I have been reading the popular book Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan. It is the story of pilgrims on their journey through life to the Celestial City—or heaven. When I got to the part where Christian met two characters named Formality and Hypocrisy, and according to their conversation, especially the way it ended, I thought of Kamala Harris.
I should give you more details of the conversation. When Christian noticed that Formality and Hypocrisy did not go through the gate that our Lord had required, he said to them,
Why did you not come in at the gate at the beginning of the way? …I walk by the rule of the Lord of the way; you follow your own fancy…you come in by yourselves without direction, and you shall go out by yourselves without His mercy.
And so the conversation went. And the two also had their own arguments. However, at the end, Formality and Hypocrisy “gave no answer, but looked at each other and laughed.”
Well, as I said, I immediately thought of Kamala Harris, because she also often laughs for no apparent reason when faced with a problematic situation. But why does she laugh? Or why do so many others like her laugh? Here are three reasons I came up with:
Like Formality and Hypocrisy and Kamala, they know nothing of the truth. They go through the motions, but for them everything is relative; and therefore, all truth means nothing, so they laugh it off.
They laugh to escape reality and truth. It is the way they cope with it.
It is natural for a non-Christian to think that God’s truth is foolish; so, they laugh at it. They will laugh at all that is truly true.
In Matthew 7:1-5, our Lord has been preaching on judgment. He tells us not to judge others; and whenever we try to correct another we must first look at and purify ourselves, then we can see clearly to help them.
In the sixth verse, most bibles put this verse in a special paragraph on its own. But D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones suggests that that is not right, that it should connect to the previous five verses, that it is the final statement on judgment. Indeed, I agree. It tells the spiritual Christian how he must judge another—with “a spirit of discrimination.” So, Jesus says in verse six…
Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
What is meant here? First of all, pearls are the Christian message. And the dogs and the swine are all that is unholy and unclean, or all those who are unworthy to hear the Christian message. And we know that all of us have sinned, but in this context, Jesus was referring to those sinners who reject the gospel and the truth of God and those who hate Him and even snarl at the message of His truth.
So, Jesus is telling us that we ought not to just spread His word of truth to everyone, but only to those who are worthy of it—or who are seeking it. This may come as a surprise to some people. Some may say that since God loves all people, all should hear the gospel. But the end of verse six gives an explanation of why not. Jesus says that some who hear the gospel will “trample them [our words] under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” In short, they reject the truth and even do damage to it and to you.
If you need an example of this, we can look at Jesus teaching. First, we can compare how He answered Pilate with Herod, in Luke 23:3 and 9. With Pilate, in verse three, Jesus answered him; but with Herod, in verse nine, he answered him nothing. Why? Because Jesus judged Pilate to be a genuine seeker of truth, but He knew that Herod cared nothing for the truth. He knew it by his attitude. And there are other examples. Many times Jesus would not speak to the Pharisees, or at least answer their questions. He instead would go and minister to the Gentiles and to the sinners, as also Paul did.
In all our evangelism efforts and when we seek to teach the truth to people, we should always learn who we are talking to, to see if they are worthy of hear us. Here are three sets of instructions that may be helpful to you in your speaking to others.
Learn to know what to give each person in each particular situation.
Learn to know the way to present the truth to each person. Learn to assess people.
Learn which aspect of truth is appropriate in each particular case.
Also, know that our presentation to unbelievers must be different than to believers. An unbeliever only needs one thing, the doctrine of justification by faith. They need only to know of their sinful life and their need of salvation. Any other bit of truth will have no meaning to them; or we should say that they will take it wrong because of their unregenerated state.
To believers, some have a need for basic truth only—the milk of the word; others should be fed more solid food—the meat of the word.
I have gotten in the habit reading a newspaper in the morning. I mainly enjoy reading the comics (I have my favorite ones) and maybe an article in the sports section. I always try to glean some bit of truth from the front-page news articles, but I most always go away with nothing. And I am more and more convinced that whatever they declare is true is a lie. Yes, that is the formula: whatever they say is true is a lie; and whatever they say is a lie is true. If we stick to that rule we can’t go wrong. That is the rule for these last days. Isaiah 5:20-21 and 23, says it this way:
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
And clever in their own sight! …
23 Who justify the wicked for a bribe,
And take away the rights of the ones who are in the right! (bold for emphasis)
Thank God what is coming in the future; the 144,000 Jewish witnesses, who will be declaring the truth during the Tribulation. In the midst of a world that is filled with lies and deception—coming from the teaching of the Antichrist, will be these truth-tellers who will provide a way for millions to hear the truth of the gospel to be saved. Revelation 14:4-5 describes them.
These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless.
Today I think that many hardly recognize truth from what is false. The two are somewhat blended together, especially for those who don’t read their bible. But soon, after the church is raptured and after the 144,00 witnesses appear, the contrast will be remarkable. You will hear both the truth and a lie very clearly. And you will be able to choose which side you want to take. If you (who have been left behind—not raptured) choose the way of truth declared by the witnesses, you will most assuredly suffer and die (under the government of the Antichrist). But if you choose the way of lies and deception, which will allow you to be clothed and fed (because you chose to receive the mark of the beast), then you will live—at least for a few years. But in the end, you will be judged by God and cast into hell. It will be your choice.
But keep in mind that if you choose the way of truth, though you will die as a martyr, you will be resurrected in glory to live eternally with God. The way of truth, though painful at first, will reap eternal life.