All praise be to the Lord God for his mercy towards all who repent. Thanks be to Jesus Christ the high priest of our confession. O Lord guide us by your Holy Spirit to have a right understanding of people and situations in our daily life and in doing your will on earth. Amen.
When preaching the Gospel one may at times encounter people who reject Christ or even don’t want to repent of their sins. The basic course of action nowadays to is to pray, reflect on the Bible and attempt once again to preach the Gospel to such people. At times this does work and people do actually repent and believe in the Gospel. Praise God for that!
Now there are people who are very stubborn and just do not want to accept the Gospel no matter what. They don’t care at all. They don’t want to listen and are adamant with their sinful lifestyles. Are we to forever to keep having a go at them with our preaching?
The answer is a NO. Because even Jesus didn’t tell his disciples to keep on preaching forever to the persistently unrepentant. In fact here’s what he said to them:
Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. 9 Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. (Luke 10:5-12)
Nowadays, if you were to act like this towards persistent rejectors of the Gospel, you’d be said to be a very ‘unloving’ and ‘unchristian’ person. However, you can refute such malicious judgments against you by quoting the above verses and saying Jesus himself spoke them. Also, if a person is condemning you because you’ve warned the people who rejected the Gospel, you must realize that such a person has no clue about how the Gospel works. The warning is not about insulting those unbelievers but to show them that they made a wrong choice.
Let me make it real to you, suppose a person is on board a passenger aircraft which is about to crash in five minutes and the air hostess tells him to wear a parachute. This is so he can join with the other passengers who already are with parachutes and waiting their turn for the jump to safety. But that guy is instead insisting on sleeping. Besides he is refusing to look out of the window which can show him that the aircraft is actually losing altitude too fast. So at like the last two minutes, the air hostess who too is wearing a parachute is at the aircraft door and yells ‘You sir are delusional. Pick it up now and jump or be toast!’ and then jumps off to safety. However, this guy is even more offended and goes on to bear the grim consequences of the plane crash into the rocky ground. Can’t blame the air hostess for her grief that the man still refused her wise words.
A word of caution
People can react negatively if you say you wipe off the dust of their town because they rejected the Gospel. So pick the words of the warning wisely. You can say something like, “You’ve been given a good chance to hear the Gospel. I don’t know if you’d get it again so that you are truly free from sin and have eternal life.” or “Though you are entitled to your opinions against the Gospel, I certainly don’t agree to them. I continue to believe I’ve chosen the path of life and peace by accepting the Gospel.”
Fact: people may reject the Gospel
With that being said, one of points of the above verses mentioned in Luke 10:5-12 is that Jesus wanted his disciples to be mentally prepared to accept the fact that there will be people who’d reject the Gospel preached to them. Jesus didn’t tell them who exactly would be the rejectors of the Gospel. God knows best why at times we are not given a list of people who’d reject the Gospel. Wouldn’t that save our time? Yes but how will the scriptures be fulfilled? Our work is to preach the Gospel regardless of whether the person may or may not accept it. This is so that the world is given the testimony of salvation and only then can the end come. Here the specific verses:
But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. 10 And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. 11 And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. (Mark 13: 9-11)
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:9-14)
From these verses its very clear that the Gospel must be preached to all nations as a testimony to them and then the end will come. So you cannot be indefinitely hung up on preaching to that one person who made up his or her to keep rejecting the Gospel. You could have used that time to reach out to the next person whom God leads to you to, so that person could hear the Gospel and be set free.
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:13-15)
Preach but don’t be taken for a ride
There are people who are still in need of the Gospel. Spend your time preaching it to them. Some of them may reject it but others will accept it. However, you will have given more people the Gospel. In fact more than just that one person who was being used by the Devil to limit your preaching only that one. Keep this in mind the next time you encounter such a person who enjoys getting cheap and profane thrills by rejecting the Gospels and then at the end you’d know that you are not the first person who tried to preach the Gospel. Yes, such vile crooks exist. They won’t say that they have been preached over many times but they don’t bother. They will just want to see how much they can wear you out after they have mocked the Gospel.
Do not give that which is holy to the dogs, nor cast your pearls before the pigs, lest they shall trample upon them with their feet, and having turned, tear you to pieces. (Matthew 7:6)
Some real life examples
I faced some situations in which people acted smart to play ignorant first and then try to attack. Here’s how it ended for two of them:
The first one, even before I’d say anything, he told me that he doesn’t want to repent and won’t trust a ‘deity’ who asks him to be pure. Somehow in my mind I realized that he seems to be aware of the Gospel’s call for repentance. He then asked me what is my reaction to what he said. I looked straight into his eyes and told him to go and live with the consequences of his decision. That was a shocker to him and he asked me if I want to try to convince him not be a sinner. He expected me to be super polite and keep saying ‘bless you’ while trying to convince him to accept the Gospel. Then since I was not bothered to preach to him, he mentioned he is aware of the Gospel but doesn’t want to accept it and has tackled many others who try to reform him. Again, I replied that it’s his choice and the consequences are his to bear. He was still astounded by my reply and I left him. This saved me from letting him have an ego trip at my expense.
The second one, at least this guy would come to speak to me and hear about the Gospel whenever he saw me. However he would not reply much. So I asked him to pray with me and he said he doesn’t have time to pray. Then I inquired how many times does he have food everyday, like is it 3 or 4 times. My intention was to get him to pray just before eating since he was not willing to pray with me. He said he doesn’t eat! So again I knew something’s not right with him and I asked if he at least eats once a day. And he again said he only smokes which make him not need food. Obviously that was a lie. Though a chronic smoker might have a reduced appetite it doesn’t mean it won’t take his need for food forever. So I let this one be stuck to his own logic. And started reaching out to others who were receptive to the Gospel.
