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Eight Reasons Why People Won’t Accept The Gospel

Conclusion – They have proven Boston’s points

Intro

The conclusion of why people won’t accept the Gospel:

They have proven Boston’s points

Introductory video

The first video was an introduction to this series. And yes! Right away I made a mistake. Not a huge one, but I did misrepresent Calvinism by stating that Calvinism says that ‘it is all predestined thus we don’t need to evangelise’. A good thing that a brother from my home country pointed out that this is actually called hyper-Calvinism, which is by no means mainstream among the Calvinists.

Anyway, I didn’t even start talking about the reasons Boston gave, but some already felt the urge to comment in a way that gives away their dislike of faith. One viewer said:

“There is only one reason needed to reject religion… Not needing your emotional needs met by fantasy & delusion.”

It is a rather funny way in which the little chat went it’s way, but you can read that for yourself. Nevertheless, the comment made one thing clear. Many unbelievers mistakenly assume that following Jesus, who is a divine Person, is the same as following a religion, which is a system. Then, also the assumption is that someone who believes in Christ basically does so because it feels emotionally good. This last thing might be true for Christians who don’t have anything to fear but how about those who follow Christ, knowing that it can cost their lives? Do they do that because they like to feel all fluffy inside, or do they actually have good reasons? I’ll let you decide about that.

There was another interesting comment:

“I really don’t understand why Christians say non-believers feel guilty or just want to keep sinning. That is absolutely nonsensical to me how someone who doesn’t believe in a divine creator, would for some reason still believe in the rules set by that creator.”

So, now the questions arises who actually decides right from wrong? If it is dependent on humans we are in big trouble! That would be the end of our civilisation. Look at the past what happened when humans started to decide what was good and what not. So, the moral giver need to be above the rules. It needs to be someone who is mighty enough to ultimately enforce the rules. Sounds like God to me. An unbeliever who still obeys these moral rules is thus simply obeying God without him or her realising it. This comment came from someone who was very honest about his or her past. He or she used to be a believer and read the whole Bible but could not get satisfying answers on hard questions. The result is sad, and I feel sorry for this person.

Overall, a very interesting start of a series. There were many very positive comments as well. Let’s conclude this one with the comment given by Grumpy:

“All we can do is strive to live our lives according to Christs teachings. Share the message of salvation and pray for all mankind, believers or not.”

Video 1 – No due sense of spiritual want

Boston in essence stated that humans are inherently in love with their own belongings and that they believe they have enough. That what they have might help them in the here and now, and because of this they think they don’t need anything else. In fact, an unbeliever doesn’t have a clue about that what he or she is missing. They don’t see that they lack the treasure of eternal life and the spiritual richness that comes with it. In other words, they don’t know what the miss.

Among the comment there was one from a fellow Dutch man. It is written in Dutch, but I will translate some interesting points.

“When I read the Bible I get the overarching feeling to stay away from this figure [God]. Plagues, infanticide, drowning everybody, and at the end the only comfort one gets is for not being tortured for eternity.”

After this he says something about my behaviour and that I am not on the right track to receive the salvation I preach. I leave that bit aside because I never received an answer when I asked him about it. The first part, that bit about the horrible God, is what I call a typical Dawkinian move. Richard Dawkins is doing this all the time. He portrays the God of the Bible as a horrible being, not worth any worship.

Two things wrong with this approach. Firstly, the god who’s being portrayed like this doesn’t sound like the real Biblical God. So, together with apologist John Lennox, I don’t believe in the god as described by Dawkins. It is just a wrong picture of the Biblical God and indeed, such a god doesn’t deserve any praise. This approach can be categorised under the logical fallacies, and it is called the straw-man fallacy. Secondly, when I tell you about emperor Nero you would be a bit bonkers to say that he didn’t exist right? However, if I follow the line of the argument given, I would say that Nero was crazy, a murderer and complete lunatic, so you should not believe he existed at all. Well, I hope it is clear that this line of argument doesn’t work. Neither does it with God. Even if God is like my fellow Dutch man says He is, it doesn’t make Him disappear or go away. He still exists, whether you like it or not.

I would also read this comment:

“Which religions are the wrong ones and how do you know?”

