Reaching the Lost: Matthew 7:6
Reaching the Lost: Matthew 7:6
““7) Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” Matthew 7:6
There are numerous doctrines, convictions and values in the Christian faith that the world spurns and despises. Some of these relate to sanctification and include things like the call to sexual purity, the sanctity of marriage, the sanctity of life, the concept of absolute truth, male-female gender identity at birth and separation unto a holy life.
Others are more related to foundational biblical truth. They include things like a literal view of Creation, the inspiration of Scripture, the concept of a born-again experience, the exclusive nature of the gospel and Jesus Christ being the only way to God, coming future judgement and the reality of an eternal destiny in a literal heaven or hell.
The world mocks at these things. It views them as restrictive, narrow minded, foolish, judgmental and bigoted. It is like abandoning holy sacrificial meat from the alter in a place where wild dogs could find it. They would quickly devour it with no reverence of its origin. This is why holy sacrificial meat was either eaten or reduced to ashes.
Or it is like trying to ward off wild and hungry swine by bribing them with costly pearls. They will quickly trample your treasure under foot and turn and attack you. Why? They do not share your value system! Your pearls mean nothing to them.
There is only one way to reach the lost and change an unregenerate heart and value system. That is through the gospel of Jesus Christ. People will never embrace precious Christian morals and values until they first embraces Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
The order of the Great Commission is to continually present the gospel to secular culture and then teach those who embrace Jesus Christ the biblical values of the Christian life. Jesus was stressing this two step process in this verse.
When we flip the order around we invite the attack of wild dogs and hungry swine. The morals of the world will not change until the Holy Spirit first changes the heart of people through genuine conversion.
When people are reactive and defensive against my my morals or values, I quickly steer the conversation back to the gospel. Conversion must proceed disciple making or our efforts will be in vain.
The gospel message is wrapped in love for lost and hurting people. By contrast, forcing Christian values on unregenerate people is perceived as rude, judgmental and legalistic. This approach will provoke a fight!
In this amazing verse, Jesus was teaching His followers to lead with the gospel message and then unpack their treasures for those who respond. The indwelling Holy Spirit will bring acceptance and application in the heart of a true believer. This is the meaning of the word “conversion.” It is a waste of time trying to turn unregenerate people into faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global