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Dealing with Scoffers

Proverbs 9:8 (ESV) … “Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.”

By which I do not understand that we are forbidden to preach to the impenitent, but that we are to contemplate two facts: first, that unless they are changed our preaching will make them worse, and, therefore, second, that though our preaching is a chosen instrument of the change itself, yet, if they are scorners—i.e., if they are what our Saviour calls “swine” (Matt. 7:6), and He means by that, specially incorrigible—we are not to scatter our pearls to them. We are not to intrude religion upon scoffers. We are to withhold the good seed to some extent (yet with infinite compassion for all,) for what may more reasonably be hoped to be the good and honest ground (Mark 4:8). — Miller.

We must distinguish between the ignorant and the wilful scorner. Paul “did it ignorantly, in unbelief” (1 Tim. 1:13). His countrymen deliberately refused the blessing, and shut themselves out from the free offers of salvation. —Bridges [1]

[1] Harris, W. (1892). Proverbs (pp. 131–132). New York; London; Toronto: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

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