I can be short about this one. I’ve already made a video about this question, you’ll find the link in the description below.i

Video 2 – No true sight and sense of their own sinfulness

Reason two given by Boston is the lack of correct self reflection among many unbelievers. They have no clue about the terrible state their in because of their own sin. Many are masters in sweet talk away their own bad behaviours.

Oh yes, I do lie so now and then. Who doesn’t? We all lie but that doesn’t make me as bad as Stalin.”

Sure, I have done wrong things in my live… But that doesn’t make me the same as a serial killer!”

As long as the unbeliever thinks he or she is doing fine, they don’t see the need of a Saviour.

In the comment section this one made me laugh:

“Christianity was a way to destroy our culture and Pagan Gods which were part of our tribe/genetic heritage. Christianity is communism, ill pass.”

Christ did not order us to destroy cultures and the rituals that comes with it. Actually, He came to set us free from oppressing belief systems. Changing cultures is not the task of an evangelist. Christ can be worshipped in many different settings and in many forms. The rural Africans can worship Him with their drums and dances and the ‘stiffer’ European can remain seated while singing. It doesn’t matter because God wants to be worshipped by people who do so with all of their hearts. For those who are interested, I’ve written an article about this topic. You’ll find the link in the description below.ii

Then, to say that Christianity is communism… O boy! Someone needs to get some history lessons here. Communism is all about abolishing religions, especially those nasty followers of Christ. You know, these people who want to give away their money to the work of God instead of to the work of the communist party. Those people who want to teach you that you are created in God’s image which means you are an individual and not just a link in a society that needs to produce. Also, what sets communism apart from Christianity? Right! Freedom of speech. Christians have always challenged regimes concerning freedom of speech. Again, you’ll find a link to a video about this in the description.iii

Video 3 – They have no idea about ‘the clouds of wrath which are hanging over their heads

Many unbelievers seem to be at ease with their world-view. Seemingly relax, they live their lives. Not nervous about the things that are coming. They believe that this life is all there is and that they need to make as much as possible out of it. If they only realised that the anger of God is as real as can be. God’s anger about all the wrongdoings has been satisfied by Christ’s offer. The solution is there, but many unbelievers just don’t realise they need His offer to avoid being under God’s wrath.

Many nasty comments on this video and also many very encouraging comments as well, which is nice. How about this comment:

“And the reason people do not believe in god now is because most people can read, lol. (well, it’s a main reason, most people are becoming atheists… they are atheist because they read the bible, finally).”

To say that people become atheists because they can read is ludicrous. We live in a rural setting on Madagascar and I know many people who can read… When I ask them to proofread some of my translation work they hesitate. Why? Because they read, but they have a hard time understanding. Just starting to read the Bible without having a clue about the historical and cultural setting in which something has been written, is akin towards misunderstanding. We can find an example of this in Acts 8. An Ethiopian official bought a scroll with the writing of Isaiah 53. On his way back he is reading it aloud and Philip hears this. Apparently the Ethiopian had no trouble reading different languages. However, when Philips asked him whether he understood what Isaiah was saying, the Ethiopian had to admit he didn’t. So, Philip explained him about the Messiah and short after the Ethiopian knew enough and wanted to be baptised.iv

Also, I found that one who reads the Bible and uses atheistic sources to have explained to him or her what they just have read, tend to lose their faith more easily. Do I say that the Bible can not be understood without a proper teacher? No, not at all. But there are parts in the Bible that demand a little more background information. People tend to become sceptical when they read about the Old Testament laws or about the Israelites who needed to conquer Canaan. And without a proper guide toward these writings one may end up totally confused about God. I will put a link to an article about the so-called genocide episodes in the description below.v

Video 4 – They are strangers to their utter inability to help themselves

The unbeliever is under the impression they can help themselves. This video exploded! More than 4000 views and about 59 comments. Who am I to say that somebody is unable? And true enough, many of us are perfectly fine when it comes to help ourselves. We know how to repair our car, how to stand for our rights, how to make a good deal when buying a new washing machine. And so on and so forth. We’ve become so good at helping ourselves that we end up thinking we can help ourselves when it comes to salvation as well. And this last point is exactly where it goes wrong. When it comes to our salvation we are utterly unable. We need Jesus!

Now for the comments. Obviously I’m not going to read them all but I will highlight some parts in which people actually proof the fact that they are indeed unknowingly about the fact that they are utterly unable to help themselves.

