As we know from the stories in Scripture and the stories in church history, the gospel is often not well received. The apostle Paul did say that some view the gospel as foolishness. For others, the gospel is a stumbling block (1 Cor. 1:18-25). Sometimes people will get defensive, upset, and angry when they hear about sin, the Savior, and the only Way of salvation. Daniel Strange has some helpful comments on this reality:
The countercultural strangeness of this message means that sharing it with ‘those who are perishing’ will always be hard. When it comes to our evangelism, there is, in the words of the evangelist Rico Tice, a ‘pain line’ that we have to cross. There will always be an element of confrontation – a clash between a nonbeliever’s way of seeing the world and God’s way of seeing the world. We need the Holy Spirit to help us resist the temptation to avoid that confrontation by watering down the message or chopping off the unfashionable bits. We are not to be ashamed of God and the gospel.
And when it comes to our own discipleship, we’re equally tempted to change what Jesus requires of his followers so that our lives can look more like those of the non-Christians around us – to make our values look more like the world’s. Sadly, we know that there are many examples of those who do succumb to this temptation. We must be constantly praying that we do not.
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