Everything seemed to be just fine. He knew I attended church, he seemed to be interested in it, so I shared the Gospel with him. What followed absolutely took me by surprise. I wouldn’t say he became hostile, but there was a level of anger in his reaction. The communication of the Gospel flatlined a friendship and caused a person to choose to reject Jesus. I walked away from the conversation thinking, “Man, if I kept my mouth shut maybe things would be better.” But, I know that’s not true. What do I do when a clear understanding of the Gospel is the very thing that causes someone to reject me and Jesus?
In Romans 9:14-18 what Paul shares helps us to know What To Do When The Truth Is The Catalyst Of Rejection
1. Revealing Truth can be the catalyst of unbelief
Some people seem to go through life just fine without the knowledge of God. They may even demonstrate a level of respect for godly things. However, when that same person is confronted with the truth, the very truth that is meant to bless them actually becomes a curse to them because of their unbelief. Paul uses the Jews as an example, but very quickly a few names come to mind of people I know that turned away from me and an interest in church when they heard the truth of the Gospel.
You’re not going to win everyone. I wish it wasn’t so because it’s heartbreaking for me, but more for God.
2. Reveal the Truth anyways
In Paul’s example he reminds us that God used Pharaoh’s rejection to give a greater platform to announce a message of mercy and grace. I’m sure that God knew ahead of time that he would reject Moses and the command to release the Jews from slavery. Moses was sent anyways – Moses pressed in and learned to trust God. At the end of the story, two nations (the Egyptians and the Jews) recognized God’s sovereignty. And, through the Old Testament we see that the story lingered, reminding every nation for generations that followed that God is powerful.
When the truth becomes the catalyst for aggressive unbelief, we need to have faith that it can become a platform to reveal God’s glory on a bigger scale.
3. God elects those that believe
God is under no obligation to have mercy and compassion on anyone. He chooses to be merciful and compassionate simply because He wants to, and it’s within His authority to make that choice without consultation. God has chosen to elect those who believe in Jesus to be a part of His family.
Someone’s going to believe in Jesus. It’s either going to be the friend we share the Gospel with, or it’s going to be the people around that friend who get to watch what happens when someone rejects God.
Whosoever will believe in Jesus will be elected as God’s family for eternity.
4. Belief is the only healthy response to God
Since God’s election is based purely on a person believing in Jesus, the best course of action is to believe in Jesus. Since unbelief leads to God’s rejection and the hardening of a person’s heart, it is very unhealthy (in this life and in eternity) to choose unbelief.
What To Do When The Truth Is The Catalyst Of Rejection
Yes, someone may reject Jesus and you. Share the Gospel anyways. There’s a chance that your friend may respond in faith. If not, there’s a chance that your friend has just become a platform that reveals how great God is – that rejection may lead many others to faith in Jesus.
I’m sorry, that may sound a little callous, like I’m just betting on the math. Keep in mind, sharing the Gospel is a matter of obedience – it’s not an option. Please don’t let a moment of rejection prevent you from obeying the command to tell people about Jesus. Rather, be hopeful in rejection that God’s always got a big plan, and He uses our faithfulness as a catalyst for acceptance by a greater number of people.
What about you?
Has someone’s rejection of the Gospel made you timid? Or, has fear of rejection made you less likely to share your faith?
Or, would you say that you’re trusting God, regardless of an individual’s response, through obedience to the Great Commission?
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