“I have never relied on a sky-daddy to help me, and I’m only willing to seek help when I actually need it, specifically from people who exist and are willing. Atheists are much more likely to have financial stability, better health, and longer lives. That translates to taking better care of (our) children.”

This is precisely what Boston said. They believe they can do all things themselves and in the process they don’t need help. This person said he is only willing to seek help when he really needs it. Totally oblivious of the fact that he is in desperate need of salvation he continues by stating that atheists are mostly better off in live. This is quit a remark to make without giving any citation to a survey or investigation. But no worries, I did a quick search. Besides the numerous articles written by atheists, who all claim that they are much more successful than religious folk, I found a post in which someone actually did some proper research. The blogpost doesn’t seem to be online any more, but hooray for the WayBackMachine on Archive.org.

According to Sean Thomas, the writer of the post, religion is good for your mental health in a variety of ways. He states that believers tend to have better immune systems and lower blood pressure, and in some circumstances recover from hospital better. Not only that, but theists are happier and have more children.

You might want to discuss why this is the case, but that is besides the point. Fact remains that religion improves quality of life. In other words: being an atheist does not make sense even practically speaking. I mean, even if atheists are right and there is no God, they still tend to have worse wellbeing and less happy lives. Think about it, and atheist has nothing to gain except the possibility of being lost for ever, and the reality of poorer quality of life.

Even when atheists are right in their idea that there is no god, the theists will stay happier, healthier, more generous and more resistant against bad behaviour. Finally, the Christian would look at life with the hope that is within him. The hope in something lasting and meaningful, eternity in heaven.vi

Because this video is the number one concerning the view count, I will respond on an extra comment.

“I am almost 70 now, couldn’t have gotten there without helping myself (very few helped me) unless you mean that my inability to believe in your biblical yarns makes it so in your book. I was born into christianity but when I grew up and started doing my own thinking I soon became an X-christian for what to me are obvious reasons. Do you know how big the known universe is… well the people who wrote all those yarns thousands of years ago with the help of the all-knowing had no idea or concept of it else they would have at least mentioned it. Instead, what we got was a flat Earth and a celestial dome sprinkled with bright lights.”

Well, age is of no concern of course. I know people who are well in their eighties and just accepted Christ. They walked around, all these years, thinking they could do without Him. Then I also know people who have been Christians from a very young age. They never left Him despite all the reading they have done or because they came to a point where they realised how big the universe is.

One cannot be born INTO Christianity. Imagen a chicken pen. What would have happened if your mother gave birth to you in that pen? Would that make you a chicken? You can only be a chicken when you are born out of one… Likewise, you can only be a real Christian when you are born again. Not out of your mother but out of God. You can read about this in John 3:1-18. Jesus said to Nicodemus “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” So, there should be a moment in your life where you make the decision. You cannot simply say that you are a Christian because your parents are, or because you go to church.

Finally, how on earth can you say that there is no God when you marvel at the universe. To say that the writers of the Bible had to mention it is actually betraying a lack of knowledge of the Bible on the part of the commentator. The Bible is cramped with references to the fastness of the universe. The flat earth idea is nowhere to be found in the Bible. It was Washington Irvings who wrote a book about Columbus in 1828. He said that the church fathers warned Columbus that he could fall of the earth when he would sail too far. It was absurd what Irving wrote in his book.vii Both Columbus and his competitors knew that you could sail west to India. Not a flat earth but the sturdiness of the ships where questioned. They simply did not know for sure whether their ships could handle such a large distance. The myth of a flat earth was most popular between 1870 en 1920, because mostly the anti-religious folk (such as Darwin and Leyll) used it to discredit the Biblical narrative.

What’s more, Eratosthenes, a mathematician and astronomer from Alexandria, who live in the third century before Christ, already calculated the circumference of the earth.viii Many early church fathers just believed that the earth was a round ballix and in the Middle Ages almost every scientist said that the earth had to be round.

