How Not to Communicate the Gospel

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“Do not cast your pearls before swine” (Mat 7.6) is a oft quoted maxim applied to all sorts of situations. But what Jesus actually meant by it is a head-scratcher to most people. Especially enigmatic is why Jesus would tell us to adjudge some people “swine” in the very next breath after telling us to “judge not.” But as is always the case with Jesus, this apparent inconsistency points to a deeper truth.What Jesus is talking about in both cases is the need for us to judge righteously, as God judges (John 5.30; 7.24). Loving to find fault with our brother while being blind to our own faults is a failure to judge our brother, as well as ourselves, righteously (Mat 7.3-5). Likewise, continuing to hand out the pearls of the gospel to those who are openly treating it with disdain, contempt, or hostility is a failure to judge those trampling the gospel, as well as the gospel itself, righteously. You see, the way we communicate the gospel and the context in which we communicate it become part of the message. To keep on shoveling out pearls to a pig who openly treats them as worthless says to the pig that we agree with him. That’s not only bad for the gospel, it’s bad for the pig! It’s not only what we say that must communicate the truth, but also how we say it, when we say it, and when we refuse to say it. And one of the most important truths we always want to communicate about the gospel is that it is priceless. I hope you enjoy the sermon. Thanks for listening. –Alan Burrow

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