An interesting fact
I’ve have heard and even noticed it for myself that on various social media websites, there are impious trolls who keep asking tricky questions about Christ and things of the Bible. Their idea is not to learn from Christians who may respond to their questions. It’s just to upset or confuse believers. Now, to the fact which I wanted to mention. Most of these trolls simply go to their precious little skeptic websites which they frequent and adore a lot. Lacking originality they simply copy paste those questions and then put them on social media websites usually those which have video sharing. Then come the debate sessions in form of comments between them and Christians. I simply copied those questions and did an online search which led me to the skeptic websites and also to Christian apologetic websites which already have a fitting answer those questions. Wonder why don’t these trolls visit Christian apologetic websites and get their answers from there instead. The obvious thing is that they won’t try to tackle those well versed in debates and refutations of their questions and allegations against the Gospel. Food for thought!
Finally what else must one remember
I’d say keep Jude 1:17-25 (mentioned below) in mind and you’ll do well. Here we go:
But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
You might be facing a financial crisis or the nation is facing a moral choice debate but you be calm and steady in Christ. When you know what the Bible says about relationships don’t let a human lawmaker scare you, instead do in your own life what is right in the eyes of God, even if others walk the wicked paths that come by. For your finances, ask for wisdom that you make the right choices to get you out of poverty and debt. Don’t get jealous of those who make money by taking bribes to change God given laws. They are definitely not going be able to use that money in the afterlife out of God’s grace. Know that the Lord Jesus is aware of those are the just or unjust and he will surely reward accordingly on Judgment Day.
At times the world may seem fading away. You may feel death in the air, especially during terror attacks. Or it could be some war zone you are stuck in. Vile and hateful people who attack innocent people take pride in their weapons and modes of transport. Pride like this is never loved by God. In such times you be wise and trust God unlike those foolish evildoers. Never give into fear nor despair. Take hope in the name of the Lord God and do well for him.
There are some who want to be delivered from evil and fears especially spiritual oppression and also at times physical oppression. These try appealing to every worldly person but avoid asking help from the Lord God. So they listen to defiled wisdom and buy so called ‘lucky’ rings, chains and amulets to gain protection. But by doing this they are going far away from Christ and putting their trust in objects which at times are of the occult too. Instead of wasting one’s money on false spiritual things any person who says he or she believes in Jesus Christ must rather ask the Lord for help against all forms of evil.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. (Psalm 34:4-7)
People at times will ask various preachers at church to pray for them to be delivered from bad dreams, evil thoughts etc but while doing this they somehow personally fail to directly appeal to Christ our Lord. Perhaps they need someone to agree in prayer with them, though this doesn’t excludes one’s personal responsibility to have faith in Christ who can deliver them from every sinister demon who lurks around them. So even if one wants a preacher to pray for him or her, one must also willing to pray for oneself to God. Why suffer from the fear tactics of evil spirits but not ask God for help? There are various ways your deliverance can manifest but you must always ask God in faith so that you receive your deliverance from evil. Like you may realize there’s an occult object which you need to remove from your house and then you’d notice there’s no more a choking feeling once that accursed object has be put away. You might be inspired to pray something like this in your mind,’In the name of Jesus, all you workers of darkness leave me and my household. You are to no longer be around me or in my home. I cancel all your claims over myself and my household by the redeeming blood of Jesus. Go away all you demons in the name of Jesus’ and then the demons would leave.
Now in contrast to the demons who seek to oppress people, there are God’s angels who are there to ensure you’re delivered from evil. They even fight demons to stop them from harassing people. No doubt, the angels of God are there for one’s protection but will you fear the Lord God? By fear it means will you respect the Lord by doing what is right and avoiding wicked ways? You’d realize that to say a realistic yes to this one would have to rely on the wisdom of God above all else.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him,and he will make straight your paths.(Proverbs 3:5-6)
Some people vainly put trust in their own logic that mere church attendance is a sign of being a good person before the Lord. This is when such a person’s logic becomes a system of mechanical structuralism instead of a living relationship with Christ. A genuine relationship with the Lord can grow by believing in the Holy Scriptures, which obviously one must actually read to begin with. Do ask the Lord for the Holy Spirit to guide you as you read God’s word. A word of caution; those who rely only on the Bible, and never bother getting counsel from the Holy Spirit, can be deceived. This accompanied with praying will help increase your faith for everyday.
You can pray in your own words for your deliverance which comes from Christ. I’ve given out this suggested prayer if you don’t know what prayer to use (say this as many times as you may need, till you know you are set free):
O Lord Jesus, come to my aid in this time of need. Save me and I shall be saved. Forgive me of all my sins whether I committed them knowingly or unknowingly. I cancel all the claims of all evil spirits in my life and rebuke them out of all areas of my life and household by your might name. Rescue and protect me O Savior of the world from all dangers whether hidden or manifest, be it physical or spiritual. Preserve me in body, mind, soul and spirit. Let your light shine on my intellect and will power for the glory of God. Take away all morbid thoughts and immoral desires which may have come through dreams, entertainment or any other means. I renounce all ungodly thoughts and desires right now. Cause your holy angels to fight and repel all demons who want to harm me. I trust in your love and mercy. I believe I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Amen and Amen.
Note: This song was sung by Ramey Whalen.