Thankfully we were in my neighbourhood and coming close to my house. I was a young teen, maybe 14, and there I was sitting in the car with my uncle sharing the Gospel with him. He was not happy about it at all. He hit breaks, pulled over, and told me to be quiet or get out and walk home (not a really huge penalty since I could almost see my house from where we were). But, it wasn’t the personal threat, it was the rejection of the Gospel that fuelled my response.
Like my uncle, many people take offence to the Gospel and reject Jesus. When that happens, if you’re like me, you’re tempted to start playing the blame game. You blame yourself (“Maybe I could have said something differently”), blame the person (“He’s got some serious issues”), or blame the spouse (“Her husband will never support her choice”). Unfortunately, our own responses can become hurdles to the Gospel.
In Romans 9:1-5 Paul reveals Three Healthy Responses To Unbelief.
While Paul reflects how his own peers have rejected the Gospel, we can feel how broken hearted he is about it, and we can see his own personal response. His response can help us respond better.
1. Remember that Jesus is God
When it comes to His plan of salvation, the salvation of our neighbours, family, friends, and the whole world, we need to remember that this is His plan, not ours. He’s God and He’s in complete control. God has done everything that needs to be done and has empowered everyone to do what they need to do for the salvation of their souls.
2. Press on
We need to share the Gospel and stay consistent without getting distracted. Even within Paul’s sorrow and anguish over his closest peers, he continues to lead people to Jesus. We’re not going to reach everyone. Jesus doesn’t expect us to. The call is to share the Gospel and let people make their own choice. Our role is to keep sharing.
3. Stop taking unbelief personally
It’s not our fault if someone rejects Jesus. Perhaps God will call someone else to them, or perhaps that person has chosen to reject God forever. A person’s unbelief is not our choice, it’s theirs.
We can’t take it personally. Unbelief hurt the Jewish nation. An entire nation, given so much grace and benefit, rejected Jesus. That wasn’t God’s fault. It sure did break His heart, but He pressed on toward His plan to save the entire world. We need to press on, and we need to encourage others to press on, too.
Keep sharing the Gospel.
What about you?
Are you consistently sharing your faith? Or, are you reacting to rejection by fearing it or avoiding it?
Of course, you may have gotten something completely different out of the text than I did. If so, please feel free to reply and share your thoughts with us.
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