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A good communicator listens intently to others, as how can they respond correctly if they don’t accurately hear and understand what is being shared (Rom 10:14)? By listening to the viewpoints and advice of others, and learning from correction given we can become

Do I really listen to others?

wise, so “He who has ears, let Him hear” (Mt 13:9,43). Yet don’t believe everything you hear; consider the source and the importance or implication of the information given and ask for clarification if necessary so you can act appropriately (Prov 1:5, 4:1, 18:15, 23:12, 25:12). Once we know, we are responsible and accountable for our response.

We would do well to follow the advice of being “quick to listen, but slow to speak” because it is our tongues that get us into so much trouble (Jas 1:19). As God gave us two ears yet only one mouth – maybe we should listen lots more than we speak! Good listeners also hear more than just the words said as the tone and pace will reveal added insights about the speaker and their views on a matter. Listen with empathy.

“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil...The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles” (Ps 34:15-17; 1 Pet 3:12).

While there are many who have not heard the gospel presented to them by a believer, God has revealed Himself in their inner being and through nature (Ps 19:1; Eccl 3:11; Rom 1:20). Yet because of sinfulness this knowledge is often rejected (Rom 1:21-23). Because the rejection of the awareness of God, is in effect rebellion against Him, the result can be likened to the seed that falls on the path in the parable of the sower where there is no benefit (Mt 13:3,4). Satan is a master at blinding the minds of humanity and creates what appears to be ‘alternative’ ways to satisfy the inner spiritual void (2 Cor 4:4). The Bible says, “If you seek the Lord your God, you will find Him if you look for Him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut 4:29; Jer 29:13). Thus if a person truly desires to know God, God will make Himself known to them. However, as a rule “there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God” (Rom 3:11).

There is no Scriptural basis to assume that those who never hear the gospel are granted mercy from God, rather the Bible is clear that those who perish without Christ will face an eternity in hell. People need to call on the name of the Lord, but “how . . . can they call on

Many are yet to hear about Jesus

the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?” (Rom 10:14,15). Our responsibility as believers is to share the message of salvation with those who are yet to hear about the gracious offer of mercy (Mt 28:19,20; Act 1:8).

See also: accountability, communication, conscience, fairness, hearing God’s voice, listening, obedience, response.