Proclaim the Truth Regardless of How It Is Received — The Aquila Report

Whether we have been involved in the culture wars for decades on end, with no one seeming to listen or take any heed, or whether we are on the mission field with little or no fruit in evidence, we keep speaking truth. Our job is to proclaim the truth, and we leave the rest up to God.

Many Christians are wondering how we are to proceed as the days get darker, as evil accelerates, and as lies and deception abound. There would be many responses to this, but let me offer one: we must speak truth, we must speak it boldly, and we must speak it regardless of how it is received.

The proclamation of truth in the face of evil and lies is our chief weapon. The truth of God is what we must use to tear down strongholds. It is how we are to take on the surrounding darkness. And that has always been how God has operated.

What God told Ezekiel long ago in Ez. 2:7 is relevant for us in dealing with the surrounding culture today – and even much of the church: “You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen.” The fuller word of God to Ezekiel is found in Ez. 2:3-8:

Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have been in revolt against me to this very day. The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ And whether they listen or fail to listen—for they are a rebellious people—they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people. You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious. But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious people.

Like so many of the other prophets, God told Ezekiel that the people would not listen to the prophetic word. ‘So why even bother?’ some folks might ask. The answer is this: if God calls us to do something, we are to do it, regardless of the outcome.

Whether we have been involved in the culture wars for decades on end, with no one seeming to listen or take any heed, or whether we are on the mission field with little or no fruit in evidence, we keep speaking truth. Our job is to proclaim the truth, and we leave the rest up to God.

Ian Duguid comments on this portion of Scripture, and he also speaks to this reality, in light of the missionary task of the church. He is worth quoting at length:

Were those pioneer missionaries who died within days or weeks of arriving on the mission field wasting their lives, because they saw no one converted? Are those who today labor for many years in the difficult areas of the Middle East or Japan, while seeing only a handful of converts, operating in the wrong place? If the primary goal of missions is to see the world converted, then the answer to both questions is yes. But if the primary goal of missions is the same as the goal set before Ezekiel – faithfulness to the task to which one has been called, no matter what the consequences, so that God may be glorified – then the answer is different. In biblical perspective, reaching the world is only the secondary goal of missions, behind the primary goal of bringing glory to God through faithful obedience.

We are, after all, followers of the Son of Man, who came to his own and his own did not receive him (John 1:11). Yet to all those who did receive him, and to all those who will receive him through our proclamation, he gives the right to become children of God (1:12). In this obedient mission, he brings glory to the Father’s name (12:27-29).

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Proclaim the Truth Regardless of How It Is Received — The Aquila Report

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