So, by all means, stay sceptical if you like. I don’t mind if you call yourself an atheist or whether you think of yourself as being very bright! But if you really want to be serious you should stay away from the typical slander. These arguments have been disproven time and again, and using them doesn’t really help your case…

Video 5 – they do not feel their need of Christ

So why do unbelievers don’t feel their need for Christ? Boston said that’s because many of them are so full of themselves that they think they’ve got it all. What more, than that what they already have, can Christ offer them? And because they have a very high esteem of themselves they have a hard time to understand that their abilities do not qualify to save their lives. If the unbeliever begins to realise that they need salvation because they sin and have sinned in the past and that they will sin again tomorrow, he or she might start to grasp the huge problem they are in. No amount of good works can save them from eternity without God. That last bit is also part of the Gospel, you know! The Gospel does not only talk about heaven and eventually the new earth. No, it also explains precisely what it is going to be like to live for eternity in the place without God’s presence. Traditionally we call that place ‘hell’. Jesus used the name of the biggest rubbish dump near Jerusalem, the Gehenna. We, as Christians, should not be ashamed to share the whole Gospel. True, some will ridicule you, but others might actually listen and start to realise that they are in need of a Saviour!

So how about the comments on this video? Well, that’s easy! It is like my Canadian brother @KC9UDX said:

“The comments are peaceful on this one. Blessed be the Prince of Peace, the LORD most high, for ever and ever[…]”

You might want to read the comments made by @AceTheologicalCompanyComments. He or she explained nicely what the cross is standing for. He or she… Is doing so by quoting several Bible texts and in his own words:

“I suggest you put on your sunglasses when you read these verses — they are that bright”

Video 6 – They see not their own unworthiness of a Saviour’s help

At first, I had some difficulties to understand Boston’s idea on this one. But after some thinking it dawned on me. It is all about the way many think. Many, and not only unbelievers, think in terms of rights. I have the right to be happy, to have food, to have a job, to go to heaven…. Uhh, hold on! Says Boston! Nobody is worthy enough to even come close to God. Let alone to go to heaven.

Imagen this, last year you have beaten someone and robbed him from his money. You left the guy half dead behind. It took this person, your victim, 6 months to find you. Did he come to punish you? No, he wanted to bring you a gift and with the gift comes forgiveness. Would you feel like being worthy receiving that gift and the person’s forgiveness? I think you would feel very small and wouldn’t have much to offer except a thankful heart.

As long as the unbeliever cannot understand his low position towards the Creator of the universe, he is in a bad situation.

In the comment section my friend from Canada was sharing again. This time he said:

“It is Sunday morning; I am awake before everyone else, watching your video as the sun rises. This is becoming a satisfying routine […]”

O boy! I don’t even dare to say that I would do the same… Sunday morning! Normally I am always the first to get up. I set the table, make tea and coffee. Then I wake up the kids and when everybody is having his breakfast, and I, my coffee, my brain begins to work. No, I am still not a morning person. For many that’s a surprise because my first career was that of a bread baker. But I am happy to hear that others are more active in the morning.

Video 7 – They have no anxiety for the supply of their soul-wants

Look around you. How many people do you know who spend all of their time on spending more money. They are very diligent. They look at all the stuff they have, or they look at the wonderful traditions they have build into their lives. Likewise, they are by no means worried about that what they really need, salvation! There is always time to work on that right? It is like those five foolish virgins in the Bible. They did not take care or their future and when the big moment finally came they weren’t ready! So, to all my followers and people who are watching this video. Please do not ignore that voice inside of you which is telling you that you need to be saved! It is the most important decision you need to make in your entire life! That feeling of anxiety isn’t there to annoy you but to warn you! Don’t neglect the moment.

A good way to conclude this section is by quoting @AceTheologicalCompanyComments’s comment:

“Keep in mind… That one day… Every knee will bow… and every tongue will confess. To the glory of God”
[Philippians 2]

Video 8 – They are not content with Christ but on terms of their own making

The last video is a bit of a shocker. At least, that is what I think. It hasn’t been online that long yet, so it doesn’t many views and comments yet. Still, I believe this reason is very real, and I’ve seen it all the time. Most unbelievers will flat out deny this reason. What reason am I talking about? The fact that many will look at the price it will cost to be saved, and, if the asking price is too high, they will go without. In other words: Many unbelievers do realise they need the Gospel, but they have a fixed price of what they are willing to pay for it. When it demands a little more than that what they want to give, they will willingly go without it. Is following Christ telling them not to look at other women any more? To bad, they can do without Christ. Does it mean that they need to chance their lifestyle? Giving up their beloved secret habits that our not honouring God? No way! If getting saved means giving up certain behaviours and following Christ on the narrow path, then they can do without. Without any shame they even brag about it, telling other that they are fine on their own.

