The Hour That Now Is: The Hour That Is Coming

John 5: 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

Jesus spoke these words after healing the man at the Pool of Bethsaida.  He had been lame for years.  When the water was stirred by the angel, the first person into the water was healed.  Because of this man’s condition he could never get there first. Jesus told him he didn’t have to wait for the hour of the moving of the water to be healed.  If he did as Jesus said he would be healed.  Jesus moved to him; he didn’t have to wait on the water.  Jesus went on to tell the people that it can happen to all who trust God.

We didn’t have to wait until the baptistery was filled or to get to the river to be saved.  When we called on the name of the Lord and believed we were saved at that hour.  Verse 24 says He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.  We can lose a lot in life but we have everlasting life because we trust in Jesus Christ.  This old body has to die but we won’t blink an eye so far as life is concerned.  We have much more than hope; this is reality.  We are alive and continue in that life as we stay near the life-giving fountain.

Jesus said the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.  This is a reality that’s hard for lost people to understand.  Before we could be made alive we had to realize we were dead in trespasses and sins.  At the base of sin is a spiritually dead soul.  People may dance around and try to be in perfect physical shape but in their sins they are as dead as 4:00—dead in their sins.  The only people alive are those who trust Jesus.  That’s how Stephen, even though being battered by stones, could pray for them and then see Jesus standing to receive him to heaven.  No matter what shape we get in physically no one can take the life from our soul.

Agrippa told Paul he was almost persuaded to be a Christian.  Paul wished it for him so that he’d experience something he’d never known.  Agrippa knew he was dead inside even though decked out in all his kingly finery.  Paul was in rags but was alive!  Remember no matter how rough things go with this body the devil can’t touch the life of our soul as long as we stand guard over it.

Now is:  the dead hear the voice of the Lord and are made alive.  When we talk to the Lord he talks back.  Whatever happens we have life in Jesus.  Lost people—those without Jesus—are dead.  If we’re not careful we’ll get like the church at Sardis.  We’ll get lax and Christianity will become a religion.  God designed it to save our soul from hell.  He never meant for salvation to be a religion.  This world seems an incurable graveyard of religion.  We must call on Jesus to be brought from death unto life.  Don’t insult God with just a church-going religion.  Serve the Lord.  Treat God and Jesus like they are real, part of the family.  Jesus died so we could live. So be alive!  Act alive!  Live until the Lord comes after you.  We might have arrangements taken care of as far as this body is concerned but above all make sure the soul is right with the Lord so that the angels take it to glory.

Jesus said Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.  Those who don’t know Jesus and choose to live on in death will one day come out of the grave and their soul out of hell.  Revelation 20 tells us that those not found written in the Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire.

As Christians, we’ll join soul to new body, resurrected to life.  Everybody lives forever but the hope of living in heaven rests in Jesus.  Thank God for the life we have in Jesus Christ.  Don’t get lax.  Don’t get cold on God.  We serve a risen Savior.  Show vital signs that you’re alive.  Live it up as children of God, not in sin.  We have the life.  Shame on us for not living like we’re alive.  Paul lived it right to the chopping off of his head.  Let’s live it.  Determine to enjoy being a Christian.

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