The Voice of the Son of God -- By: Rudolph M. Piepgrass

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 104:413 (Jan 1947)
Article: The Voice of the Son of God
Author: Rudolph M. Piepgrass

The Voice of the Son of God

Rudolph M. Piepgrass

[Editor’s Note: Since graduation fom Dallas Seminary a score of years ago, the author of this article has distinguished himself as a missionary in Africa. He is now pioneering in the field of translation work as head of the West African Gospel Publishing Society, a new organization designed to provide Christian literature in the Hausa language. In explanation to the Editor for his choice of the above subject and its subtitle, “The Supernatural Element in Missions,” Mr. Piepgrass writes: “This is something I have thought about a great deal. It seems to be taken for granted that the task of missions can be accomplished by multiplying missionaries, without much thought about the need for divine power in their lives. There is much activity but very little power.”]

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live” (John 5:25). “The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God,” Christ says. Who are the dead to whom our Lord refers in this verse ? Doubtless, the reference is to the spiritually dead. Compare it with verse 24, and the meaning becomes clear. “He that heareth my word,” says He, “and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” The physically dead, too, will one day hear His voice and come forth from the graves, yet that time is still in the future; but the hour “now is” when the spiritually dead shall hear His voice and they that hear shall live.

The Real Condition of the Unsaved

There is nothing that so clearly indicates the helplessness and hopelessness of the condition of the lost as the fact that they are dead in trespasses and in sins. The Scriptures describe their condition as “dead in sins” (Eph 2:5), “alienated from the life of God” (Eph 4:18). Death is the absence of

life, and spiritual death is the absence of the life of God. It is unequivocally stated in Scripture that, regardless of race, rank, or religion, men, apart from Christ, are spiritually dead. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath, of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). And “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (

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