This is the sad truth and belief me, I’ve been there! It takes courage to give up that what you think you have and start following Jesus. Maybe, just maybe, that’s the whole point. Isn’t God looking for people who are really courages. People who dare to trust in Him. People who know that they can only be the person God wants them to be, when they accept Christ’s salvation and start living life without fear, full of the Holy Spirit.

I am already looking forward to the comments… Might be a lot of fun to read them.

Speaking of comments. I just received one on this video:

“Reason #1: I’m an adult, and I am not going to live my life believing in fairytales.”

He is an adult! Yes, that might be a problem indeed. Many adults already have a fixed idea about life. They are willing to learn new things as long as these things don’t disturb their tranquillity. So, studying the things that concern eternity is per definition disturbing for many adults. Imagen changing your life! So, they rather just tell you that they are really smart and just can’t believe in a fairy-tale like you do. End of discussion. No disturbance of their nice and cosy lifestyle. Then they walk away, proud about the super smart comment they just have made, and thinking that they leave you behind as the dumb one.

But really! If that’s the only reason one wants to use to avoid having to follow Christ, then they have proven Boston’s points all together. This is exactly what the apostle Paul already said in Romans 1:18-20. I will read it from the Amplified version for clarity:

18For [God does not overlook sin and] the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who in their wickedness suppress and stifle the truth, 19because that which is known about God is evident within them [in their inner consciousness], for God made it evident to them. 20For ever since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through His workmanship [all His creation, the wonderful things that He has made], so that they [who fail to believe and trust in Him] are without excuse and without defence.”



This is the end of this series called ‘Eight Reasons Why People Won’t Accept The Gospel.’

I fully enjoyed it myself because many of Boston’s point were eye-openers for me as well. The videos received a lot of attention and many commented on them.

I am still thinking about what I going to discuss in the next videos. I always wanted to make a little series about Romans 13. You know, the part of the Bible that seems to teach us that we need to obey the government. That’s the part that has been used by the most oppressing regimes to tell their subjects to behave.

I am also thinking about a series about the strongest apologetic arguments. There are some pretty sturdy arguments to be used but at a first glance they can be a bit overwhelming in their complexity. It might be a nice job to explain them and to break them down in a way they are easy to understand.

Anyway, I still have some time to think about it. Let me know what you think in the comment section. That might help.

God bless you and be strong in the Lord!


Endnotes:

i How about other religions: https://odysee.com/@apologeet:3/silly-christian-how-about-other:3

ii Why Mission Matters: https://www.apologeet.nl/en/faq/010_why-mission/

iii Freedom of speech: https://odysee.com/@apologeet:3/silly-christian-christianity-is-against:8
Also read this article about free will: https://www.apologeet.nl/en/faq/013_free_will

iv Images from: https://freebibleimages.org/

v Genocide in the Bible: https://www.apologeet.nl/en/faq/what-about-the-canaanite-genocide/

vi Are atheists mentally ill? https://orthochristian.com/63476.html
Original blog: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/seanthomas/100231060/are-atheists-mentally-ill/
Archive.org:https://web.archive.org/web/20130817051639/http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/seanthomas/100231060/are-atheists-mentally-ill/
Research Shows Religion Plays A Major Role In Health, Longevity: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990517064323.htm
New Study of College Students Finds Connection Between Spirituality, Religiousness, and Mental Health: https://www.spirituality.ucla.edu/docs/news/release_health.pdf

vii Russell, Jeffrey Burton. Inventing the Flat Earth: Columbus and Modern Historians. Praeger Paperback, 1997.

viii Eratosthenes: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Eratosthenes and https://famous-mathematicians.org/eratosthenes/

ix Church father believed in a round Earth: https://krisispraxis.com/archives/2019/01/did-medieval-church-teach-that-the-earth-was-flat/

Eight Reasons Why People Won’t Accept The Gospel

Reason 8 – They are not content with Christ but on terms of their own making

Intro

The eight reason of why people won’t accept the Gospel:

They are not content with Christ but on terms of their own making

Boston said:

They are not content with Christ but on terms of their own making. They are like those who seek to buy a commodity which, yet they can be without. If they can get it at their own price, they will take it; if not, they can want it. There are right-eye sins, yet they will by no means part with them. They are not pleased with the covenant, some things are in it which they must have out; there are some things out which they must have in, else they will not come into it. Hence, they care not for the gospel, or that covenant which it reveals.

