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WILL YOU HEAR THE VOICE OF JESUS?

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Evening, November 25, 2001


"Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice" (John 18:37).

Jesus was arrested by a group of "men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees" (John 18:3). They came where He was praying at night "with lanterns and torches and weapons" (ibid.). They bound Jesus and took Him away to the high priest. "Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands" (Matthew 26:67). Then, "When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor" (Matthew 27:1-2).

Pilate was the Roman governor of Judea at that time. They brought Jesus into his Roman court. The governor asked them, "What accusation bring ye against this man?" (John 18:29). They gave no real answer, but finally persuaded the governor to question Jesus.

"Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice" (John 18:33-37).

The governor did not listen carefully to the words Jesus spoke. Because he did not pay attention to the words of Jesus, he said:

"What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all"

(John 18:38).

Many of you here tonight are like Pilate. You say, "I don't find any fault in Jesus! I find in him no fault at all!" But that is not the correct answer! It isn't enough to simply say that you don't find anything wrong with Him!

Don't get me wrong. It isn't false to think that there is nothing wrong with Jesus. That statement is true - as far as it goes. But it doesn't go far enough. You see, Jesus is more than just a faultless person, though He is that.

In fact, Pilate's statement is full of doctrinal and Biblical truth. Indeed, "I find in him no fault at all." What a tremendous statement - as far as it goes! What Pilate meant, of course, was that Jesus was no threat to the authority of the emperor or the peace of the state. Therefore, Pilate found no fault in Jesus regarding the accusation of the Jews that He made Himself a King. But there are other conclusions we can draw from Pilate's statement. Truly, no fault can be found in the entire life and character of Christ. Jesus is the only human being who never sinned. The Bible tells us that Jesus "knew no sin" (II Corinthians 5:21). We are told that He is "holy, harmless, undefiled" (Hebrews 7:26). The Scriptures call Him "a lamb without blemish and without spot" (I Peter 1:19). And in I John we read,

"And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin" (I John 3:5).

Although Pilate only had a dim and superficial understanding of what he said, yet his statement is profoundly true: "I find in him no fault at all" (John 18:38).

However, the governor did not listen carefully when Christ spoke. If he had, he would not have asked, "What is truth?" Jesus had already answered that question by saying:

"To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice" (John 18:37).

Jesus had told Pilate the truth about His kingdom in verse thirty-seven. He told Pilate the truth about His royalty in the first half of verse thirty-seven. At the end of verse thirty-seven He says, "For this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth." He must speak the truth. It is one of the major reasons He came into the world.

When Pilate said, "What is truth?" the answer is simple: the words of Jesus Christ are the truth. And Christ Himself is the truth (cf. John 14:6). Jesus said:

"The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63).

The Bible tells us that Jesus is "full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). "Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17).

And it is because Jesus spoke the truth that He was crucified. He said:

"But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God" (John 8:40).

Why did they hate Jesus for telling them the truth? The reason is simple: "men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19).

Jesus speaks the truth. Jesus speaks the words of God. John the Baptist said:

"He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God"

(John 3:34).

So, we have established from the Bible this simple idea: the truth is what Jesus said. And the truth is Jesus Christ, Himself (cf. John 14:6).

Now, consider our text:

"Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice" (John 18:37).

The idea is this: every person who is on the side of the truth hears the voice of Jesus, who said:

"He that doeth truth cometh to the light" (John 3:21).

Again, Christ said:

"He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God" (John 8:47).

And again:

"Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice" (John 10:16).

And once more:

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me" (John 10:27).

This last statement of Christ makes it quite clear: If you do not hear Christ's voice and follow Him, you are not a real Christian.

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me" (John 10:27).

As Jesus said in our text:

"Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice" (John 18:37).

Why do you need to hear the voice of Jesus? What is the voice of Jesus? How can you miss hearing the voice of Jesus? What are the consequences of not hearing the voice of Jesus? What does the voice of Jesus tell you?

I. First, why do you need to hear the voice of Jesus?

Because you will not have eternal life if you don't hear His voice. Jesus said:

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish…" (John 10:27-28).

If you don't hear the voice of Jesus, you will not have eternal life within you. You will perish, and spend eternity in Hell. Jesus said:

"He that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation"

(Mark 3:29).

Jesus said:

"And these shall go away into everlasting punishment"

(Matthew 25:46).

Remember what Jesus said in our text:

"Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice" (John 18:37).

If you are on the side of the truth, you will hear Jesus' voice. You will hear His voice when He tells you that He must know you for you to have eternal life (John 10:28). You will believe Him when He tells you that you will experience eternal damnation if you blaspheme against the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:29). You will believe His words when He says, "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment" (Matthew 25:46).

