When I have been asked why we have attended a church that I did not support totally, I have often said I felt like a missionary to our church. Usually that gets me a strange look and I have to explain. My reasoning is that there are just as many unsaved in the church than outside the church. Missionaries are often very willing to go out and share with those in a foreign country but it is much harder to share with those who think they are Christians but aren’t. I really have not found a good way to share the gospel with those who say they are Christians.
I was reading in Ezekiel just the other night when I found some very interesting verses that just really applies to the idea of being a missionary to the church. It amazes me how I can read verses for years but then suddenly read them and get so much more from them.
Ezekiel was sent to the Israelites (church) to be a prophet to them and bring them back to the Lord.
3 And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day.
4 For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God.
5 And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them. KJV
Ezekiel was told to not fear the words of the rebellious or to be bothered by their looks of scorn. No matter what – speak the words of the Lord.
6 And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
7 And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether
they will forbear: for they are most rebellious. KJV
Ezekiel was not sent to a foreign people who spoke a foreign language. He was sent to familiar people that spoke his language. Then the Lord says an amazing thing! If I had sent you to a foreign people they would have believed, but the Israelites (church) would not listen.
5 For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel;
6 Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee.
7 But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted. KJV
Then the Lord repeats again not to be afraid of them or their scorn.
Ezek 3:9 … fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house. KJV
Ezekiel is told to take the Lord’s words into his heart and to fill his ears with the words of the Lord.
Ezek 3:10 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears. KJV
Tell the people whether they listen or not, the words of the Lord.
Ezek 3:11 And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord God; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear. KJV
Even the Lord says it is hard to witness to and convert the Isrealites (church).