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January 26, 2022 7:00 am
When someone has established the fact that whenever the gospel is put in front of them. They are going to market denigrated to criticize it and to treat it with vulgarity. That's the kind of person we stop talking to them how do you know when a person's cross that line were so glad you joined us on the truth pulpit with dung and green founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio hi Bill Wright were coming to the end of our series. The art of discernment with part two of a message titled Jesus call to silence last time Don pointed out the difference between a person who's at least somewhat receptive to a gospel witness and what appears to be a hopeless marker. Jesus gives us the prescription for that latter person will discover what that is, along with three other practical points from done on today's program so turn in your Bible to Matthew seven verse six as we join our teacher now in the truth.
Pulpit, we testify as Christians, we testify to everyone who will listen the words of Romans 58 God demonstrates his own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us here.
We were in our guilt or rebellion or indifference manifesting our guilt in different ways. Some people manifest their guilt and sinfulness just through utter indifference through a mocking kind of dismissal without engaging the facts.
Others are openly hostile others devote their lives like Bill Nye has to do just mocking everything that is precious others living in the brokenness of sin and drunkenness, and other matters of debauchery. All all united by a common theme that that they are in sin that sin has taken them captive, that Satan has taken them captive and they are in darkness and they are hurtling toward eternal judgment. And here we are as Christians who were once like them now saved by grace, we commonly say we have the message that can deliver you from all of that they can break say that can break the power Satan in your life that can break the power sin in your life that can reconcile you to to a majestic God.
And here's the thing, beloved, in light of in light of that great surpassing value. Here's what you must see is that those sacred truths are of infinite value and because listen to me because we love the Christ who has done this for us. We realize the great value of the Savior who came and gave his life for us. He loved me and gave himself up for me and we and we are we are so enraptured with the honor that is due to his name. We are so full of gratitude toward the wonder of what he is done to save us when we could not save ourselves. We attached the highest value possible to that when we realize that we realize there should be something that starts to click in your mind says those things should never be treated with contempt. Those things should never be treated as common those things should never be mock. Those things should never be assaulted and yet we know all too well, don't we, that there are plenty of men in the world, some in our circle of life who are who who who revel in doing just that, who love to blaspheme the name of Christ, who love to mock the Scriptures from time to time are going to encounter people like that.
We need to know how to respond to them. Jesus tells us here in verse six exactly how we respond to them when you encounter somebody in every word I'm saying here I'm speaking with great precision here today. But when you encounter someone who repeatedly blasphemes Christ, who again and again and again marks the Scripture you need to know what to do with them what Jesus is saying here in verse six is when that happens, you should go silent he's calling you to silence to stay quiet or to walk away. To apply this, don't argue with the angry don't pander to the arrogant don't fuel the mockers when that every word that you say just becomes more reason and more grounds for them to heap more scorn and contempt on the precious message of which you speak. Now I realize for some people this is really hard to understand and even hard to to receive and accept because you've been conditioned over time to think that we just need to be kind and loving to absolutely everybody without any exception whatsoever and that you should never draw lines of distinction around the gospel and so that's the kind of mindset that the pastor in my in my small town church had, you know, we just got to be kind to everybody. Will Jesus calls us to a higher level of discrimination and discernment than that there are some people where the words of Christ should go silent until they change their approach until they change their mind going to see illustrations of this from Scripture when there is such hostility and such content to the gospel. There comes a time where you go silent you walk away you leave them to the judgment in the providence of God, rather than subjecting that which is precious to being treated by scavengers with contempt, but Matthew chapter 10 verse 14. I realize it stated that very strongly and it would help you to see that Scripture illustrates this force and met Matthew chapter 10 verse 13 Jesus said, go to verse 12. As you enter the house. Get your greeting if the houses were they give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy. Take back your blessing of peace. Whoever does not receive you nor heed your words as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet, disassociate yourself from the contempt that is been shown to the message of the gospel of Christ says in verse 15.
Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city. The apostles in the book of acts help us understand what Jesus was describing turn to the book of act.
Chapter 13 acts chapter 13 is returning there.
What we see. This is so hard for people to understand because we somewhere along the line got a really distorted view of what it meant to be a Christian but it should always be clear in your mind that loyalty to Christ is a greater price and is a greater priority than loyalty to men. The approval of Christ is far more important than the approval of men that has to be clear in your mind, beloved, it has to be clear in your mind where your loyalties lie in acts chapter 13 verse 44, as we read about the ministry of the apostle Paul says that the next Sabbath nearly the whole city assembled to hear the word of the Lord. When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began contradicting the thing spoken by Paul and were blaspheming Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said it was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first. Since you repudiated and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. They left them behind in the face of the blasphemy and the mocking and the contradiction repeatedly to the message preached pulses were gonna leave you behind will go to the Gentiles. They'll listen verse 47 for so the Lord has commanded us. I've placed you as a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth. Verse 48 when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed in the word of the Lord was being spread throughout the whole region. But the Jews incited the devout women of prominence and the leading men of the city and instigated a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of the district, but they shook off the dust of their feet in protest against them and went to I Tony him and the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. In response, there came a point in the midst of the hostility and the rejection where they said were walking away. They were obeying what Jesus said earlier in Matthew chapter 7 verse six, you are acting like dogs you are acting like pigs as I put these things of great value before you. You have judge yourselves unworthy of them. Therefore, I will withdraw.
