From the Pastor’s heart                 Falling on Deaf ears

 

Rom 10:16  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? Rom 10:17So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Rom 10:18But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. Rom 10:19But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you. Rom 10:20  But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. Rom 10:21But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

The gospel message of Jesus is the power of God to bring a person to salvation and keep him in the same. God sent Isaiah otherwise known as Esaias in the Bible, to preach the gospel to a people who will not listen. Why preach to people who will not listen? The answer is in this verse Rom 2:5But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Deaf ears actually speaks of a hard heart. When people’s hearts become hard, the gospel will fall on deaf ears. People stop listening. Maybe, there are good reasons for the hardening of the heart. One reason could be the harshness of circumstances in life crushing the spirit of man. This bitterness of soul causes the hardness of hearts. Wise counsel and reasoning is refused and they go about trying to achieve breakthrough their way. The other reason may be because they have become wise in their own deceits. The condition of deafness is serious business. I am daily counselling people who have found themselves in deep trouble because they either disregarded the word of God or have not listened to wise counsel speaking to them. Knowing the right way but going the wrong way is often the condition of man because he does not listen.

                 

I am constantly reminded of the way in which I did not listen because of pride, anger or offense. All of these negative elements of human character led me to great difficulty in life because I did not listen to the Lord and my well wishers. Another condition that I picked up later on in life regarding my lack of listening was in not realising when someone was trying to say something to me in an indirect manner. When one speaks in this way, they are either trying desperately not to offend or interfere, or they are being diplomatic about what they are saying to avoid conflict. This manner of speaking diplomatically actually does not help a person who is hot headed, stubborn or broken in life.  We must speak the truth in love according to the knowledge we have been given by the Holy Ghost of a person and the situation that surrounds them. Furthermore, we must use common sense and natural senses to counsel. For example; one would not speak in a diplomatic fashion to a person who is going to fall of a cliff because they do not know it is round the next bend. One would shout out the warning. It may still fall on deaf ears but at least one spoke up and did their best.

 

The world we know will not listen easily to the gospel message but what about the Church? Jesus said; “if you have an ear, listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Church’. Why is it that the Church has such a hard time listening to the Holy Spirit? I think, it is because there is a hardening of the heart that happens out of familiarity. It is subtle in the first instance only realising full potential when the hardness has set in. From then on, they journey is one of unsound reasoning and no matter what anyone says, they will not listen having reached pinnacles of success. The news media is constantly reporting about people and whole denominations who have fallen in the Church due to sin that came from hard hearts or deaf ears. There seems to be a never ending supply of stories of paedophilia, sexual promiscuity and abuses in churches of money racketeering and ungodly practices. Maybe the messages in the Bible are not getting through to many. The disease is widespread.

 

What I have discovered of spiritual growth in a corporate sense and individual sense is, man has a condition known as “selective hearing”. This is another form of suffering from deaf ears. The gospel message has fallen on deaf years for thousands of years. There are more warnings and sad stories in the Bible than good ones. The reason for this is obvious, deaf ears (hard hearts). The few good stories in the Bible of people who listen are so inspiring that they are enough for the ones who do hear to carry on in the face of great difficulty and incredible trials. What concerns me is the lack of the fear of God in the Church because of the teaching that has replaced it. That teaching is extreme grace. This has produced more hard hearts than those who do not listen at all.

When a person walks in a sinful lifestyle that allows for a self taught gospel or a modified one, the truth will just bounce off more often than not. What it is then doing is, producing people who love to have their ears tickled. Rom_11:8  (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. 2Ti_4:3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 2Ti_4:4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. The time is already here and has been for a long time, when the growing hardness of heart has taken on a promiscuity of the gospel. An erroneous hard sell if you like, of the ways of the Lord. Conclusions of the word based on man’s interpretation of the gospel and its effects have been the problem all along. Mat 15:7  Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, Mat 15:8  This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. Mat 15:9  But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

When counselling people, I often see shutters coming down on the eyes and minds of the counselee. I can tell immediately that they are hardening their hearts and what I am saying to them is falling on deaf ears. Others listen and even agree but do not do what is needed to change their hard hearts. The parable of the Sower is a classic parable of what happens when a soul does not listen to the word of God. When sowing the word of God, the Sower must take heed to the soil into which he is sowing and for how long he has to sow. Isa 6:9  And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Isa 6:10Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. Isa 6:11Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, Isa 6:12And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.

Isaiah is faced with a situation that actually produces no fruit of souls but rather hardness of hearts. Everything he is going to say will fall on deaf ears but he must still preach. Maybe, you have come across situations in your life that you have not reaped for the sowing you have done. That could be so to make you understand what it takes to actually save a soul. Not everyone is going to get Saved. So, the ones who do get saved are extremely precious and must be valued above all else. One the one hand, it may be very exciting to see countless people coming to the Lord and being healed but on the other hand, how many remain? How many stay saved and walk in righteousness? The battle is not only preaching the gospel to unsaved people and getting them saved but in keeping them.

 

One of the biggest areas of deafness is in marriages where words that are spoken fall on deaf ears. Years of expressing the deepest feelings about a situation between husband and wife too often fall on deaf ears, till finally one day, there is separation over what one is not listening to. This has been the greatest problem between couples. The same problem exists in the Church. In a sense, Christianity is truly a marriage. In fact, it is a consummation of spirit, soul and body that requires great grace. Without this grace, one could easily fall into despair because of having to say the same thing over and over again and still not seeing much of a result. In many cases, the best solution it would seem for the leader is to walk away. Many have left ministry or been thoroughly hurt over it because of what is not listened to. It is literally falling on deaf ears. Apostle Paul faced a similar situation with the Jews. Act 18:5  And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ. Act 18:6  And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.

As we draw close to the end of the age, we find that many are not listening to the message of the gospel. It is falling on deaf ears. That is because the hearts are hardening. 2Ti 3:1  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2Ti 3:2  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 2Ti 3:3  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 2Ti 3:4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 2Ti 3:5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

 

May God have mercy on all who do not listen and help them before it is too late.

 

Lots of love       

Pastor Noble