That’s quite something, isn’t it? Boston says that many unbelievers do realise they need the Gospel, but they have a fixed price of what they are willing to pay for it. When it demands a little more than that what they want to give, they will willingly go without it. Like Boston said: “They can want it.” In other words: it is just another thing on their list. If it suits them and when the demands change they may reconsider.

This is exactly what I did before I became a follower of Jesus. At one point I believed the whole story. God created the world. Humans sinned against Him. We needed to be saved. Jesus died and rose again. Salvation was only possible through Him. Oh yes, salvation sounds nice… Nope, I am not going to give up my life. Say what? That’s the price. Okay, in that case I can go without! It’s a good thing God’s Spirit is more stubborn than I am.

The precious pearl

Our children loved the story of the precious pearl.

Matthew 13:465

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”

We read them this story from a children’s book. The merchant is rich! He’s got a huge house with a pond and fountain. He’s got 15 rooms with furniture and six fridges with food and bubbly lemonade. He is literally sleeping on stacks of money. But then he sees a beautiful pearl! He goes home and sells his furniture, the fridges, his food and lemonade. Then he also sells his house with the pond and all the fish with it. Yes, he even sells his lovely coat. Then he goes back to the shop to buy the pearl… Oh bother! He is six coins short. The seller says that if the man gives his hat with the wobbly feather he may have the pearl. Deal! Says the man. And happy as could be he goes his way with the precious pearl in his hand.i

Is the price to high to pay?

The unbeliever’s mistake ‘numero uno’ is that he or she is looking at the price it will cost to be saved, and, if the asking price is too high, they will go without. Or else, they will look for a ‘saviour’ who is less demanding. If following Jesus means they have to pluck out the right eye, the price is too big. They will either continue their way on the broad road, or, they will see whether they can find a gospel which allows him to keep the ‘eye’— and for that matter, also their ‘right’ hand, their lusts, and their riches—and still go to heaven. You see, the road to heaven is narrow. A narrow road is very difficult to travel when you want to keep all your belongings. The unbeliever might think he can bring a shovel and start to widen the road! That way they believe they can set the terms of the gospel.

Let’s quote another scholar from the old times, shall we:

Stephen Charnock, who lived from 1628-1680, wrote:

“The happiness the gospel proposes is naturally desirable and desired by all men, but it is not entertained by men, because of their natural enmity against it, not against the good things proposed in it, but against the means and methods, which God hath ordered for the attainment of them. […] It is man’s enmity, and not his ignorance makes him reject that in the Gospel, which he desires by his natural constitution as a rational creature. And this is such a folly… to refuse those things… for a vanishing trash, a lust, which is but a magazine of torments, and treasure of everlasting wrath.”ii

Now you might think this only plays a role when someone has a lot to lose. Like the rich merchant in our story. Also, people with a huge ego don’t want to give up that ego and admit they too need to be saved. People who love certain habits of which they know they have to give it up when they accept the Gospel.Their love for these habits might be bigger than their love for eternal salvation.

I even see the same attitude here in the in-lands of Madagascar. People here don’t have much and an adult man makes about 1 Euro a day, when he has a job that is. People love the rituals that come with ancestor worship. Mind you! They are petrified of many aspects of their religion, but some things are just to sweet. Getting intoxicated of plants during ceremonies. Getting drunk during funerals or any other party for that matter. Sexual behaviours that are more or less accepted as part of life. Giving those habits up is way too expensive for many. Just like many in Europe, they might decide to go to church on the Sunday morning but during the rest of the week they quickly run back to their much treasured live style.

Very hard to preach to them

Personally I see this as one of the most stubborn and frustrating reasons of why people won’t accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That might be different for you but for me, it is like looking in a mirror. I have been there. I just flat out refused Jesus’ salvation because my ego was way too dear to me.

Like I said, I am happy that the Holy Spirit is more stubborn than I am. In the end I gave in. I could not save myself and needed Jesus. I was close to the words of Proverbs 29:1

“A man who hardens his neck after much reproof Will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.”

