Wednesday, November 03, 2004

DON'T PREACH TO LIONS, OR PIGS AND DOGS




“A man was attacked and injured after jumping into a lion's den at the Taipei Zoo and was trying to convert the lions to Christianity.”
It is a confused man who would do such a thing. Zoo officials said the lions had just been fed or the man would have been eaten. You don’t preach to lions because they don’t subject themselves to the Gospel. Lions are what they are by nature, by instinct, and that's what they will always be. When Jesus says to preach the Gospel to all creation (Mk. 16:151,6), He has humans in mind. Humans are created in His image and they alone exercise free will. Jews and Gentiles alike break the commandment of God. It is for men and women that Jesus died, and it is to they that the Gospel should be directed.
Who is subject to the Gospel? Imagine how confused is this man from Taipei. He doesn't know who
is a proper subject for the Gospel. First, the subject must hear the Gospel and believe it in order to be saved. Paul said, "Faith comes by hearing." (Rom. 10:17) A lion might "hear" noise; but he doesn't "hear" the Gospel. It's impossible that a lion could have faith in the atoning work of Christ. And it is a deluded person who thinks otherwise. Second, the subject must believe and be convicted of sin and turn from it. "Repent and return so that your sins may be wiped away", says Peter. (Acts 3:19) Lions and sharks and other animals might "repent" in a Disney movie, but in real life they don't. Animals are creatures of instinct and do not make moral decisions. Jesus said to men, not lions, "Unless you repent, you shall likewise perish." (Lk. 13:3) Third, the subject must confess Jesus before men if he wants to be confessed before the Father. Lions don't confess Jesus name. They can't physically do it and also because they don't understand or believe. But Jesus says to men that they must confess His name to others if they hope to be saved by Him. (Rom. 10:9,10; Mt. 10:32) And fourth, the subject must be baptized. Peter commanded sinful men to "Repent and let each of you be baptized for the forgiveness of sins." (Acts 2:38) Lions don't get baptized or subject themselves to the Gospel, but repentant men and women do (Acts 8:12). If you want to take Christianity to the world, you have to know the right subject.
Some people act like animals, and just as with animals, it does no good to preach the Gospel to them. Some people are very hostile to the truth. Peter speaks of those who act "...like unreasoning animals who like wild beasts, will be destroyed." (2 Pt. 2:10) They are like heartless and cunning beasts and act more like animals than humans. Like animals, they are driven by their flesh and what will fill their bellies (Tit. 1:12). Jesus warned his disciples not to "...cast their pearls before the swine." These "pigs" are so closed and antagonistic to the truth that they have no respect for the Gospel of Christ. This admonition by Christ requires that we first know who is a swine and then determine to waste no time trying to convert them. Some people followed Christ and then went back to the world. Peter says, "It has happened to them according to the true proverb, 'A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT,' and, 'A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire'." (2 Pt. 2:22). Peter is talking about Christians who "escaped the defilements of the world" and afterward turned back to their former way of life.
It does no good to preach to animals or to those who act like animals. Take the Gospel to your friends, parents, children and to all who are lost in sin.


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