“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. John 5:25-29
I think that today’s verses where Jesus says that the dead will hear His voice refers to two events, one present and the other future. Now the future seems easy enough to see as it refers to the Day of Judgment. At some time, the date unknown to us, Jesus will call everyone both the living and the dead. Then we will all be judged. The good, those who have accepted God’s grace, will be resurrected to eternal life with God. Those who have done evil, people who have rejected God’s grace to the judgment and eternal separation from God.
Those who try to earn heaven on their own will be judged on their own deeds. Some believe that this will be like a scale with good deeds on one side and bad deeds on the other. Then whichever side has the most decides if you go to heaven or not. Now most people truly believe that they have more good than bad and therefore deserve to go to heaven. The problem is that this judgment does not count up good verses bad and let the total decide, God judges sin and those guilty receive the punishment for sin, eternal separation from God.
Now before someone says that is not fair, we do the same in our courts. When someone is put on trial they don’t get off because they have done more good than bad. They get convicted based on the bad deed they are on trial for. So, God does not send people to hell because they have not done enough good, they are sent for their sins. Paul tells us all have sinned. Since all have sinned, the only way out is to accept Jesus’ gift. He died and took on our sins so we could escape the just judgment we all deserve.
Now as to the current meaning of the dead will hear Jesus’ voice. Paul also tells us that we are all dead in our sins. Without Jesus everyone, man, woman and child who ever walked the earth is guilty and deserves to be separated from God. Yet, when we hear Jesus’ voice and come to Him accepting His death and resurrection we are no longer viewed as sinners. Jesus’ blood wipes out every sin we have committed and ever sin we will commit. When we hear His voice and respond to His calling we are no longer dean but alive in Christ.
Have a blessed day,