Apologeet.nlEight Reasons Why People Won’t Accept The Gospel
Reason 5 – They do not feel their need of Christ
The fifth reason of why people won’t accept the Gospel:
They do not feel their need of Christ
Revelation 3:17 “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”
They need his blood and Spirit, but they are not duly sensible of their need.
Their own works are big in their own eyes, and appear to them sufficient in order to obtain God’s favour. Their natural and acquired abilities are also with them sufficient in order to their sanctification; they are by no means shaken out of themselves; therefore the offer of the gospel is but an offer of food to the full soul, and so is loathed.
This reason leans closely to the reason of of the second video: No true sight and sense of their own sinfulness. You’ll find the link to that video in the description.
People might say they understand that Jesus can help them in many ways. Yes, they might even admit that He is the way for their sins to be forgiven. Jesus appears to them to be a handy tool to get through life without to much trouble.
You could say that this problem emerges because of faulty preaching. Obviously the so-called prosperity preaching can cause this idea. Preachers who say that life will become better in every way when you accept Jesus. Well, tell that to poor people and they will love the preacher. But I am not even thinking about this heresy of prosperity preaching. That’s what it is, a heresy.
Different images of the Gospel
No, I am more thinking about the incomplete preaching of the Gospel. Throughout the ages evangelists have tried to make the Gospel as appealing as possible. In itself that’s not wrong. The Gospel can easily be explained in different settings. In Europe it might be more applicable to emphasise the fact that Jesus took the punishment for our sin. In theology this approach is called the ‘penal substitution theory’, and it is the most used image of the Gospel in Europe.
Example Bible text:
Galatians 2:2 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
However, here on Madagascar one might use a different image of the Gospel. Here, in the country side, people are extremely afraid of the spirits. It is reasonable to preach, besides the other works of Jesus, that He actually overcame the spiritual world. Jesus is the ultimate winner. He conquered the grave and He is victorious over all spirits. This image of the Gospel is called the ‘Christ-victor theory.’
Example Bible text:
Colossians 2:15 “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
I’ve placed two links with explanations about these theories in the description below. Mind you, these are just some notes a friend of mine took many years ago during our lectures. So they are not an extended explanation but just a brief overview.
Personally I do use this image of the victorious Christ quit often. I visit witch-doctors and walk through the forest after dark. Just two things people are very much afraid of. The witch-doctors are known for their ability of poisoning people and to cast curses. The forest? Well, the forest is just teaming with bad spirits, especially after dark. When I tell people that I am not afraid because Jesus is the most high and that all demons will have to leave when He tells them to, I right away got their attention.
This doesn’t mean of course that I can skip all the other wonderful aspects of Jesus’ work on the cross. His work is way more than what we in theology try to capture in one image.
Nasty parts of the Gospel
I am afraid that, even though most evangelists are very diligent, they can be too careful in what they preach. You might have found out by now that evangelists, but also preachers and missionaries are all human, just like you and I. They also, just like you and I, want to be liked by other people and sometimes they will adjust their preaching a little to achieve that. Some tend to leave out the nasty parts of the Gospel. The parts that narrate about eternal hell, the parts that say that if you are not for Christ you are against Him. The parts that say that people are already lost and will spend their lives and afterlives living in separation from the Almighty when they don’t accept His solution to salvation. You know, that part that says that they will have to share eternity in the same place as Satan and all the demons.
Example Bible texts:
2 Thessalonians 1:9 “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”
Mark9:48 “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”
Revelation 20:10 “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
When an unbeliever hears an incomplete Gospel he or she might not feel the horrible realisation that if Jesus does not do the all important saving work, he or she is going to an eternal hell of fire. The unbeliever does not feel that he or she is bound as a slave in which his sins have chained him.
Normally I try to end by encouraging unbelievers to put their trust in Jesus. This time I would like to end this video by encouraging all Christians watching. I am fully aware of the challenges we face when we want to be radical. When you go to your daily job it might be very difficult to be bold and to stand for the whole Gospel. It is so much easier to sherry-pick. Trust me, I know! However, the Lord has set you apart to do His works. You are a follower of the Most High and when the Lord is for you, who can be against you? Let us start praying for each-other! In one of the comments on a earlier video a brother clearly didn’t agree with me on a example I gave. Nevertheless, he concluded the short chat with the words that he will continue to pray for me. Isn’t that great! We should do that. Try to find a brother or sister who wants to lift you up in prayer. Let’s ask the Lord to strengthen us through His Spirit so that we will be bold and preach the Gospel in it totality.
1 Timothy 1:17
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.