyone who hears these Words from Me, and does them, I will compare him to a wise man who built his house on the rock; (25) and the rain came down, and the floods came up, and the winds blew, and fell against that house; but it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. (26) And everyone who hears these Words of Mine, and who does not do them, [he] shall be compared to a foolish man who built his house on the sand; (27) and the rain came down, and the floods came up, and the winds blew and beat against that house; and it fell, and great was the collapse of it.

 

Matthew 13: (3) And He spoke to them many things in parables, saying: Behold, the sower went out to sow. (4) And in his sowing, some fell by the roadside, and the birds came and ate them. (5) [And] other fell on the stony places where they did not have much earth, and it immediately sprang up because [it] had no deepness of earth. (6) And [the] sun rising, it was scorched; and because of having no root, it was dried up. (7) And other fell on the thorn-bushes, and the thorn-bushes grew up and choked them. (8) And other fell on the good ground and yielded fruit; indeed, one a hundredfold, and one sixty, and one thirty. (9) The [one] having ears to hear, let him hear. (10) And coming near, the disciples said to Him, Why do You speak to them in parables? (11) And answering, He said to them, Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven, but it has not been given to those. (12) For whoever has, to him will be given, and he will have overabundance. But whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. (13) Because of this, I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. (14)  And the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled on them, which says, In hearing you will hear and in no way understand, and seeing you will see yet in no way perceive. (15) For the heart of this people has grown fat, and they heard heavily with the ears, and they have closed their eyes, that they not see with the eyes, or hear with the ears, and understand with the heart, and be converted, and I heal them. (16) But your eyes [are] blessed because they see; and your ears because they hear. (17) For truly I tell you that many prophets and righteous ones desired to see what you see and did not see, and to hear what you hear and did not hear. (18) Then hear the parable of the sower: (19) Everyone hearing the Word of the kingdom, and not understanding, [then] the evil one comes and catches away that which was sown in his heart. This is that sown by the roadside. (20) And that sown on the stony places is this: the [one] hearing the Word, and immediately receiving it with joy, (21) but has no root in himself, but is temporary, and tribulation, or persecution occurring because of the Word, he is at once offended. (22) And that sown into the thorn bushes is this: the [one] hearing the Word, and the anxiety of this age, and the deceit of riches, choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful. (23) But that sown on the good ground is this: the [one] hearing the Word, and understanding it, who indeed bears and yields fruit, one truly a hundredfold, and one sixty, and one thirty.

 

Matthew 22: (1) And answering, Jesus again spoke to them in parables, saying: (2) The kingdom of Heaven is compared to a man, a king, who made a wedding feast for his son. (3) And he sent his slaves to call those being invited to the wedding feast, but they did not desire to come. (4) Again, he sent other slaves, saying, Tell the ones invited, Behold, I have prepared my supper; my oxen, and the fatlings [are] killed, and all things ready; come to the wedding feast. (5) But not caring they went away, one to [his] own field, and one to [his] trading. (6) And the rest, seizing his slaves, insulted and killed [them]. (7) And hearing, the king became angry. And sending his armies, [he] destroyed those murderers and burned their city. (8) Then he said to his slaves, Indeed, the wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. (9) Then go onto the exits of the highways and call to the wedding feast as many as you may find. (10) And going out into the highways, those slaves gathered all, as many as they found, both evil and good. And the wedding feast was filled with reclining guests. (11) And the king coming in to look over those reclining, he saw a man there not having been dressed [in] a wedding garment. (12) And he said to him, Friend, how did you come in here, not having a wedding garment? But he was speechless. (13) Then the king said to the servants, Binding his feet and hands, take him away and throw [him] out into the outer darkness. There shall be weeping and gnashing of the teeth. (14) For many are called, but few chosen.

 

Mark 16: (15) And He said to them, Going into all the world, preach the gospel to all the creation. (16) The [one] believing and being baptized will be saved. And the [one] not believing will be condemned.

 

John 3: (11) Truly, truly, I say to you, That which we know, we speak; and that which we have seen, we testify. And you do not receive our testimony. (12) If I tell you earthly things, and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? (13) And no one has gone up into Heaven, except He having come down out of Heaven, the Son of Man who is in Heaven. (14) And even as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, (15) that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (16) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (17) For God did not send His Son into the world that He might judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. (18) The [one] believing into Him is not condemned; but the one not believing has already been condemned, for he has not believed into the name of the only begotten Son of God. (19) And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness more than the Light, for their works were evil. (20) For everyone practicing wickedness hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, that his works may not be exposed. (21) But the [one] doing the truth comes to the Light, that his works may be revealed, that they exist, having been worked in God.

