I remember being warned by others as I approached 40 years old. “Your eye sight is going to decline.” It was not but a few years later I started to stretch objects further away to read the smaller print. The same thing has been happening recently when being asked to lower my voice. A sign of declining hearing! The challenge with these losses is that we fail to notice our deteriorating condition. My prescription glasses revealed what I obvious missing. The Bible reminds us that the same thing can happen to follower of Jesus as they mature. We lose our spiritual hearing and don’t even know it!
The writer of Hebrews addresses this issue with the aging believers. Now this is not a reference to the physical age, that could also be valid but to their spiritual age in Christ. A safe assumption is that Hebrews was written no later the 69AD since there is no indication that the Temple had be destroyed. And if we accept the assumption that is was written after AD 64 the recipients could have been followers of Jesus for decades (assuming the birth of the church around AD33). The point is, it does not take long to fall into spiritual complacency. We are reminded that spiritual drift was definitely a problem for these early Christians, just as it is for you and I today.
The inspired writer shares, “About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.” (Hebrews 5:11) The metaphor reveals that they have stopped listening, stopped growing spiritually. He remarks, that at this point spiritually, they should be teachers. Instead, they were stuck in 1st gear still struggling to understand the basis truths of the Christian faith. Spiritually they are still needing to be breastfeed like a baby!
I have often shared one lesson from taking drivers education as a teen. It was our instructor’s challenge not to be a driver that has 1 year of experience repeated over 20 years, never developing beyond the basics, but a driver that has 20 years of driving experience. It is easy for this to happen in our spiritual lives. The danger is that we stop progressing and our spiritual development plateaus.
Just as it is difficult to discern our declining physical eyesight or hearing, the same is also true spiritually. Just reading the letters off an eye chart or being able to identify different sounds reveal is helpful to identify any physical loss so do similar “tests” help to reveal a spiritual need.
Here is a sampling of truths that every believer should know. Do you know the books of the Bible? The Bible index is a great tool for those starting out their faith, but a crutch for those maturing in their faith. Do you know 3-5 key verses so you could share your faith from memory with another? Could you explain that Jesus is fully God and fully man? Do you know what the Bibles teach on temptation? Is temptation sin? When does temptation become a sin? Could you share a verse that supports that the Bible is God’s inspired word and explain what that means?
Now these questions do not make a person a Christian! They must accept Christ as their Savior. But these question and many others point out key truths that a maturing follower of Jesus should know. The Biblical challenge for those of us that know Christ is… “Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity,” (Hebrews 6:1a)
We are living at a wonderful time. There are unlimited Bible resources at our fingertips. The super computer that you hold in your hand offers access to an incredible number of solid Biblical resources over the internet. And the vast majority of them are absolutely free! So, I need you to ask yourself. “Do I have a spiritual hearing problem?” It so, let’s do something about it. We are here to help you!
-Pastor Joe Parkinson