Those Who Receive the Word of God

There are only two groups of people in the world, according to the Bible. They are identified by contrasting terms: righteous and wicked; wheat and chaff; sheep and goats; children of God and children of the devil; saints and sinners; etc. What creates the contrast and the separation between these two groups?

Believers in Jesus and unbelievers, being elect and reprobate, are identified by the one group receiving God’s Word and the other group rejecting it. It is the Word of God that gives the gift of faith, through hearing the preached Word (Rom 10:17).

Jesus taught that some hear the Word and initially receive it with joy (Mt 13:20; Mk 4:16; Lk 8:13), but they fall away in unbelief. Receiving the written and preached Word is the same as receiving Christ Himself (Jn 1:12–13). Temptation can arise, as it did with Judas Iscariot, and the reprobate exposes himself in hostile unbelief. Only if the Word is implanted by God Himself, to the saving of one’s soul, will His Word remain (Jas 1:21).

The indwelling Spirit of God, in the Christian, is the means of distributing God’s Word. It is true that Bibles are the written Word, but the Word is to be preached to all people (Mt 24:14; Mk 16:15).

God the Father gave the Words to Jesus, who gave them to His disciples, who received them and believed in Him (Jn 17:8). Others had listened to Jesus, but they did not believe. Jesus’ commentary on this phenomenon is recorded, “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the Word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day (Jn 12:48).”

Following His crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and enthronement, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:26; 15:26). At Pentecost, the apostle Peter preached, and those who had received his Word were baptized (Acts 2:41). Later, the Samaritans received the Word of God (Acts 8:14). The Gentiles also had received the Word of God (Acts 11:1). Clearly, God’s Spirit was moving men to preach Jesus and the resurrection — some received it and believed, as their hearts were opened to respond (Acts 16:14).

Those at Berea received the apostle Paul and Silas. They received the Word preached and examined the Scriptures to prove what Paul was saying was true (Acts 17:11).

The brethren at Thessalonica received the Word amidst much tribulation, but God gave them joy in the Holy Spirit (1 Thess 1:16). These had received Paul’s preaching for what it was, the Word of God, not the word of a man (1 Thess 2:13). The Word would perform its good work in them.

Many Christians have suffered immense persecution because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the Word of God (Rev 20:4), but their testimony and God’s Word remained in them because the Word would never leave them nor forsake them (Heb 13:5).

The Christian preacher has one task, “preach the Word (2 Tim 4:2).” The man of God must be clear and precise in his exposition of the text, but he is not responsible for those who do not receive him, nor heed his words (Mt 10:14). It is God who makes the inquiry of the preacher’s hearers, “Will you not receive instruction by listening to My Words (Jer 35:13)?”

All people are encouraged to let their ear receive the Word of His mouth (Jer 9:20), and they should treasure it within them (Prv 2:1), so that His Word would be established in one’s heart (Job 22:22). For, indeed God loves His people. His saints are in His hand, and they follow in His steps because they received God’s Word (Dt 33:3).

Christian, it was God’s grace that brought you God’s Word. It was God’s Spirit that opened your ears to hear it. It was the Spirit’s regeneration that positioned God’s Word in your heart. It is God’s powerful Word that sustains your faith in Christ Jesus.

Know then that great distinction between you and the unbeliever, who has not received the Word of God, so as to be saved. This Word is your life. It is the light unto your path. It is filled with promises you can trust because it is the Word of truth…given to you, received by you…only by His grace.

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

December 31, 2021

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Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher

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David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher