SermonSpiritually Hear Heavenly Callings
An all-creatures Bible Message

Spiritually Hear Heavenly Callings
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
4 February 2018
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Mark 2:13-28
1 Corinthians 9:19-27

Spiritually hear heavenly callings is what most true believers are doing, but unfortunately others fail to do, even those who go to church and say they believe, for they are being pulled away by worldly pressures.
 
Unless we are truly willing to reject the ways of this corrupt world, and repent of our worldly lifestyle, we will not spiritually hear heavenly callings, or maybe it is more accurate to say that they donít spiritually respond because they arenít willing to leave their worldly lifestyles.
 
And this is why Godís beautiful creation has remained so corrupted with all its violence, pain, suffering, bloodshed, and death for many millennia.
 
It is time we start working together as peacemaking children of God to free creation from its present corruption.
 
With this in mind, letís look at our first Bible lessonÖ
 
Mark 2:13-28 is a continuation of where we left off last week in Markís account of the beginning of Jesusí ministry.

13. And He went out again by the seashore; and all the multitude were coming to Him, and He was teaching them.

Every time we see a reference to Jesus teaching the people, we also wonder if the people spiritually hear heavenly callings, or do His words go in one ear and out the other.
 
The answer is most likely that the crowd was composed of both kinds of people: those who spiritually hear heavenly callings, and those who do not because they love the ways of the world too much.

14. And as He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting in the tax office, and He said to him, "Follow Me!" And he rose and followed Him.

The very fact the Levi got up and left the tax office and followed Jesus is proof that he was one of the people who spiritually hear heavenly callings and responds to them.

15. And it came about that He [Jesus] was reclining at the table in his [Leviís] house, and many tax-gatherers and sinners were dining with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many of them, and they were following Him.

This should give us something to meditate upon: are these other tax collectors and sinners attending the dinner because they spiritually hear heavenly callings that are leading them to salvation?
 
We simply donít know for sure, because Mark is not telling us here.
 
But we are not the only ones looking in on this gathering.

16. And when the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with the sinners and tax-gatherers, they began saying to His disciples, "Why is He eating and drinking with tax-gatherers and sinners?"

It is obvious that these religious leaders did not spiritually hear heavenly callings, or they would not be complaining and finding fault with what Jesus was doing.
 
And these are exactly the same kinds of religious leaders that we find in many of our churches today.

17. And hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners." 

Here we are hopefully learning more about the people who have gathered there; it is obvious that the spiritual leaders have no interest in heavenly matters, for they are too concerned about worldly things.
 
But nevertheless, Jesus tells them the truth about why He was there, but these so-called religious men are not listening, which is obvious by what they said nextÖ

18. And John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and they came and said to Him, "Why do John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?"
 
19. And Jesus said to them, "While the bridegroom is with them, the attendants of the bridegroom do not fast, do they? So long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.

Jesus is the bridegroom seeking to be like a husband taking care of His repentant and truly believing family.

20. "But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.

But today we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us; that is, if we are truly born again.
 
So, Jesus goes on and gives them a few examplesÖ

21. "No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; otherwise the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear results. 
 
22. "And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins." 

In other words, those who spiritually hear heavenly callings, know and understand the heavenly will of God and respond to His desire for our lives, for they have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to guide them in everything they say and do.

23. And it came about that He was passing through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples began to make their way along while picking the heads of grain.
 
24. And the Pharisees were saying to Him, "See here, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?"

We hear these kinds of things from people who will not follow the heavenly will of God and continue to corrupt creation instead of helping to free creation from its present corruption for the benefit of all humans, and other animals, and the environment in which we all live.
 
Instead, these kinds of people resort to finding fault with true believing peacemaking children of God by taking some Biblical passage out of context as a weapon against them, but we should be able to see through their evil intent.

25. And He said to them, "Have you never read what David did when he was in need and became hungry, he and his companions:
 
26. how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the consecrated bread, which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests, and he gave it also to those who were with him?" 
 
27. And He was saying to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.
 
28 "Consequently, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath." 
NASB

Jesus is indeed Lord of the Sabbath, and He is showing us how to discern and apply Biblical precepts; if something is not truly loving, it is not in the heavenly will of God.
 
Letís now take a look at 1 Corinthians 9:19-27, while still thinking about people who spiritually hear heavenly callings.

19. For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, that I might win the more.

This in itself can be a good way to win people to God, but we cannot compromise the heavenly will of God in the process.

20. And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law, though not being myself under the Law, that I might win those who are under the Law;
 
21. to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, that I might win those who are without law.
 
22. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some.
 
23. And I do all things for the sake of the gospel, that I may become a fellow partaker of it.

It is very easy to misinterpret what Paul wrote to the Corinthians, for on the surface it might seem to be saying that we can do the ungodly things that the people of the world do, so that they might be saved, but nothing is further from the truth.
 
We are never to compromise the heavenly will of God or what we know the Holy Spirit is prompting us to do, but we need to be careful, for the devil can also be encouraging us to do things that are ungodly.
 
As an example, we may not eat or wear any animal products, for we know that all of them are the products of violence and death, and thus are outside the heavenly will of God.
 
If we do eat or wear animal products, the people we are trying to reach are very likely to think that we are hypocrites and that it is not important to be vegan, if we do not hold fast to our calling.
 
We do not have to slip down to the worldly ways of people in order to win them to Christ and to become peacemaking children of God who help free creation from its present corruption instead of further corrupting creation.
 
We can become as these people, in love and friendship, without partaking of their worldly ways; we can be even more effective in winning people to Christ by setting the example of heavenly living before them in an uncompromising way.
 
We always want to be able to spiritually hear heavenly callings, and we want these other people to be able to do the same thing.

24. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.

We do this by remaining in the heavenly will of God and not letting anyone or anything block our ability to spiritually hear heavenly callings.

25. And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

This only happens when we live in the heavenly will of God at all times and allow the Holy Spirit to guide and direct our every action.

26. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air;
 
27. but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.
NASB

This only happens when we allow ourselves to compromise Godís heavenly will before others, in order to retain their friendship.
 
We are not to do these things; we are to always remain faithful to God and His heavenly will, and to always keep our mind and soul open to spiritually hear heavenly callings.
 
We are to always set the example of heavenly living here on earth as it is in heaven.
 
Amen.

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