If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” Mark 4:23 and Revelation 13:9
Jesus said that if one has ears to hear then he will hear. What exactly does this mean? Let me show you.
To hear in the Greek is akouō which means to attend to, consider what is or has been said, to understand, perceive the sense of what is said.
And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand. Matthew 15:10
However, hearing the word and understanding it does not necessarily bring salvation. Consider the parable of the sower. ( Mat 21:33 )These all heard the word and understood it but not all continued in the faith. Why is that?
It all comes down to the condition of the heart. Those who loved the world and their own lives more than the truth fell away. Now I know some will interpret this to mean that a Christian can backslide but let us look further.
The heart which is desperately wicked and filled with sin cannot change its self. Jesus said this. “You who are accustomed to doing evil how can you do well?” and again scriptures say,” Can the Ethiopian change the color of his skin? No, so how can you change your evil ways?
Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. Luke 8:12
The heart must be good ground to hear, receive, and bear fruit unto eternal life. What is good ground?
Good-kalos-beautiful by reason of purity of heart and life, and hence praiseworthy, morally good, noble
Ground-gē-arable land, suitable for growing crops, land that is cultivated.
This means, no stones, no weeds, no dry land.
So as you can see the heart condition is very important to bear fruit and we know that scriptures tell us that those who belong to God are ordained (chosen) to bear fruit.
You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you. John 15:16
In other words the sinful heart must be changed, transformed, cultivated, and made ready to receive the seed of the word of God! Unless one is born again he CANNOT enter into the kingdom of God. He cannot be saved!
Now that we have established that the heart must be transformed in order to be saved, how does this happen? Again, let me show you from an example in scriptures.
Let us take a look at Luke chapter 24. Jesus was raised from the dead and he met two of his disciples along the way and as they were walking down a road, Jesus joined them and he EXPOUNDED the scriptures to them. That is, he explained to them in detail all about his coming, crucifixion and resurrection.
Next, Jesus tarried with them. Jesus continued to teach them as the disciples stayed a longer time with the Lord. In other words they sought him out. They were seekers. Scripture plainly tell us that those who seek God will find him. If we hunger for him, thirst for him, are drawn to him by the Holy Spirit we will learn more from him.
Then miraculously their eyes were opened. They had revelation, they saw him, and they knew him! It was not just hearing the word expounded to them that saved them BUT knowing Jesus personally, meeting him face to face!
After that Jesus opened the scriptures to those two disciples and they were able to have faith to believe with the heart, that is they were able to have trust in, reliance upon, and cling to Jesus for their salvation. Not just head knowledge, but heart revelation. pistis –faith for is “God’s divine persuasion” according to strong’s concordance.
Heb 12:2 tells us that Jesus is the author of our faith. He is the one who gives us faith to be saved. We call that “saving faith” and he is also the finisher of our faith. He brings it to completion. Not ourselves, not our own deeds, not of our own will, but by God’s grace alone.
And put no difference between us and them, (Gentiles and Jews) purifying their hearts by faith Acts 15 :9
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. Acts 26:18
Continuing on with this chapter we can see that after the disciples were saved their natural inclination was to go and share what they had experienced with others. This is a sure sign of evidence that one has been born again of the Holy Spirit. Sharing what the Lord has shown you in his word and by his Holy Spirit.
Remember that if one is fearful of man, persecution, or what anybody thinks, that is a ground which is not good ground. The Bible tells us to examine ourselves to see if we are really in the faith. Many are behind pulpits today that have an intellectual understanding of the Bible but they do not have revelation or a heart transformation. The Bible calls these people reprobates, those who do not stand the test, not approved. In other words their hearts are evil. They are still in the flesh nature and love the world, praises of men, money.
“Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.” Hab 2:4
As the disciples continued to share the word of God many others became saved as well because the Lord used the disciples to preach HIS word and then HE also revealed himself to those ordained (chosen) for salvation (Acts 14:23) but those ordained to eternal destruction, being reprobates, will continue in their deception until judgment day. (Jude 1:4)
Do you have a hunger to know God? Seek him and you will find him. How do you seek? Prayer is good but not good enough. You must read the Bible or go hear someone preach the Bible so that God can reveal himself to you and change your heart to be born of his Holy Spirit. To be transformed by God is to be saved by God for without God we can do nothing, especially change our hearts.
May the Lord bless you with his grace and mercy today!