 

John 3: (31) The [One] having come from above is above all. The [one] being of the earth is earthy, and speaks of the earth. The [One] coming out of Heaven is above all. (32) And what He has seen and heard, this He testifies, and no one receives His testimony. (33) The [one] receiving His testimony has sealed that God is true. (34) For the One [whom] God sent speaks the Words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. (35) The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. (36) The [one] believing into the Son has everlasting life; but the [one] disobeying the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

 

John 5: (36) But I have the greater witness than John's, for the works which the Father has given Me, that I should finish them, the works which I do, themselves, witness concerning Me, that the Father has sent Me. (37) And the Father, the [One] sending Me, has Himself borne witness concerning Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor have you seen His form. (38) And you do not have His Word abiding in you, for [the One] whom that One sent, this One you do not believe. (39) You search the Scriptures, for you think in them you have everlasting life. And they are the ones witnessing concerning Me. (40) And you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. (41) I do not receive glory from men; (42) but I have known you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. (43) I have come in the name of My Father, and you do not receive Me. If another comes in [his] own name, you will receive that one. (44) How are you able to believe, [you who] receive glory from one another, and the glory which is from the only God you do not seek? (45) Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father; there is [one] accusing you, Moses, in whom you have hoped. (46) For if you were believing Moses, you would then believe Me; for that one wrote concerning Me. (47) But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My Words?

 

John 6: (28) Then they said to Him, What may we do that we may work the works of God? (29) Jesus answered and said to them, This is the work of God, that you believe into [Him] whom that One sent. (30) Then they said to Him, Then what [miraculous] sign do You do that we may see and may believe You? What do You work? (31) Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, as it is written He gave them bread out of Heaven to eat. (32) Then Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Moses has not given you the bread out of Heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread out of Heaven. (33) For the bread of God is He coming down out of Heaven and giving life to the world. (34) Then they said to Him, Lord, always give us this bread. (35) Jesus said to them, I am the Bread of life; the [one] coming to Me will not at all hunger, and the [one] believing into Me will not thirst, never! (36) But I said to you that you also have seen Me and did not believe. (37) All that the Father gives to Me shall come to Me, and the [one] coming to Me I will in no way cast out. (38) For I have come down out of Heaven, not that I should do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me. (39) And this is the will of the Father sending Me, that of all that He has given Me, I shall not lose [any] of it, but shall raise it up in the last day. (40) And this is the will of the [One] sending Me, that everyone seeing the Son and believing into Him should have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day. (41) Then the Jews murmured about Him, because He said, I am the Bread coming down out of Heaven. (42) And they said, Is this not Jesus the son of Joseph, of whom we know the father and the mother? How does this One now say, I have come down out of Heaven? (43) Then Jesus answered and said to them, Do not murmur with one another. (44) No one is able to come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up in the last day. (45)  It has been written in the Prophets, They shall all be taught of God. So then everyone who hears and learns from the Father comes to Me; (46) not that anyone has seen the Father, except the [One] being from God, He has seen the Father. (47) Truly, truly, I say to you, The [one] believing into Me has everlasting life. (48) I am the Bread of life. (49)  Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness and died. (50) This is the Bread coming down out of Heaven, that anyone may eat of it and not die. (51) I am the Living Bread that came down from Heaven. If anyone eats of this Bread, he will live forever. And indeed the bread which I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. (52) Then the Jews argued with one another, saying, How can this One give us [his] flesh to eat? (53) Then Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves. (54) The one partaking of My flesh and drinking of My blood has everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day. (55) For My flesh is truly food, and My blood is truly drink. (56) The [one] partaking of My flesh and drinking of My blood abides in Me, and I in him. (57) Even as the living Father sent Me, and I live through the Father; also the [one] partaking Me, even that one will live through Me. (58) This is the Bread which came down out of Heaven, not as your fathers ate the manna and died; the [one] partaking of this Bread will live forever. (59) He said these things teaching in a synagogue in Capernaum. (60) Then many of His disciples having heard, [they] said, This Word is hard; who is able to hear it? (61) But knowing in Himself that His disciples were murmuring about this, Jesus said to them, Does this offend you? (62) Then [what] if you see the Son of Man going up where He was at first? (63) It is the Spirit that gives life. The flesh does not profit, nothing! The Words which I speak to you are spirit and are life. (64) But there are some of you who are not believing. For Jesus knew from [the] beginning who they were, the [ones] not believing, and who was the [one] betraying Him. (65) And He said, Because of this, I have told you that no one is able to come to Me except it is given to him from My Father. (66) From this [time] many of His disciples went away into the things behind, and no longer walked with Him.

