So many struggle when dealing with the unruly or those who after you repeatedly have given scripture insist on living opposite to sound doctrine. So what does scripture teach us as to when we should shake the dust off our feet and move on?
Our Lord gave sound advice to His disciples of how to preach the word, and also what to do when those you tell the good news to do not hear or accept it! (Matthew 10:11-15) And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
Clearly the previous passages teach us the time to separate is when a person will not hear your words! When people didn’t listen to Jesus He did not stand there and say: “But you have to listen to what I have to say” NO He merely spoke the words of His Father then moved forward to tell others of the good news of the gospel. Our Lord always taught sound doctrine and we too are to do the same, and we now know if our words are not heard then it is time to move on.
As Christians we know what the great commission is we have been called to, Ezekiel was instructed of what to say to the rebellious children of Israel who would not hear, and today we too are sent to a rebellious people as well! God knows the hardheartedness of man and even told Ezekiel that the people will not listen, because they would not listen to Him either (Ezekiel 3:4-9) And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them. For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel; Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee. But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted. Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads. As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
People will put a guilt trip on you when you separate from their company, they will say such things as I thought you were a christian? Or that is the way you believe. The enemy of our souls main purpose in life is to accuse the brethren of the truth of the word we have been entrusted with. Don’t fall for accusations you know are not true! Speak the word in season and out, and those who do hear will be saved (1 Timothy 4:16) Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
As christians we suffer for Christs sake, and those who are enemies of the cross of Christ will make us appear as though we are damnable to speak His truth! ( Philippians 1:27-30) Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.
We through the spirit of God have been given a ministry in Christ. Not everyone will want to hear our message, but for those who will it is the saving grace of their soul’s (2 Timothy 4:2-5) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
Many have a hard time if it is a family member who will not hear, but our Lord made it perfectly clear who His mother, brothers and sisters are! (Matthew 12:46-50) While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
We have now learned the time to leave and shake the dust off our feet is when people will not hear the message of the good news you have to share! There is peace we enter into by doing so, and and Gods rest far out weigh’s the turmoil the world will constantly keep you in!
IF ANY MAN HAVE AN EAR, LET HIM HEAR!