Apologeet.nlEight Reasons why people won’t accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ
I’ve been making 20 videos in which I tried to give simple answers on regular critical questions. I called this series the ‘silly Christian series’. Some, especially my kids, were wondering why I did that. One of them said that it is kind of offending to her. And she is quit right. I am not sure whether Christians are nicknamed as being silly in English-speaking countries, but in the Netherlands I’ve heard it pretty often. In the Netherlands some use the word ‘silly’ in a patronising way. It is hard to translate but it sounds a bit like ‘oh you silly boy!’ in the sense of ‘oh, that’s cute, you still believe in a sky-daddy’.
I have never had any problem with that attitude towards Christians. I mean, take the name ‘Christian’. The name, ‘Christian’, used to be a scolding name towards the ‘Followers of the Way’.
Acts 9:2 (ESV) ‘…and [Saul] asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.’
You see, that was the original name of Christians, people of the Way. I do prefer that name, people of the Way, but I don’t mind when people call me Christian because the first believers received that name in a time of great persecution (Acts 11:19-26). It was, and in some countries it still is, a nickname which is used with honour by believers but with contempt by many anti-believers. In any case, I believe Christians shouldn’t be so quickly offended and that’s why I came up with the title ‘silly Christian’.
Now, after 20 videos, I guess I can do something new. One question that keeps popping up is that of why people won’t accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To some, this is a rather easy question to answer. If you accept the Calvinistic view on the Gospel you might just say:
“It did not please the Father to give them saving faith (Matthew 11:25). If you do not believe, it is because God did not elect you.”
Now, if that would be the case I would not have to live and work as missionary in the middle of nowhere on Madagascar, would I? In that case my wife would still be working as a lawyer and I would prefer to live in a fancy house with two cars in the garage. The fact that we decided to trade that fancy life for a sober life in a wooden house in a noisy village betrays that I definitely do not believe the Calvinistic view on salvation.
So, what than are the reasons people don’t accept the Gospel? The reasons can be all sorts of things such as religious traditions, peer pressure within the family or within friendships, the work of Satan, or even doubting of God’s Word. These are all legitimate reasons but I will not tackle these in particular. I came across an eighteenth-century Scottish Presbyterian church leader, theologian and philosopher, named Thomas Boston.i Boston said in one of his sermons that people reject the gospel because of actual sinful vulnerabilities.ii iii
Working in a different culture all together, I have been placed in a position where it is easier to look critically at our own culture in the west. Then reading through Boston’s sermon I was amazed by his insights. In the videos to come I will cite from one of Boston’s eight main findings each time, and then add my own ideas and comments as well. Obviously that means I will approach it from my own background as well as from the background we work and live in right now.
This video was just to introduce the new series of eight on the question of why people reject the Gospel. You can follow me on Odysee or subscribe to my channel on YouTube so you’ll never miss out on any new video!
Stay tuned for the next one! The first of the eight reasons we will discuss is that people have ‘No due sense of spiritual wants’.
God bless you and we’ll see each other in the next video!
iii Thomas Boston, digitalpuritan.net, internet <http://www.digitalpuritan.net/Digital%20Puritan%20Resources/Boston,%20Thomas/The%20Whole%20Works%20of%20Thomas%20Boston%20(vol.9).pdf>, Boston on Isaiah 61:1 (Works, vol. 9, pp. 540-541), (accessed on 11.02.2021).