“I assure you,” Jesus told the Jewish leaders, “that the time is coming– indeed, it’s here now, when the dead will hear My voice– the voice of the Son of God. And those who listen will live. The Father has life in Himself, and He has granted that same life-giving power to His Son.“And He has given Him authority to judge everyone, because He is the Son of Man. Don’t be so surprised! Indeed, the time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son, and they will rise again. Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life, and those who have continued in evil will rise to experience judgment.” John 5:25-29 NLT

Jesus’ mission on earth was not simply to improve mankind. His mission was to raise the dead. There are at least three cases recorded where he raised the physically dead– the widow’s son at Nain, the daughter of Jairus, and His friend Lazarus. All of these, He called back from death with His voice.

And the pronouncement of God, in both Old and New Testaments, is that all mankind died in Adam. All men came under the rule of death; all were dead in their sins. Jesus’ voice, wherever it went forth, reached the dead. And those who listen are given life.

Jesus has been given the authority to judge. The judgment is based on our reception of Him and His message. Those who listen to Him and believe in Him, He said, will not come into condemnation; those who refuse Him, remain under judgment. He came not to condemn the world, He said, but that the world would be saved through Him. Listening to Him and believing in Him is a matter of life and death, both now and for eternity.

 

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