By: Dr. Hank Lindstrom

Sometimes we don’t realize how important our hearing is as related to our spiritual life. We must hear spiritually in order to be saved.

Jesus said, “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 (John 5:24).” Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

The words of God are living words (Hebrews 4:12) and can bring life to the unsaved person who is spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1). Notice what John 5:25 says, “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 that they that hear shall live.”

Every time we witness to a lost person, we are speaking to someone who is spiritually dead. A birth takes place when that person responds to the word of God. “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth…(James 1:18).”

As believers, we are also told to hear the Word of God. In the parable of the sower we know that hearing and keeping the word sets apart the seed sown upon the good ground from the others. “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, and keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience (Luke 8:15).” These are those that hear and then do. James talks about these believers in James 1:22 where he says, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

We are to be careful as believers as to what we hear. Jesus gave us a warning in Mark 4:24 when He said, “Take heed what ye hear.” Today in this age of TV and radio this is certainly so! Not every preacher you hear is preaching God’s Word.

Notice what Jeremiah the prophet says, “For who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord, and hath perceived and heard His Word? Who hath marked His Word and heard it? (Jeremiah 23:18).” Our only safeguard is to know the Word of God so we can detect what God has not said. Note what God says about some preachers. “I have not sent these prophets (preachers), yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied (preached) (Jeremiah 23:21).” Be careful what you hear!

Also, we need to be careful in the area of hearing the gossip and evil reports! Sometimes we can listen to these evil reports with devastating consequences. A whole generation failed to enter the Promised Land because they listened to an evil report. Note Numbers 13:30-32, “And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. And they brought up an EVIL REPORT of the land which they had searched (out) unto the children of Israel…” The whole nation was subverted by the evil report.

God severely judged those who brought the EVIL REPORT. “Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the Lord (Numbers 14:37).” Also, those who heard and believed the evil report were judged as the whole nation wandered and died in the wilderness (Hebrews 3:16-18).

Many times we read in the Scriptures about how an EVIL REPORT, gossip or slander can do great damage as it is believed by the people. Another example is the case of Absalom. Absalom used an innocent sounding evil report to steal the hearts of almost an entire nation and lead it in revolt against his own father, King David. The evil report emphasized his “concerns” for suffering people, his “deep desire” that justice be done and “his ability” to be a better administrator than his father, David.

Read this amazing passage in II Samuel 15:1-6, “And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him (He gathered and organized a group that would be loyal to him, rather than to the one whom he served.). And Absalom rose up early (He was energetic and disciplined), and stood beside the way of the gate (He made himself available to the people)…and said, Of what city art thou? And he said, Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel. And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters are good and right (He took up the offenses of those who had been hurt): but there is no man deputed of the king to hear thee (He alienated people from their authority by giving an evil report about his leadership). Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land (He offered to be the representative to make sure things were done right), that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me (He would use the new position to increase his loyal following), and I would do him justice! And it was so that when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him (He desired acceptance and recognition as well as authority). And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.” (He carried out a tragic takeover of the nation with the help of those who were defiled and infected with an EVIL REPORT).

You might want to read the entire story to learn of God’s judgment upon Absalom. Unfortunately for a time, David had to fear for his life as the nation was deceived by Absalom.

Proverbs 11:13 says, “A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.” Learn to recognize a talebearer and refuse to listen.

Be careful what you hear! It can deceive and defile you! Don’t pass a tale along.
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace (mercy) unto the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29

Let’s be careful what we say and what we hear! “Let the words of my mouth, and the mediation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer (Psalms 19:14).”