I will go someplace else. I will speak to those who will listen, this isn't the only time it happened in the book of acts look at acts chapter 18. Acts chapter 18 verse five, but when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul began devoting himself completely to the word solemnly testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.
But when they resisted and blasphemed.
He shook out his garments and said to them, your blood be on your own heads. I am clean from now on I will go to the Gentiles. Once again you see my friends my brothers and sisters in Christ, he left them behind their hostile response produced a reaction which said I will not continue on giving you that simply so that you can blaspheme against it. There comes a point my friends where that which we hold so dear so precious. Such high-value the matters to us. That is more precious to us than life itself. We love that message and we love our Christ so much that we play our small part in protecting them from unmitigated vulgar attacks is what Jesus speaking of during these two passages in acts.
The Jews turned upon the ones who had brought them holy truth. What you do when that happens you show discretion and you will turn away you regard the gospel in the name of Christ is more important than the men who trample it under feet. Now, having said that, we need to be precise here because we are on a narrow balance beam that we need to walk carefully on lest I be misunderstood, lest we go astray in either direction.
Listen to me carefully listen to me very carefully. Simply because a man is an unbeliever does not mean that he is a dog or a hog. As Jesus is describing it here in Matthew chapter 7, the mere fact that someone is an unbeliever doesn't mean that you never share the gospel with them. I would be foolish when it is the whole reason that we are left here is to take the message out to go and make disciples how to make disciples unless you talked unbeliever's. It's not simply a category of unbelief, of which Jesus speaks part of our duty is to protect the truth from those who would treated badly. Charles Spurgeon said this, he said do not consider men to be dogs or swine. No words don't make that your default assumption about someone but when they show themselves to be such. Do not put occasions in their way for displaying their evil character. Saints are not to be simpletons they are not to be judges but they are also not to be fools so here's the thing when someone has established the fact that whenever the gospel is put in front of them. They are going to market to denigrate it to criticize it and to treat it with vulgarity. And that's obvious.
Wasn't just a one time bad thing, but somehow it's been established over time.
That's the kind of person where you stop talking to them you do not give them conversations for them to continually display their evil character. How do you know when a person's cross that line. Well let me give you some practical ways to respond to this truth, there's three things here today by way of application for some of you this will be very liberating and I don't mind telling you this first point that I'm about to give you this may help you understand a lot of things over time because this is the way I do ministry point number one. Concentrate your efforts on those who are receptive to concentrate your efforts on those who are receptive to you of this principle is subject to exceptions, but when it comes to ministry when it comes to your life.
Beloved, beware of the people that proved to be a distraction to your life because they are so hard to the gospel every point is a matter of contention. Everything becomes a joke treated lightly or treated with contempt. There is no genuine receptivity and it's been proven over time, they prefer to be a hard concrete block wall to your words rather than someone that is willing to enter gauge them as an intelligent man receptive to the truth. Beloved, if you have someone in your life that will hear you and you all have someone different who won't. And who argues in disputes again and again and again for your life and the person who listens. That's where the fruitful ground is rather than giving it to dogs to tear and to destroy.
Spend your time with those who are tenderhearted and believe that those are the ones that God has brought into your life by his providence that you might be an instrument of grace to help them grow or to lead them to Christ.
That's a proper application of this text now. Secondly, kind of coming out from the other side of the balance beam, beloved BB very slow. Be very slow to judge someone as a dog in the context which we been speaking here. Don't rush to that conclusion Jesus will go back to Matthew chapter 5 I just want you to see. I just want you to see something physically on the page in Matthew chapter 7 Jesus devotes five verses as we have it now to warning us against harsh and critical judgments against others and you can kinda put your fingers and bracketed around the Texter on your screen of the grid device and see the comparative emphasis that he's made on that point and notice.
By comparison, that in verse six.
There is a much smaller treatment. There's a shorter treatment given to this issue. DA Carson says this about that makes a very pertinent observation that ratio 5215 verses one verse that ratio reflects an accurate assessment of where the greater danger lies. Beloved your greater danger is going to be in harshly judging someone critically.
That's why Jesus gives more attention to that than he does to this issue of those treating the gospel with contempt. You need to be aware of both but you need to realize that the greater danger in your heart is going to be to to be too quick to harshly judge you guard yourself against lab while not forgetting this shorter admonition to protect the purity of the gospel in the way that you deal with things and so just taking this another step in applying this point a little bit further. Beloved, think with me and I say this sympathetically a lot of your will be spending time with family that's difficult to deal with this resistant to the gospel.
