TEXT: Matthew 10:11-15
11 And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.
12 And when ye come into an house, salute it.
13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.
14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
Charles Spurgeon said, “I will not believe that you have tasted of the honey of the gospel if you can eat it all yourself. True grace puts an end to all spiritual monopoly.”
In our last message, we looked at what it means for the messengers of Christ to declare peace to those who hear the message of the Gospel. We go in peace to all the people we seek to win to Christ. We go with a message of peace — that God entered the world through His Son in order to make peace with all men. But, at the same time, for those who reject the Gospel of the kingdom, we must be prepared to declare that there will be no peace — certainly no eternal peace — for them.
The first messengers of Christ were also under an additional command in this regard. Jesus said, “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.” Regarding this command, Manners & Customs of the Bible stated: “For Jews to shake dust off their feet was a sign that Gentile territory was unclean. In the New Testament this action indicates that those who have rejected the gospel have made themselves as Gentiles and must face the judgment of God. [An individual’s interaction with dust always had a negative connotation.] To sprinkle dust on the head was a sign of mourning, and to sit in dust denotes extreme affliction. ‘Dust’ is used to denote [death and] the grave. To lick the dust is a sign of abject submission; and to throw dust at someone is a sign of abhorrence. To bite the dust is to suffer a defeat.”
When Jews of the first century had to travel in Gentile territory, it was common for them to shake the dust from their sandals and clean their feet when they returned to their own land. For the Jewish apostles to shake off the dust of their own people was a harsh demonstration. It was to say that, in light of the kingdom of heaven, they were just as lost as the Gentiles that they abhorred. Jesus adds to that command, “Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that [Jewish] city.”
Leon Morris writes: “Those who reject the messengers of Christ will find themselves in a very difficult situation in the Day of Judgment. Sodom and Gomorrah, the cities of the plain, were proverbial for wickedness, and their overthrow showed something of the power of God and the certainty that wickedness could not forever go unpunished. It is perhaps significant that just before their overthrow they had committed a grievous sin against the laws of hospitality. That it would be more bearable for the proverbially wicked cities than for these cities shows the seriousness of their offense: deliberately to reject those who came to them with the message of the nearness of God’s kingdom could not go unpunished forever.”
While we, the Gentile Christian messengers of today, do not have license to condemn Jewish unbelievers in the same manner — there are plenty of Jewish Christian messengers who can speak to their people better than we can — we ought to be mindful of religious individuals who are Christians in name only. They have outwardly given assent to the Gospel and publicly identify with the Church, but they have not given their hearts and lives to Christ. They still live like the world. Their judgment will be harsher than that of Sodom and Gomorrah which had no witness of the Gospel or of righteousness. For to know the Gospel and not obey it is a greater tragedy than to not have known the Gospel at all.
Julia Ward Howe wrote the famous hymn which reminds us of the coming judgment of God on nations and people who reject Him:
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.
I have seen Him in the watchfires of a hundred circling camps;
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps;
His day is marching on.
He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never sound retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
O be swift, my soul, to answer Him; be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.
In beauty of the lilies, Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me;
As he died to make men holy, let us live to make men free,
While God is marching on
He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave;
He is wisdom to the mighty, He is honor to the brave;
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of wrong His slave.
Our God is marching on.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.