Are there Times When Sharing our Faith is Unwise? Actually … Yes.

Matthew 7:6 (NIV) 6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.”

I am an evangelist at heart. Ever since the Lord saved me in February of 1977, I have been willing and eager to speak to anyone with a pulse about Jesus. And God has raised up so many opportunities to do so that I can only celebrate His mercies. As the Psalmist said: “As for me I will always have hope. I will praise you more and more!!” (Psalm 71:1)

My zeal for the Gospel has not diminished but I think I’m getting smarter. Perhaps just in time. We are living in a period of increased distain, even contempt for the Good News about Jesus. We should not be surprised or too bothered by the mocking of late show talkers and commentators in the media saying Christians are everything from racist to just plain stupid. That has always been there. But I sense an increase in the intensity of their rhetoric and so often their need for salvation is entirely obvious. So, we hope to politely and respectfully tell them about life in the Kingdom of God thru the Lord Jesus Christ.

But what if they don’t want to hear it? What if they are downright vulgar in their response and they make it clear that our Gospel is repulsive to them. After all, the Word of God says this will happen at times. Why? Consider:

2 Corinthians 2:14-16 (NIV) 14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. 15 For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?

So, if we meet someone who turns up their nose at our Christian witness, we should “get it” that they don’t want to hear more. We can pray for them, but we are wise to wait. Paul and Barnabas experienced exactly this when they were witnessing to some Jews in Antioch. Look closely with me at what Paul said when they rejected the message:

Acts 13:46 (NIV) Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.”

This is a tricky verse to translate. Paul seems to be saying they don’t consider themselves worth saving and/or they don’t consider the message to be worthwhile.

In any case, Paul and Barnabas dropped the effort and took the message to other people … the Gentiles. One can perhaps hear frustration in their words. As if they were saying “Look, we’re not going to beg you to hear this precious news about the Son of God!”

The Gospel is indeed precious. One other verse. In Matthew Seven Jesus has just warned his disciples to be careful in judging but then he gives them an example of using sound judgment. We read:

Matthew 7:6 (NIV) 6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.”

What does our Lord mean? If you lean down to feed the pigs and open your hand, they will expect food. When they see that you’ve given them something that is inedible, like pearls they cannot eat, they will be enraged and even attack you. The Gospel is like the finest pearl and entirely sacred, and totally unappetizing to the hardened heart. Jesus is saying we must discern the spiritual status of those with whom we share. It will become obvious pretty quickly.

Bottom line: we must ask the Holy Spirit to lead us to those who will hear our witness. The message is not a cheap give-away and unless He opens the heart, it will be rejected. Sharing our faith calls for wisdom and humble leading by the Lord.

Blessings! Pastor Alberta

1 Comment

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One response to “Are there Times When Sharing our Faith is Unwise? Actually … Yes.

  1. Mark Edward Bumann

    So true Pastor. In the same vein I believe no one deserves to hear the gospel twice as long as there’s someone who hasn’t heard it once😉

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