Home Faith in Action Whether they hear or refuse to hear…

Whether they hear or refuse to hear…

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By Pr Isaiah White

Faith in action is not what we, as Christians, do to be saved or win favours from God. We are saved by Grace through faith in Him. Salvation is God’s initiative and gift we can only receive from Him. Faith in action means a Christian lifestyle that touches communities where we live.

Unlike other lifestyles that are socially or culturally invented and guided, the Christian lifestyle is ordained and based on the commands given by Christ after whom Christianity is named.

The Great Commission

One of the commands God has given to Christians is the Great Commission – to preach. After resurrection, our Master first declared how full power and authority were restored to Him. Secondly, He commission His believers to go into the world and evangelize (Mathew 28:18-20).
Preaching the Gospel is faith in action; a Christian who does not witness is an inactive one. Evangelism is an ordained lifestyle by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

We are ordained and ordered to preach the Gospel as a lifestyle. Lifestyle evangelism is a demonstration of the Gospel in our moral choices and decisions.

We can exhibit this evangelistic lifestyle by helping the poor and needy (Deuteronomy 15:11; Galatians 2:10; 6:1) behaving right (Philippians 1:27; Colossians 4:5-6; 1Peter 2:12) and by our devotional lives (Luke 14:26-33).

All these moral exercises are a lifestyle and powerful tool of witnessing to the world. It is faith in action and a lifestyle we are meant to live. Since we belong to God by faith, it is paramount we act in relation to that faith we have in God.

Place of faith in action

Living in a world like ours today is similar to living in Judah and Israel as a prophet. God’s prophets who lived in the end days (pre-exile) of Israel and Judah suffered more than an ordinary slave of the time. Prophets had a message from God to the people of Israel and Judah.

One would have expected such a task to be easy since it was a message from the God of Israel and Judah to the same audience that believed and worshipped the same God. However, it turned out different for the people of Israel were rebellious and did not hearken to the word of their God through their prophets.

This situation is best demonstrated in the calling of priest Ezekiel into office of the prophet. We see such a situation explained in Ezekiel 2:1-5: “And he said to me, ‘Son of man, stand upon your feet, and I will speak with you’.

And when He spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me upon my feet; and I heard Him speaking to me. And He said to me, ‘Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to a nation of rebels, who have rebelled against me; they and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day.

The people also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, thus says the Lord GOD. And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that there has been a prophet among them’.”

God called Ezekiel and warned him straight away about the reaction of the audience He was sending him to. Usually, many preachers suffer a shock of the response from those they preach to.

This happens due to our misconception of the nature of the assignment and our wrong expectations. Woe unto us when we go out to act and express our faith expecting a warm welcome in a fallen and rebellious world like ours.

Proclaim it anyway

The Lord told Ezekiel: “The people also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God’. And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that there has been a prophet among them.”

Faith in action is not a drama stage or a movie that requires viewers or a positive response for it to continue. Faith in action is when we proclaim the Gospel and continue doing so whether they hear or refuse to, as long as they know.

We are not called to be motivated by the world’s cheering or frustrated by its negativity and resistance; we are called to proclaim the truth.

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