Shake the Dust Off Your Feet

Text: Matthew 10:5-15

Jesus told His disciples that there would be times in their preaching when they would need to shake the dust off their feet and move on (Matthew 10:14) – a symbolic gesture showing that the teacher had done what he could do and he was leaving his hearers to the consequences of their rejection of the gospel. Paul and Barnabas did this in Antioch (Acts 13:49-51). We may have to do it today.

But when is it time to shake the dust off our feet and move on. The Scriptures help us answer that question.

When They Refuse to Listen

  • The first step that one must take to obtain salvation is hearing (Romans 10:17; Acts 11:14)
  • The gospel is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16) – we are called by it (2 Thessalonians 2:14)
  • Until one is willing to listen, we can have no hope of saving them

When They Ignore What They Have Heard

  • Some people have listened, but do not want to accept what they’ve been taught – so they ignore what they have heard
  • Jesus provided ample evidence to convince the Jews of who he was (John 10:24-26) – they just chose to ignore it
  • As long as someone refuses to accept the word, we have nothing else to which we can appeal to convince them (Hebrews 6:4-6)

When Discussions Turn to Quarrels

  • There is nothing wrong with discussions & debates (Acts 15:1-2; Titus 1:9-11) – as long as we’re teaching & defending the truth & leading people to an understanding of it
  • But we must avoid speculation & fruitless discussions (1 Timothy 1:3-7)
  • Why? … they produce quarrels (2 Timothy 2:23-26) – we “must not be quarrelsome

When They Blaspheme and Speak Evil

  • Blasphemy led Paul to stop teaching in Antioch (Acts 13:45) – speaking against God
  • Speaking evil led Paul to stop teaching in the synagogue in Ephesus (Acts 19:8-9) – speaking against the church
  • One who has reached such a state cannot be helped – they are no longer honestly seeking truth, but have become unreasonable in their opposition to God & His church

When They Stir Up Persecution

  • When persecution arose in Antioch, Paul & Barnabas “shook the dust off their feet” and left (Acts 13:51)
  • This was also the point in which disciples left Jerusalem & preached elsewhere (Acts 8:1, 4)
  • We must be willing to face persecution (1 Peter 4:16) – but if we can escape it & go elsewhere to find others who might be more receptive to our teaching, we should do it

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