John 5:25 Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.
This can be a difficult statement for some. There is no doubt in my mind that when you talk with people about the “dead”, they typically think of a person who physically died. Whether that death was due to an illness, an accident, or murder; death is not something that many tend to celebrate. For Christians, we should not have such a shallow view of death. That it is only a physical thing that happens. That we simply cease to exist and that only memories of us are what goes on.
Lets take a moment to ask a legitimate question because not everyone will believe as we do. How can a dead person hear? Logic tells us that a dead person cannot hear anything. For Jesus to make such a statement, this means that there is something more. Jesus was dealing with people who were dead on the inside. We all know what that looks like. It doesn’t take much thought to come up with examples. I think of individuals who have made the news recently due to the horrific crimes that they committed. People like Darrell Brooks who ran over 68 people, killing 6 and injuring 62 others. If anyone kept up with his trial, you would see through his actions that he was not sorry for what he did. He did everything within his power to try to cause a mistrial. When I watched some of the highlighted videos of the trial, it was easy to see that this man was dead on the inside. He does not care about anyone other than himself.
We do not have to view this from a perspective of hopelessness. Those dead people have an opportunity of changing their ways. If there is breath within them, they have the ability to turn their lives to Jesus. The text isn’t implying that merely hearing the words of Jesus is enough. We must hear AND do the word of God!
John 14:15 if you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
James 1:22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.
Allow me to use Darrell Brooks again as an example. I do not want anyone to get the impression that I believe that he has no hope. If he continues to live in sin, refuse to obey the gospel, I would agree that he has no hope. This is true for anyone, not just him. If he hears the gospel and decides to obey the gospel; his sins will be washed away. What a beautiful thought for a man who has built a reputation of being evil. Some of the things that were said during the witness statement portion of the trial, many do not want him to be forgiven. They desire him to carry the burden of his crime for the rest of his life and make no mistake, he will carry that burden until he gives everything over to Jesus.
Matthew 23:27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.
Similar language utilized here in this text. A description given to people who are very much alive physically, but Jesus is clearly indicating that they are dead spiritually. It is imperative for all to understand how serious this charge is against mankind. To call someone who is living, a dead man, that is no laughing matter. It is not something to joke about. This is a reality for more people than we would want to admit.
Matthew 23:28 So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
Who views these men as righteous? It certainly is not God! God will never be fooled by our actions. If we cannot glorify God through our lives, whatever it is that we are doing is not worth it. If we do not cause others to glorify God through our lives, it is not a life worth living. Being full of hypocrisy and lawlessness will not get us to heaven. The Greek word for lawlessness is “anomia” – G458. The definition given by Strong’s (G458) is illegality, violation of law, wickedness, iniquity, transgression of the law, unrighteousness. Even with all of that, we have a Bible passage that tells us what lawlessness is!
1 John 3:4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.
The dead are here but it will only be the dead that are IN Christ and those alive IN Christ that will be raised on the last day. The dead that are walking among us who continue to live in sin will be judged by God.
2 Corinthians For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what we has done, whether good or bad.