Are you like someone who hardens his neck? In other words: Are you someone who knows the Gospel but hardens in the fact that you are not going to give up your own treasure? Let me give you some advice! Stop it! You’ll end up broken beyond remedy. You’ll end up like one of the many unbelievers who have hardened their hearts in such a way that it almost impossible to heal. I do say ‘almost’, because I know that for God nothing is impossible.

Matthew 19:25-26

“When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”




i Butterworth, N., Inkpen, M., Acht verhalen van Jezus, (trans.) Marijke Bleij, Ark Boeken – VVHS/BKV, Amsterdam, 1995.

ii Parsons, E., The Works of the Late Rev. Stephen Charnock: With a Prefatory Dedication and Memoir, Vol. 6, Baynes, London, Leeds 1815, pp. 406.

Eight Reasons Why People Won’t Accept The Gospel

Reason 7 – They have no anxiety for the supply of their soul-wants

Intro

The seventh reason of why people won’t accept the Gospel:

They have no anxiety for the supply of their soul-wants

Boston said:

They have no anxiety for the supply of their soul-wants.

They want grace and holiness, but they can be easy without them. Like foolish virgins, they sleep on at ease, while they have no oil for their lamps:

Proverbs 6:10 “Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep,”

Their desires are keen after the world, but weak, faint, and languishing after spiritual good things. They have no hunger and thirst after them. Hence, they value not the gospel, nor the fountain of living waters.

Do you know the story of the foolish virgins? You can find it in Matthew 25:1-13. Jesus talks about the Kingdom of God and how it will be for many people when it comes. He talks about ten young women who are all waiting for the bridegroom to come. Yes, there was a wedding about to happen. The women all had their oil lamp with them in case the bridegroom would be later than expected. Five of the young ladies decided not to bring some extra oil for their lamps and when finally the bridegroom came their lamps already ran out of oil. They couldn’t see a thing! The had to get oil from a shop that was still open. Well a 24/7 shop seems to be normal now but back then… Never mind. They missed the party because they didn’t pay attention earlier that day.

Now, let’s assume that these foolish virgins were in fact very busy during the day. I mean, nowhere Jesus says that they were lazy. And to back my story a bit, the parable says that they all fell asleep. So, they were tired, probably from their activities during the day. Why else do you fall asleep while knowing that the bridegroom is coming.

Anyway, the young ladies might even have been very diligent during the day. Taking care of the house and family. Maybe doing some good business. I mean, it is always good to have some extra cash, right? Who doesn’t want to have financial security! Of course, they had to maintain their good standing in the village. After all, they were the ones who got invited to the wedding. One needs to be in a good standing when you’re so important. But what about their supply of ‘oil’?

The five wise women prioritised their activities. They knew things can always turn out a bit different from that what you would have expected. The foolish women didn’t felt the need to be anxious about the oil. Surely, they could lift along with others, if they needed to that is! No need to be nervous, there is time enough.

This is a very dangerous attitude! Many will ease their minds by coming up with fancy variants of the Gospel.

  • “God will never make me feel guilty!”
  • “The sleepless nights I have can not come from God”
  • “God wants us to have a total peace in our hearts, so, that spiritual anxiety I experience, can never come from Him”

They deceive themselves with these lies. That’s what they are, lies!

How often have you heard it before?

“No worries, I’ll turn my life to Christ when I am ready. I want to make promotion first, then I would like to marry a beautiful man or woman. Of course, we are going to get children, preferable two or maximum three, as we also need to stay busy to get even more security in life.”

It is the typical excuse coming from someone who doesn’t have a clue about the importance of the Gospel, about that what their soul really needs. Like the five young ladies in our story, they have been diligent, thoughtful to many things, except towards the most important thing of all, oil!

In the story the oil was the refill the lamps. In real life the oil points to God’s grace which saves and fills the soul. It is God’s Spirit who will direct you to God’s grace.

CORRECTION: In the video I mention the text in which Jesus talks about the coming of the Spirit. I said that He said that in Matthew 16 but that should be John 16!

John 16:7b-11

…if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”

The Spirit of God Himself wants to supply the soul and nurture it. Ignoring the Spirit, or thinking that He is there for the take whenever it suits, is a grave mistake. Because somewhere down the line you get tired and might say what the preacher in proverbs already saw around him:

Proverbs 6:9-11

“How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth [like an approaching prowler] , and thy want as an armed man [making you helpless]…”

Don’t ignore that voice which is telling you that you should turn to Jesus! Make sure you have your lamp filled to the neck with that oil of God’s grace and just make sure you will never run out.

