HEAR YE HIM
T. PIERCE BROWN
As I try to do personal evangelism, I am reminded so many times of Mark 9:7. When Peter thought of building a tabernacle to honor Moses, Elijah and Jesus, God said, “This is my beloved Son: hear ye Him.” The reason I am reminded of that is as I study with many persons, they apparently think they want to honor and accept the authority of Christ, but they demonstrate that they have built their tabernacles to honor various other things or persons.
Some think more of their feelings than they do of Christ. Many times we have heard people indicate that it really did not make any difference what the Bible says, for their heart told them something different. Although the Bible plainly says, “Repent and be baptized for the remission of your sins” (Acts2:38), if their heart tells them they are saved without it, they follow their feelings. They do not care that Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly corrupt: who can know it?”
Closely connected with that is the idea that we know what is right or wrong, for our conscience will tell us. “Let your conscience be your guide” is the result. They would deny that they have built a tabernacle to worship the conscience, but it amounts to that when a person substitutes his conscience for Jesus. It matters not that Saul of Tarsus, who said he was chief of sinners also said in Acts 23:1, “Brethren, I have lived before God in all good conscience until this day.”
Then there are those who build a tabernacle to father or mother. I do not know how many times I have heard someone say something like this: “I know that is what the verse says, but my mother did not do that, and if I did that I would be condemning her to hell.” I try to show them that they could not condemn her to hell if they wanted to. Sometimes I try to show them that if their mother was as good as we believe her to be, she would do what Jesus said if she had understood it. If you expect to be judged on the same basis as your mother, you will do likewise. But the bottom line is, your mother and father are not your Lord and Savior. Jesus died for you, and has all authority. Do not try to make a tabernacle to them and give them the same honor you should give Him, for in that case you are not worthy of having Him as Savior (Mt.10:37).
There are those who build a tabernacle to great religious leaders. Even in the Lord’s church, we have those who seem to think that some man, either in the brotherhood, or some denominational scholar is an authority. Even Thayer, who is called an authority on the meaning of Greek words, has no authority in the sense that he has the final word on the meaning of a term. He has to discover its meaning by how it is used in the Bible, and his advantage over most of us is that he has a great deal more knowledge and experience in finding how it is used. But he has prejudices and limitations like any other man, and is not to be accepted simply because he thinks something is true. His reasons for thinking it are to be examined, and if faulty, rejected.
We need to constantly be aware, and teach others that since Christ has all authority in heaven and on earth (Mt. 28:18) and God said, “Hear Him” (Mk. 9:7), for God has spoken through His Son (Heb. 1:2), it matters little what others think, say, or feel. Our lives must be lived in conformity to the revealed will of God, our doctrine must be that authorized of God, and our worship must be that approved of God, or we have no promise of salvation.
The fact that God says, “Hear Him” implies at least three significant things: 1. God cares. If God did not love us, He would not have taken the trouble to reveal to us the best way to think, feel and do in all circumstances. 2. Man is capable of receiving intelligent communication from God. It would be silly to command man to hear if he were so depraved that he could not, or if being dead in sin meant he had to be made alive by some other means than a communication from God. Lazarus was dead, but when Jesus spoke, he came forth from the tomb. A person dead in sin can still respond to the call of Jesus. 3. Man is responsible for acting on that communication.
Those who claim that we cannot understand God’s word alike are faced with some tremendous difficulties. Either God could not make it easy enough for us to understand, or he would not. If He could not, we have a powerless God, which is a contradiction in terms. If He would not, then we have a capricious and wicked God who commanded us to do something and made our salvation contingent on doing it, but would not make it so we could understand it. Of course He made it possible for us to hear and understand, and therefore made the gospel the power of God to save (Rom.1:16).
The results that would accrue from hearing Him are beyond comprehension. It would change the moral tone of the nation. God says, “Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” It would strengthen and improve the home and family life in every way. It would eliminate racial hatred and strife. It would give purpose, direction and meaning to the life of old or young. It would give inward peace and security for which mankind is desperately striving and failing to find. One who has what Jesus gives will not need drugs and tranquilizers all the time. It would remove religious division, and make us all one in Christ Jesus. It will give each of us personal salvation and remission of sins. Hear Him!