 

John 8: (18) I am the One witnessing concerning Myself, and He who sent Me, the Father, witnesses concerning Me. (19) Then they said to Him, Where is your father? Jesus answered, You neither know Me, nor My Father. If you had known Me, then you also would have known My Father. (20) Jesus spoke these words in the treasury, teaching in the temple; and no one seized Him, for His hour had not yet come. (21) Then Jesus said to them again, I go, and you will seek Me. And you will die in your sin. Where I go, you are not able to come. (22) Then the Jews said, Will He kill Himself, because He says, Where I go, you are not able to come? (23) And He said to them, You are from below; I am from above. You are from this world; I am not from this world. (24) Therefore, I said to you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins. (25) Then they said to Him, Who are You? And Jesus said to them, The Beginning, what I also say to you. (26) I have many things to say and to judge concerning you; but the [One] sending Me is true, and what I heard from Him, these things I say to the world. (27) They did not know that He spoke to them [of] the Father. (28) Then Jesus said to them, When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM; and from Myself I do nothing; but as My Father taught Me, these things I speak. (29) And the [One] who sent Me is with Me. The Father did not leave Me alone, for I do the things pleasing to Him always. (30) [As] He spoke these things, many believed into Him. (31) Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in Him, If you continue in My Word, you are truly My disciples. (32) And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (33) They answered Him, We are Abraham's seed, and we have been in slavery to no one, never! How do You say, You will become free? (34) Jesus answered them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Everyone practicing sin is a slave of sin. (35) But the slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains to the age. (36) Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed. (37) I know that you are Abraham's seed, but you seek to kill Me, because My Word is not given room in you. (38) I speak what I have seen with My Father. And you therefore do what you have seen with your father. (39) They answered and said to Him, Abraham is our father. Jesus said to them, If you were children of Abraham, you would do the works of Abraham. (40) But now you seek to kill Me, a man who has spoken the truth to you, which I heard alongside [of] God. Abraham did not do this. (41) You do the works of your father. They said to Him, We were not born of fornication; we have one father, God. (42) Then Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I went forth and have come from God. For I have not come from Myself, but that One sent Me. (43) Why do you not know My speech? [It is] because you are not able to hear My Word. (44) You are of the Devil as father, and the lusts of your father you desire to do. That one was a murderer from [the] beginning, and he has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks [a] lie, he speaks from [his] own, because he is a liar, and the father of it. (45) And because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. (46) Who of you reproves Me concerning sin? But if I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? (47) The [one] who is of God hears the Words of God; for this reason you do not hear, because you are not of God. (48) Then the Jews answered and said to Him, Do we not say well that You are a Samaritan and have a demon? (49) Jesus answered, I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. (50) But I do not seek My glory; [there] is One who seeks and judges. (51) Truly, truly, I say to you, If anyone keeps My Word, he will not behold death to the age, never! (52) Then the Jews said to Him, Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets, and You say, If anyone keeps My Word, he will not taste of death to the age, never! (53) Are You greater than our father Abraham who died? And the prophets died! Whom do You make Yourself? (54) Jesus answered, If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, whom you say is your God. (55) And you have not known Him; but I know Him, And if I say that I do not know Him, I shall be like you, a liar. But I know Him, and I keep His Word. (56) Your father Abraham leaped for joy that he should see My day, and he saw, and rejoiced. (57) Then the Jews said to Him, You do not yet have fifty years, and have You seen Abraham? (58) Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Before Abraham came to be, I AM! (59) Because of this, they took up stones that they might throw [them] on Him. But Jesus was hidden, and went forth out of the temple, going through [the] midst of them, and so passed by.

 

John 10: (24) Then the Jews encircled Him, and said to Him, Until when do You lift up our soul? If You are the Christ, tell us publicly. (25) Jesus answered them, I told you, and you did not believe. The works which I do in the name of My Father, these bear witness about Me. (26) But you do not believe for you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. (27) My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. (28) And I give eternal life to them, and they shall not perish to the age, never! And not anyone shall pluck them out of My hand. (29) My Father who has given [them] to Me is greater than all, and no one is able to pluck out of My Father's hand. (30) I and the Father are One! (31) Then again the Jews took up stones, that they might stone Him.

