You reach for the porcelain collectible for the third time, sure you’ve been warned, but you have called her bluff up to this point. She is speaking, telling you not to, but you know she hasn’t quite reached that tone yet. You know that tone that says a beating is imminent.
Have we grown up any? Do we respond to the gospel with a “…huh?” Not an inquisitive huh, but a non-interested huh.
In our text we are told that we must listen, because God will speak. The speaking that God is doing now is different from the speaking that He will do then. If you are privileged to hear the gospel of Jesus, the revelation of the Son, by the Son (Hebrews 1:1-3), God is speaking to you. It is the greatest good news in the world; He is speaking to you kindly. His speaking then, when all is shaken will be different.
Do not listen to the repeated offers of the gospel, in which God as it were lays the key to His heavenly city before you, do not listen to them in the same way you listen to your mother’s threats. To respond casually or flippantly to this gospel, is to call more than Mt. Sinai down upon your head. Every time the gospel is preached you are either softened or hardened. As the Puritans said, “the same sun that melts the ice hardens the clay.” Perhaps God’s judgment upon you for a habitual pattern of shirking the gospel is to expose you to more of it, such that your quilt is increased. Ease and comfort in sin is the scariest state to find oneself in. We see this kind of terrifying judgment in Romans 1:18-32.
Every time God’s word is preached the gospel should be preached. Therefore every time God’s word is preached there should be a serious and solemn examination of our hearts. Are we listening? Remember the Pharisees heard and taught the Scriptures every Sabbath, yet they were completely ignorant of Jesus.
Jesus did not mute the holiness and righteousness of God that speaks in wrath against our sin. No rather God’s testimony against sin was amplified as Jesus hung on the cross in our stead. If you stand outside of Christ this wrath burns against you still. If you spurn the blood of Jesus, it burns against you more (Hebrews 2:1-4; 10:28-29)
As wise old Uncle Ben said to Peter, “with great power comes great responsibility”. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation. With greater revelation, greater glory, greater power comes greater responsibility on our part.
“Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
“For our God is a consuming fire.”