Whether They Listen or Not

Ezekiel 2:1-5 ESV

And he said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak with you.” And as he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. And he said to me, “Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to nations of rebels, who have rebelled against me. They and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day. The descendants also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them.”

As followers of Jesus Christ we are all part of the body of Christ, his church. Now this church is not a physical building, a church denomination, a business, a corporation under the state, a social club, and/or a civic center, although many have turned the church into that. The church is also not a place we go to. We the people of God are the church and we are to gather together with other believers in Jesus for the teaching of the word, Christian fellowship, prayer, communion, and for spiritual service to one another.

Now, although we are one body, we don’t all have the same function. The Holy Spirit has gifted us each in different ways and we are all given different assignments within the body of Christ (our body parts) which we are to fulfill under God’s direct and guidance and in his power and strength. For these are gifts and ministries of the Spirit of God, not of the flesh of man. These are of God’s choosing and selection, not of man’s decisions and choosing. But we are all necessary to the proper building up of Christ’s body.

But something we are all to do is to encourage (exhort, counsel, urge, instruct) one another in the ways of the Lord and of his righteousness and holiness. We are to do this so that none of us will be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. And we are to speak the truth in love one to the other so that none of us will be taken captive by false doctrines being taught by men in their deceitful scheming but that we will all grow together to maturity in Christ as each of us does his part in the body of Christ.

Now there is a reason God designed it this way. He made it so that we would need each other, and so we would be encouraging one another in walks of holiness on a daily basis so that none of us hopefully will fall back into sin. Basically, as his body, we are his representatives on this earth. And we are to do for one another what Christ did for his followers and for the people of the earth. We are to literally function as though we are his body doing and teaching the kinds of things he did and taught when he was on the earth.

And among us are those who are living in open rebellion against the Lord. They may be those who were of genuine faith in Christ who were walking with him in obedience but later fell away from their pure devotion to Christ and back into sin who then need to repent and to return to the Lord. And there will also be among us many who profess faith in Jesus falsely who are living immoral lives in open rebellion against our Lord who are still living in deliberate and habitual sin without conscience or remorse.

And we have a responsibility to all who profess to be part of Christ’s body to minister to them in the way God designed for us to do, which includes exhorting and urging and correcting those who profess to be our brothers and sisters in Christ if they are living sinful and immoral lives and if they are not walking in holiness and in righteousness. As well, we are obligated to those who are walking in fellowship with the Lord to encourage them in their walks of faith so that they do not get discouraged and give up when the many oppose them or mock them for their walks of faith.

Now we are to say to them whatever the Lord gives us to say to them, provided it is the Lord speaking through us, and provided that what we are speaking is the truth of God’s word and so it is of God and it is not of the thinking and reasoning of human beings. And we are to keep speaking the truth whether people listen to us or not, or whether they fight against us or not. Now I am not saying to force ourselves on people who don’t want to listen, but in the church we are to address deliberate and habitual sin in a biblical manner so that the whole body is not infected with sin.

[Matt 5:13-16; Matt 28:18-20; Jn 4:31-38; Jn 13:13-17; Jn 14:12; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:42-47; Acts 26:18; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Rom. 10:14-15; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 3:17; 1 Co 5:1-13; 1 Co 6:19-20; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 1:4,22; Eph 2:19-22; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-30; Col 1:18-22; Col 2:19; Col 3:12-16; 2 Tim 1:9; 2 Tim 2:21; Heb 3:13; Heb 10:23-31; Titus 2:11-14; 1 Pet 1:13-16; 1 Pet. 2:4-9,21]

Ezekiel 2:6-7 ESV

“And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions. Be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. And you shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear, for they are a rebellious house.”

Now, when we do speak the truth in love to one another, and when we do encourage and exhort one another in walks of holiness and righteousness, not everyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ is going to be on board with what we are sharing. For many people are being taught that to speak on such things is being negative and judgmental and self-righteous, etc., and so they are being taught to reject such biblical sharing as what we are taught to do in the Scriptures. Thus, they are following the teachings of the world and of the flesh of man, instead of the teachings of God.

But we are not to fear people’s responses to us if we are in the will of God in what we are doing and saying. If what we are sharing is the truth of the Scriptures and not lies, we are going to be opposed, not by everyone, but by some, or perhaps by many. For so many people today in America who profess faith in Jesus Christ are not following the whole counsel of God but they are following a mixture of God’s counsel and the counsel of the people of the world. But that counsel of the world is opposed to God’s counsel and so this is leading many professing Christians to reject God’s whole counsel.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Dwelling In Beulah Land

By Miles C Austin (1911)

Far away the noise of strife upon my ear is falling;
Then I know the sins of earth beset on every hand;
Doubt and fear and things of earth in vain to me are calling;
None of these shall move me from Beulah Land.

Far below the storm of doubt upon the world is beating,
Sons of men in battle long the enemy withstand;
Safe am I within the castle of God’s word retreating,
Nothing there can reach me, ’tis Beulah Land.

Let the stormy breezes blow, their cry cannot alarm me;
I am safely sheltered here, protected by God’s hand;
Here the sun is always shining, nothing there can harm me;
I am safe forever in Beulah Land.

Viewing here the works of God, I sink in contemplation;
Hearing now His blessed voice, I see the way He planned;
Dwelling in the Spirit, here I learn of full salvation,
Gladly I will tarry in Beulah Land.

I’m living on the mountain, underneath a cloudless sky,
I’m drinking at the fountain that never shall run dry;
Oh, yes! I’m feasting on the manna from a bountiful supply,
For I am dwelling in Beulah Land.

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