You may not understand it all fully. You may not enjoy hearing some of it. But if you are on the side of the truth, you will hear the voice of Jesus.

"Every one" - notice that Christ said, "every one."

"Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice" (John 18:37).

And remember that you are already condemned to eternal punishment in Hell for not believing Jesus, because Jesus said:

"He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God"

(John 3:18).

So, you are already condemned if you have not believed Jesus. That's why you must hear His voice, and come to Him, and be washed clean from your sins by His Blood!

"Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice" (John 18:37).

Will you hear the voice of Jesus? Will you leave your sins behind? Will you come into this local church every Sunday? Will you come to Jesus, the Son of God? Will you hear and obey the Lord Jesus Christ on these matters?

"Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice" (John 18:37).

II. Then, secondly, what is the voice of Jesus?

Some will tell you that the voice of Jesus is an audible voice - that you can hear Him talking to you. Do not believe an extreme Pentecostalist like that! No one hears an audible voice from Jesus! That is a demon - every time! If you hear a voice that says it is the voice of Jesus, you can be certain that it is a demon.

Joseph Smith heard the voice of a demon pretending to be an angel - and he started the Mormon church.

Mohammed heard the voice of a demon pretending to be an angel - and he started Islam - the bloody false religion of Mohammedanism.

Charles G. Finney felt that he encountered Christ alone, in a grove of trees. But I believe he actually encountered a demon. And he started "decisionism" - which has ruined the churches - loading the church rolls with unconverted people.

The Bible says that we have words from God more sure and more certain than a voice from Heaven - and those true words from God are given in the Bible! (cf. II Peter 1:17-19). "We have a more sure word of prophecy" than a voice from Heaven! (II Peter 1:19).

The voice of Jesus is not an audible voice coming down from Heaven. No, the voice of Jesus is the Bible itself.

Jesus said:

"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Matthew 24:35).

Jesus said:

"Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels" (Mark 8:38).

"And if any man hear my words, and believe not…and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day"
   (John 12:47-48).



If you reject the words of Christ in the Bible, you will be judged and condemned to Hell by the words of Christ in the Bible, which you rejected!

Jesus said, "If a man love me, he will keep my words" (John 14:23). The words of Jesus in the Bible must be heard and obeyed.

Also, if you want to be saved, you must hear the voice of Jesus through the preaching of the Word of God. The Bible tells us that true preachers are a gift - given by Christ to proclaim His words. We are told this in Ephesians 4:7-16. In Romans 10:14 we are told:

"How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?and how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10:14).

God's Word plainly tells us in Romans 10:14 that people must hear the preached Word to be saved. That is the usual means God uses to bring about salvation. Read through the Book of Acts. Virtually everyone who got saved, recorded in the Book of Acts, got saved through preaching - including the Apostle Paul!

We usually think that Paul was converted when he encountered Christ on the road to Damascus. But that is not what the Bible says. The Bible tells us, after Paul encountered Christ, Paul said, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:6a). Now Christ could have told him what to do to get saved right there - on the spot. But He didn't! Instead, Christ said:

"Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do" (Acts 9:6b).

Christ sent Paul to the local church that met in someone's house on Straight Street, in the city of Damascus - and the preacher's name was Ananias! So Jesus Christ Himself did not lead Paul into salvation. No, He sent Paul to the God-given preacher for the preacher to deal with him at church. That is God's usual method of leading you into conversion.

That's why I don't make any apology whatever for telling you to come back to this church next Sunday. You see, God put me here to tell you how to get saved. If you don't come back to this church you will not hear the voice of Christ speaking the converting words through the pastor's sermons. Richard Baxter pointed all this out in the 17th century. You have to come back here to church next Sunday and every Sunday. You have to come back to this church to hear the gospel and get saved.

I have never known anyone personally who was saved by reading a tract. I have never even heard of anyone who was saved through reading a Gideon's Bible, placed in all hotel and motel rooms. It is through preaching in the local church that you are converted. I have only heard of two people who claim to have been saved by watching Billy Graham on TV - and I doubt the conversion of both of them!

I talked to an elderly man the other day who watches two prominent TV preachers every Sunday. But this old man has no understanding of salvation whatever - after years of watching these preachers on TV. Why? Because God has not ordained TV as a means of conversion! I make no apology for saying - God ordained preachers in the local church! That's the way you must get saved! Come back next Sunday! Listen to the preaching! Get saved!

"Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice" (John 18:37).

III. Thirdly, how you can miss hearing the voice of Jesus.

At this point, I should say that this sermon was suggested by our deacon, Mr. Griffith - the man who sings right before I preach. Mr. Griffith gave me the outline for this sermon. And here is what he said: You can miss the voice of Jesus in the sermon by looking around, or by people twitching. You watch them twitch, instead of listening to the sermon - so you miss hearing the voice of Jesus.