But let me remind you something at once at a human level, a family member or coworker, they may reject the gospel, you can still engage them on a human level, you can still show kindness to them just on a purely human level, even if you're not speaking the gospel to them because they get angry and and derisive in response to it, doesn't mean that you just declare them anathema don't have to do that, you can still show them kindness even if you remove the gospel from the discussion because of the nature of their response.
Also, remember this. 11. Some of you could speak about this autobiography graphically as I can for some of you wasn't there a time in your prior life where you two were a mocker and a blasphemer of Christ wasn't there a time in your past where you mocked those who brought the gospel to you and they showed kindness to you, they told you. Oh, I'm praying for you and you dismiss them with a wave of the hand and yet here you are.
After time God did a work in your heart. God did save you and now you realize you're grateful for those people that she wants mocked and despised will beloved, never forget that it's possible for God to change that hardened person over time as well. So don't write people off just be discerning in the context in which you make the gospel available there's always room even when you say that they are so hard and blasphemous. I cannot share with them.
I cannot share Christ with them on a human level because I know what they're going to do and horizontally.
I'm going to keep my mouth shut will tell you what I will do all lift my lips up vertically God have mercy on this blasphemer, have mercy on this one. Who is so hard. Do a work in their hearts. Father somehow. Maybe it's maybe it's something in me in the way that I do it Lord that promotes such a negative reaction. Bring bring someone else bring someone else to them work in the heart. Don't abandon them. Lord, even while I realize Lord I I can't continue to speak and let them curse the name of my beloved to my face.
I can't do that, Lord, Lord, do dual work and so the point being, you don't simply write people off. You can still pray to God about their souls and you should. It's all a matter of how you handle the gospel before men, and so the fact that you have a family member or loved one or a friend or coworker who's rejected the gospel doesn't mean that you give beloved don't think that way the arm of the Lord suddenly become shortened so that it's not long enough to save as a power of God been diminished or overuse of the no longer has a heart to turn the heart toward Christ.
No, no, we don't make final judgments about their eternal destiny.
We just limit and say I cannot expose the gospel to this kind of ridicule. But my heart Lord is still for their salvation dual work, even if it's apart from me so you continue to pray and where you can you engage them on a human level. I realize I have people in my life like this where they don't want anything to do with me and I realize for some of you will be that way, but we don't glory and saying that's a dog we recognize it with aggrieved heart with sorrow that there are so hard and resistant to that which alone can save your souls to see the balance of which the Scriptures would produce a heart that's balanced.
In this perspective, I want to protect the gospel, I'm not gonna let people market but I'm also not going to turn into an enemy of their souls.
Lord, if they won't listen to me, make them listen to your spirit which kind of brings us to the third point overlapping here as we talk about this first point of application from this text was concentrate your efforts on those who are receptive to those of you that have designs for ministry. This is the way to go. It is very easy to give 90% of your time to people who are never going to respond to people who are just going to be contentious and divisive. You come to the end of your ministry and find all you did was fight battles were obviously never going to be one give your life over to that there are hundreds of people that desire the word of God want to hear it. The one respond want to treat these things as holy. Let that be the focus of where you put your attention.
Secondly, be slow to judge someone. Thirdly, the positive side of that is is to give people room to change. Give people room to change. Maybe they're hostile now and you can't talk to them right now because of their attitude but but maybe something comes along in their lives and they have a new softness maybe a sorrow or a trial hits them hard and breaks them and now they need someone whereas before they were dog borrowing their teeth at the gospel. Now they're saying, what must I do to be saved.
You go and you speak and renew to new circumstances and you share Christ with them. Remember that some people change over time, the person who scorns the gospel today may be the person who's open tomorrow with the spirit works so keep your balance there. As I said earlier the thief on the cross insulted Christ at the beginning of the day, but by the end of the day he was asking Jesus to remember him in paradise now these are things that are difficult to implement. Charles Spurgeon again said in a closed his comments with the word of prayer. Great King how much wisdom your precepts, require I need the not only to open my mouth but also at times to keep it shut.
May God give us grace to proclaim the gospel to everyone who will listen and to keep it from scorn from those men who only want to blasphemy the fair name by which we and with that we've come to the end of our series. The art of discernment. Pastor Don green will start another powerful study in God's word. Next time you're on the truth.
Pulpit supply now to be with us but John Matthew seven is really packed with important teaching for all believers. How would you sum up the really salient points for your right Bill, it is a condensed version of many things that we need to know is believers yell, my friend. I guess I would sum it up this way.
God takes holiness seriously and he wants his word treated with reverence. That's why Jesus told us to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and among other things, that means that life has meaning because we will all give an account to God, he will reward his children who knew Christ in this life. He will send others away into eternal judgment. Let that motivate you to see Christ if you don't know him and to live for Christ.
If you do. Thanks, Don, and friend. Remember you have a standing invitation to visit the truth. Pulpit.com to learn more about our ministry. I feel right will see you next time on the truthful