 

Acts 19: (8) And going into the synagogue, he spoke boldly over three months, having reasoned with [them], and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God. (9) But when some were hardened, and did not obey, speaking evil of the Way before the multitude, departing from them, he separated the disciples, conversing day by day in the school of a certain Tyrannus.

 

Acts 28: (23) And having appointed him a day, more came to him in the lodging, to whom he expounded, earnestly testifying the kingdom of God and persuading them the things concerning Jesus, both from the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning until evening. (24) And some indeed were persuaded by that being said, others disbelieved.

 

1 Corinthians 1: (18) For the Word of the cross is foolishness to those being lost, but to us being saved, [it] is [the] power of God. (19) For it has been written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will set aside the understanding of the understanding ones. (20)  Where [is the] wise? Where [the] scribe? Where [the] lawyer of this world? Did God not make the wisdom of this world foolish? (21) For since in the wisdom of God the world [by] wisdom did not know God, God was pleased through the foolishness of preaching to save the ones believing. (22) And since Jews ask for a sign, and Greeks seek wisdom, (23) we, on the other hand, preach Christ crucified (truly an offense to Jews, and foolishness to Greeks), (24)  but to the called out ones, both to Jews and to Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God; (25) because the foolish thing of God is wiser [than] men, and the weak thing of God is stronger [than] men. (26) For you see your calling, brothers, that [there are] not many wise according to flesh, nor many powerful, not many wellborn. (27) But God chose the foolish things of the world that the wise might be put to shame, and God chose the weak things of the world so that He might put to shame the strong things. (28) And God chose the low-born of the world, and the despised, and the things that are not, so that He might bring to nothing the things that are, (29) so that no flesh might glory in His presence. (30) But of Him, you are in Christ Jesus, who was made to us wisdom from God, both righteousness and sanctification and redemption, (31) so that even as it has been written, He that glories, let him glory in [the] Lord.

 

1 Corinthians 2: (14) But a natural man does not receive the things of [the] Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.

 

2 Thessalonians 2: [9] [His] coming is according to the working of Satan in all power and [miraculous] signs and lying wonders, (10) and in all deceit of unrighteousness in those being lost, because they did not receive the love of the truth in order for them to be saved. (11) And because of this, God will send to them a working of error, for them to believe the lie, (12)  that all may be judged, those not believing the truth, but who have delighted in unrighteousness.

 

Hebrews 6: (4) For [it is] impossible for those once having been enlightened, and having tasted of the heavenly gift, and becoming sharers of [the] Holy Spirit, (5) and tasting [the] good Word of God, and [the] works of power of a coming age, (6)  and having fallen away, [it is impossible for them] again to renew to repentance, crucifying again for themselves the Son of God, and putting [Him] to open shame.

 

1 Peter 2: (7) Then to you who believe [belongs] the preciousness. But to disobeying ones, [He is the] Stone which those building rejected; this One became the Head of the Corner, (8) and a Stone-of-stumbling, and a Rock-of-offense to the [ones] stumbling, being disobedient to the Word, to which they were also appointed.

 

1 John 5: (10) The [one] believing in the Son of God has the witness in himself. The [one] not believing God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the witness which God has witnessed concerning His Son. (11) And this is the witness: that God gave us everlasting life, and this life is in His Son. (12) The [one] having the Son has life. The [one] not having the Son of God does not have life.

 

Finally, I want to end with a passage that contains an exhortation to believers and a command to unbelievers regarding belief of this gospel of salvation conditioned on the work of Jesus Christ alone.  Let’s turn to Hebrews 4 and read verses 2 through 7:

 

Hebrews 4: (2) For, indeed, we have had the gospel preached [to us], even as they also; but the Word did not profit those hearing [it], not having been mixed with faith in the ones who heard. (3) For we, the ones believing, enter into the rest, even as He said, As I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter into My rest, though the works had come into being from [the] foundation of the world. (4) For He has spoken somewhere about the seventh [day] this way, And God rested from all His works in the seventh day. (5) And in this again, They shall not enter into My rest. (6) Therefore, since it remains [for] some to enter into it, and those who formerly had the gospel preached did not enter in on account of disobedience, (7) He again marks out a certain day, saying in David, Today (after so long a time, according as He has said), Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.

 

Amen.

 


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