“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” (Matt. 7:6) Now we have to discern who are the dogs and who are the swine, not something that any born-again believer would want to think of in terms of their fellow man. How are we to know when we are supposed to shake the dust of our feet off, how are we to determine those who are worthy, if you will, of our continued efforts to reach them for Christ, when are we to not attempt to give the Words of truth to them any longer.
I am going to presuppose that this is not a sermon you have heard very often, I will in no way presume to give one to you here either, the Word of God is able to stand upon itself, it is our interpretation of it that can bring about dissensions within the fellowship of believers. In a sense, what we are being told to do by our Lord is to quit wasting our time on certain individuals, they are not going to listen to you and in fact are going to trample the words of His amazing grace and love into the ground right before you. These are violent, abusive and debased people, they have no interest in the spiritual, and you are commanded to reach them for Him, but the question is for how long.
“Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” (Matt. 12-14) In this statement from our Lord we see that it is not only the lost who are being spoken of in these three verses, it is those who profess to know Christ, but are only religious, whether they be members of the local church or the leaders of it. Do not deceive yourselves, not everyone who stands behind the podium has been called there by God.
It is within our very nature as servants of Christ to desire to help the blind to see, to lead all we meet to the cross, but it is being made quite clear to us that this is not always going to be the case. It was our Lord himself who told His disciples to “Let them alone,” it was Jesus Christ who said not to give that which is Holy to the dogs, or cast our pearls before swine, it is our responsibility to adhere to what He has told us to do, and to rightly divide the Word of truth appropriately. (2nd Tim. 2:15) So herein is the complication within ourselves, who are the dogs, who are the swine.
There is one item that we can be assured of here, you will not recognize who these people are unless you attempt to speak to them about Christ, this is the only way we will ever know. The small talk about the weather, the events happening around the community will not show these individuals for who they are, the words of God must come from your mouth. And we must not ever presume that one instance is enough to make a viable determination in these cases, they may have experienced something in their life recently that we are not aware of, but the time necessary for us to understand that we are speaking to swine, that we are to shake the dust of our feet off from them will only be made known to us by the Holy Spirit, and when it is, we must obey Him.
“And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.” (Acts 19: 8-9) Paul gave these individuals three months, and from what we know of Paul every every tool that our Lord had given him was used to try to bring these individuals to the knowledge of the love of Christ, and they would not listen, so he left, he left them in their sins to be accountable to God. The people that we are to discern, the dogs and swine, will be made known unto us in the same way. We have tried, truly tried everything that we possibly can think of, and they still will not listen, they continue to be malicious, they have not ceased from mocking the words of Christ and His love for them, they are hardened to the truth, and the words of Truth mean nothing to them. These have continued to speak evil of you, reaching as many as they can in their attempts to thwart your desire to serve them, and any you may meet to come to repentance, they are dogs and swine. You have been entrusted with holy things, and they see them as useless forms of rebellion against the ways of man, that man is lord of himself and that no one is to be placed above him. These have made themselves as gods in their own eyes, pride has blinded them, and they are the blind leading the blind, and it is time to let them alone.
We cannot say that three months is the allotted time that we are to give them, that was the time that the Holy Spirit allotted for Paul in that particular instance, but we must listen, we must discern wisely His promptings, for if we do not, if we continue to try to reach those who we are not called to reach, we have thrown our pearls before swine, and they are Christ’s pearls, not ours. We are appointed to give them to all that will listen, but we must remember that some of these are appointed unto a different path, one that I will not question the Lord our God about. “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.” (1st Peter 2: 7-8)
I want them to come to the knowledge of the saving grace of our lord Jesus Christ as much as you do, I witnessed to my own mother for over twenty years, and as far as I know she still died in her sins. I prayed earnestly for many of those years for her, but finally understood that the dust of my feet was to be shook off, that it was time to move on, the decision was hers, Christ’s words were known to her, my responsibility to her was complete, long before she died. You will know when it is time to stop, the Holy Spirit will inform you, it is your responsibility to obey, and if you are like I was, you will continue, hoping that perhaps they will hear. But what you will continue to hear is the Word of God being blasphemed, cursing and vile accusations thrown at not only you but at Christ himself, you will see pride raise its ugly head and say “My will, not His will,” and it will break your heart not only to watch them continue in their sins, but your Lords name to be dragged through the mud, and it will continue because you will not obey.
The stubborn enemies of the Word of God are not worthy to have it preached unto them, and for this they will receive their just reward, what they have always wanted, to be separated from Him for all of eternity. This is why the entire truths of Scripture must be made known to them, fully and completely expounded upon. They must know what is waiting for them if they continue to refuse to repent, if their lives are lived in the totality of an unrepentant spirit. It is not your responsibility if they die in their sins, you have done all that was commanded of you, and you have done it in love, the choice is theirs. Not only are they aware of the invisible things of God and are understanding of them, (Rom. 1:20) but they have heard the truths of His love for them, and by their own free will they have denied the Holy One.
Whether we want to admit it or not there are dogs and swine in the world, and we will meet them, they may even be some of those that we love as family, but they are just that and they may remain that, dogs and swine. I would never suggest that you stop praying for them, but you must understand that when the holy Spirit of God tells you to move on, to shake the dust of your feet off from them, you must obey, The pearls that you have been entrusted with are more precious that we can ever imagine, they are the words of God himself. We must make the decision which is more important to us.