5th March 2012
G'day and welcome to Partakers ThinkSpot on Monday, the 5th of March 2012. Play the audio and see how Jim and Joy are challenging you to live your faith out this week!
The Offence of the Gospel
“You are upsetting me with what you are saying about that Bible teaching and Jesus Christ. I think I am a Christian and I dont need to go to church to be a Christian. I keep the Ten Commandments and I say the Lord's prayer every night but I dont need to get as serious as you do and spend so much times in church and thinking about God”
Have you heard that before? Have you been in a similar discussion with someone and they have become so angry they were glaring at you and absolutely mad at you? You were left alone as they stormed off and left you shaking !!
Dont be alarmed it has happened to a number of us who were left thinking “Where did I go wrong? Should I have compromised or not said so much” “What a mess up I am shattered and weak at the knees.”
Friends, we are called to be faithful and providing we have spoken the truth in love we have not done wrong we have faithfully spoken but because of our compassion and concern we may have become a little overheated ourselves but dont be overly distressed. Be thankful they reacted at all!! Some people it dosnt go anywhere near their hearts they simply say things like “You know something I feel sorry for you its obviously something I dont feel I need but if its ok for you then go ahead but dont try to involve me I am not interested.”
When you speak of Jesus Christ and the gospel people get upset. They do not mind hearing of him as a 'rabbi' or 'good teacher' but Saviour?? “I dont need a Saviour” they say. They cannot understand that we all need a Saviour. We all have slipped off God'd pathway for our lives and cannot get back on ourselves. We have gone astray and cannot climb onto the narrow way . We dont even acknowledge we have ever been on the broad way leading to destruction. “All we like sheep have gone astray”(Isaiah 53) and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” A prophetic utterance from Isaiah concerning the Messiah. Who is the Messiah? John the Baptist speaking of Jesus describing Him said “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29;)
John the Baptist was a wonderfful example of a brave evangelist speaking out about His Saviour. John spoke out about sin, judgement and people got angry at him and to keep him quiet he was placed in prison and then died for his faithful witness to our Saviour.
Jesus spoke very highly of this man and his witness.
No, its not easy, witnessing is not simple and it takes a lot of time, patience, boldness and a lot of prayer. It can be very hard, sometimes painful and slogging work especially if you live with them !! Relatives will think you are mad (Even Jesus relatives thought this of Him)
Neverthless we are encouraged to take the God given opportunities and not to be surprised at anger when people are angry with us and either walk away or try to argue with us. They have their own ideas and do not want to be 'rocked' by another view.
They may ask awkward unanswerable questions where God alone knows the answers. Especially in regard to sorrow which comes into all our lives and why certain things happen which we consider could be avoided. They then smirk, and say things like “dont try tell me anything” and “Jesus was only a man.” Remember the christian believes all which is said about Jesus in the Bible and know He truly is the Son of God. Remember always when witnessing that God is only a prayer away. They cannot stop you praying.
Friend, when we witness for Jesus we are doing right and although it can be painful it will bring its dividends in the future. God calls us to be faithful and to persevere and to sow seed at every opportunity. “The night comes when no one can work” said Jesus and surely he made the best of every moment of the day and prayed through the night also. What a supreme example for us to follow. He also said If I suffer so it will be for my followers ” also he said in the sermon on the mount “Blessed are you who are persecuted for righteousness sake for yours is the kingdom of heaven.”(Matthew 5:10-12;)
So what exactly gets up peoples noses. Ourselves or our words? It is the gospel message. People do not want to be told they are insufficient of themselves. They admit thay are not perfect but ask them if they are prepared to follow God's teachings and change their lives to suit God and there will be opposition. So dont be surprised and do not give up there is a reward in heaven waiting for you for faithful witnessing. (Matthew 5:12;)
Dear Lord and Heavenly Father
Thank you for your promised presence with us in all that we do for you. Thank you also that we know You love us always and we want to share that love. Your truth is a loving message of salvation but we encounter opposition and sometimes it is ugly. Please help us to press on into satan's domain and be ready to give a reason of the hope within us and Lord help us to remember we are the head and not the tail. We have all of heaven on our side. So give us confidence as we step out into the day and help us to keep close to you so we are all the more confident You are speaking through us and our lives. We love you. Thank you for the success you promise us although we may have to wait for results.
In Jesus Name
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This is spot on! made me think, was John the Baptist the first Christian martyr? When people get angry, unless we deliberately wound them up, it’s their problem, we’ve touched a nerve - they are not in a good place to listen to reasoned argument - our job then is to pray.
Thanks Sandra! Will let Jim and Joy know you have left a comment!!