Mr. Griffith also said you can miss the voice of Jesus by listening to lost friends after you go home from church. You can miss the voice of Jesus if you let the words and ideas of lost people take over your mind and stop you from thinking deeply about the sermon.

You can also miss the voice of Jesus if you listen to your own wicked Christ-rejecting heart! If you listen to your own heart instead of the sermon, you will not get saved and become a real Christian.

But Mr. Griffith was right when he said that none of these are valid reasons for not hearing the voice of Jesus. Every person in this room went through those same distractions - but they got saved - because they "strove" to hear Jesus and be converted. They wanted to hear Jesus and they wanted to be converted so bad that they threw themselves into it with zeal - until they found Christ and were saved from wrath by Him!

"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13).

"Strive (struggle, fight, labor - Strong's) to enter in at the strait gate" (Luke 13:24).

If you are not willing to struggle, fight, and labor to hear Christ and be converted, it won't happen. You'll sit in church thinking about something else! You'll miss the words of Christ! You'll never be saved!

Billy Sunday correctly said:

Putting your body in the pew of a church doesn't make you into a Christian any more than putting a horse in the garage makes it into an automobile.

If your body is in church, but your mind is somewhere else, you will never hear the words of Christ - you will never be saved. You must actually hear the voice of Christ!

"Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice" (John 18:37).

IV. Fourthly, what are the consequences of not hearing the voice of Jesus?

I can only touch on this briefly.

1. The first consequence of not hearing the voice of Jesus is that your heart will become hardened - and you will eventually be given up by God. " To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts" (Hebrews 3:7-8).

2. The second consequence of not hearing the voice of Jesus is that you will go to Hell. Jesus preached to Judas many countless times, but Judas never really heard His voice. He killed himself, and went to Hell, according to the Bible. And you will go to Hell as punishment for your sins unless you hear the voice of Jesus and come to Him for cleansing from sin by His Blood.

V. Fifthly, what does the voice of Jesus tell you?

The voice of Jesus, as we saw, is the words of the Bible. Jesus speaks to you through the Bible. What does Jesus say to you through this book?

1. First, Jesus says to you that you are lost. He said that unsaved people are "dead" and "lost" (Luke 15:24). And that's what Christ says about you - you are lost. You cannot find your way to Heaven. You are dead. You aren't even interested - unless He puts the spark of interest into you.

2. Second, Jesus says that you are a sinner. Over and over Christ called for sinners to come to Him and believe in Him. Jesus said: "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matthew 26:28).

3. Third, Christ says that He died for you, in your place, to pay for your sins, on the Cross. Jesus said, "The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45).

4. Fourth, Jesus said that He rose from the dead and is alive in Heaven, at the right hand of God, to save you. "So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God" (Mark 16:19).

5. Fifthly, Jesus calls you to come to Him and have your sins washed away by His Blood. Jesus says: "Come unto me…and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).

Will you listen to Christ?

"Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice" (John 18:37).

Will you come back to this church next Sunday? Will you listen hard to the sermons? Will you come under conviction and be converted? May God help you to do it! Why be lonely? Come home to church! Why be lost? Come to Jesus and be washed from your sins by His Blood!

"Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice" (John 18:37).

(END OF SERMON)


Scripture Read Before the Sermon: John 10:22-31.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:

"Softly and Tenderly" by Will L. Thompson (1847-1909).

You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.rlhymersjr.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."




THE OUTLINE OF

WILL YOU HEAR THE VOICE OF JESUS?

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

"Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice" (John 18:37).

(John 18:3; Matthew 26:67; 27:1-2; John 18:29, 33-37, 38; II Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 7:26; I Peter 1:19; I John 3:5; John 18:38, 37; John 14:6; 6:63; 1:14, 17; 8:40; 3:19, 34; John 18:37; 3:21; 8:47; 10:16, 27)

I.   Why do you need to hear the voice of Jesus? John 10:27-28;
Mark 3:29; Matthew 25:46; John 3:18.

II.  What is the voice of Jesus? II Peter 1:17-19; Matthew 24:35;
Mark 8:38; John 12:47-48; John 14:23; Ephesians 4:7-16;
Romans 10:14; Acts 9:6a; Acts 9:6b.

III. How can you miss hearing the voice of Jesus? Jeremiah 29:13;
Luke 13:24.

IV.  What are the consequences of not hearing the voice of Jesus?
Hebrews 3:7-8.

V.   What does the voice of Jesus tell you? Luke 15:24; Matthew 26:28;
Mark 10:45; Mark 16:19; Matthew 11:28.