Eight Reasons Why People Won’t Accept The Gospel

Reason 6 – They see not their own unworthiness of a Saviour’s help

Intro

The sixth reason of why people won’t accept the Gospel:

They see not their own unworthiness of a Saviours help

Boston said:

They come to the market of grace with their money in their hand. They look on themselves as worthy of what Christ should do for them.

Luke 7:4 [Boston refers to this text and I will come back to it later in this video]

Though they be perhaps so far humbled as to see they must have mercy and help from the Lord, yet they look on their reformation and duties as what cannot but recommend them to Christ beyond many others. They cannot see how the Lord can reject those who come so far a length as they do. Hence the doctrine of free grace is but tasteless to them.

Look at me!! Am I a hotshot or what? I feel so good about myself… And so on. Isn’t that what we hear day in day out. We should feel proud of ourselves. We can buy a nice cosmetic crème because we are worth it. It is the language commercials, of popular psychology, popular media talk and popular paperback books. It is even the language we often hear in the modern day churches. When you know Jesus you also should know that you are wonderful! I’ve even heard a preacher telling his listeners that they shouldn’t have a poor image of themselves because that will hurt their spiritual growth. It would keep them from the richness of God’s blessing.

But if that is the Gospel, why than is Boston telling us something else? He talks about people who ‘cannot see how the Lord can reject… [them] …who come so far a length as they do.’ In other words: Why should the Lord reject them, while they are so wonderful? Can Boston be wrong here? Can it be that, because he is from a different century, he doesn’t understand the Gospel. I mean, obviously we are much more advanced in knowledge than he is, right?

Wrong! Nowhere the Gospel mentions the idea that we, as humans, are great, wonderful and worthy to be called children of God. It is true that the Bible teaches that we can become holy, but only because Christ is willing to save us. Only when we’ve received forgiveness of sin and only when we put our full trust in Him, Who ìs Holy. We are worthy, not because of the things we do, but because what He has done for us.

Ephesians 2:8-9

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Listen to the story in Luke 7:2-10

Now a centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. When he heard of Jesus, he sent the elders of the Jews to Him, asking Him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus, they asked Him earnestly, saying, “You should do this for him for he is worthy, for he loves our nation, and he has built us a synagogue.” So Jesus went with them.

When He was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy to have You come under my roof. Likewise, I did not think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard these words, He marvelled at him, and turned and said to the people who followed Him, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” Then those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well who had been sick.

This is the attitude Jesus is looking for. The centurion could have said something else. The people were talking highly of him. It would have been so easy for him to adapt that attitude. But instead of using his given authority, he acknowledges that Jesus is more worthy than he is. We hear people say that Jesus should do this healing miracle for him. Not because they think about Jesus as being kind hearted or merciful, but because they feel that the centurion is worthy of Jesus’ compassion. The centurion may have achieved many wonderful things but he knew that he was but a humble man compared to the Christ.

You might be a very good father and husband or a sweet mother and wife. You might excel in your work. You might even be a great humanitarian worker who helps people without making any profit. People around you might say that you are worthy of being saved by Jesus. If there is one worthy enough it must be you! Even our ‘good deeds’ are not all that good. Sure, we may think we are doing something noble, but there is generally something in it for us; some hidden, self-serving motive. And even our best efforts pale by comparison to the standard of righteousness existing in the God of the Universe.

Isaiah 64:6

“For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; and all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.”

The Bible paints a pretty nasty image of our human nature. We are lost and wandering, incapable of seeking God and incapable of impressing God with our own ‘good’ works. It is very bad news. But there there is Good News: the God of the Bible, the Creator of the universe is not going to judge us on our fallen nature or our inadequate attempts. Nope, He is going to allow Jesus to pay the price for our sin and save us as an act of grace.

Ephesians 2:4-5

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)

Eight Reasons Why People Won’t Accept The Gospel

Reason 5 – They do not feel their need of Christ

Intro

The fifth reason of why people won’t accept the Gospel:

They do not feel their need of Christ

Boston said:

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.

Prosperity preaching

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.

Encourage each-other

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.

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