“Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” – Matthew 13:14
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As we finish up the book of Acts, I hope that you have gained a view of the church and New Testament Christianity that makes you desire restoration to the original state that God intended for His church. I know that I have grown from the study. God is so very, very good to me. I know that He’s good to you, too.
In the last chapter of Acts, we see Paul in Rome doing what He’s been doing all along since He became a follower of Christ: “preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence” (Acts 28:31).
After staying on the island of Malta for three months, Paul and the others set sail toward Rome in an Alexandrian ship (v. 11). When he arrived at Rome, “Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him” (v.16). And he rented a house and the Jews came to hear him teach.
“And some were persuaded by things which were spoken, and some disbelieved” (v. 24). Then Paul said to them: “The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers, saying: ‘Go to this people and say: “Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand, and seeing you will see, and not perceive”‘” (vs.25-26).
Jesus said the same thing in Matthew chapter 13 when He explained why He spoke in parables. He said, “Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled[…]” (Mt. 13:13-14).
Let’s not be like the Jews who were hard of hearing, and who closed their eyes to the truth of God’s saving grace. You have heard the gospel of Jesus Christ – that He lived, He died, He was buried, and He rose again to newness of life so that we might be saved from eternal damnation. And we can choose to die to our sins, stop living however we want, repent, bury our old selves in baptism, and rise to new life in Christ.
You can easily see the words on the page, but do you perceive the spiritual ramifications? You can hear the words spoken above, but do you understand the eternal consequences of choosing not to obey the Lord?
Don’t be caught dull of hearing. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom. 10:17). Understand with your heart and turn to the Lord. Obey the gospel by being immersed in water baptism. The Lord is waiting for you to turn to Him. Give up your sinful lifestyle and obey Jesus Christ. Then the Lord will add you to His church and can say to you, “Blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear” (Mt. 13:16).
Let’s open our ears to the Lord’s call and understand that our soul’s eternal destiny is at stake.
“He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” – Mark 16:16
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