Why do people reject the gospel?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by John Ellwood Taylor, Feb 6, 2006.

  1. John Ellwood Taylor

    John Ellwood Taylor
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    We've all shared the gospel with people who do not respond...
    Discuss why people spurn the free gift of eternal life when the gospel is presented. I'd prefer the discussion to be centered around Scripture rather than just opinions.

    I look at Luke 9:57ff and see three people who want to 'follow Jesus' yet Jesus probes their hearts and we do not see saving faith in any of these instances. They all have misguided priorities: the first wanted to be in on what Jesus was doing: the works, His words, the crowds, etc. but earlier in the chapter it says that Jesus was set in heading to Jerusalem (the cross). It was the Lutheran commentator Lenski who said..This man wanted to join the solider on parade without seeing their blood, sweat, and sacrifice required of the same solider.
    Jesus concludes by calling all to be willing to take up their cross and follow Him.

    Many want Jesus but on their terms or on a cafeteria plan where they can pick and choose what aspect of the gospel they find appealing.

    What do you think?
     
  2. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    The god of this world has blinded their eyes
     
  3. John Ellwood Taylor

    John Ellwood Taylor
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    2 Cor. 4:4 Agreed! I believe the Scriptures say that a supernatural regenreating work of the Holy Spirit is required. God must opend the blind eyes: Luke 10:21-22.

    I was hoping to get more thought on men loving their sin more than the Savior; wanting to put the decison of until later to live it up now (i.e. Felix); etc.

    thanks
     
  4. Ron Arndt

    Ron Arndt
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    Many people think you are a religious kook. Some have their own religion and are offended by you pushing your religion on them. But most aren't interested in religion period and have no need for it.

    The best way to approach someone and save yourself a lot of time and grief is first, get to know the person a little. Warm up to them. Then use the famous "BY THE WAY" PHRASE. You say something like this. "By the way, do you give much thought to spiritual things?" This is a great opening phrase barometer that TESTS the person's attitude to anything spiritual. If they tell you to get out of their face, then walk away. If they tell you, "oh sometimes", then share something SMALL with them BRIEFLY and leave it at that and come back another day.

    Seldom will you find someone who is FULLY open to all that you are trying to share, so you must learn patience and feed them SLOWLY. This method works well with Jehovah Witnesses when they are going door to door peddling their Watchtower proproganda and Christians would be wise to use the same method when sharing the gospel with someone. Hope this helps.
     
  5. James Flagg

    James Flagg
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    Also keep in mind that you're coming from a "The Bible is the word of God" persepective, and many don't share that assumption.

    Point being, they may not care about your quoting Scripture until you can tell them why they should also think that The Bible is divine.

    You have to show how and why The Bible is the Word of God before anyone will care what it says.
     
  6. Ron Arndt

    Ron Arndt
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    Good point James Flagg. Our Catholic friends consider their church THEE AUTHORITY in determining just what the bible says and means as well. So when dealing with Catholics, they will usually say, "But MY CHURCH doesn't believe that."
     
  7. gb93433

    gb93433
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    Look at some in the church that non-Christians see.

    Mt. 7:21-23, "Not everyone who says to Me, `Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. "Many will say to Me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' "And then I will declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'

    Lokk at the miracle workers and faith healers on TV.

    http://www.bible.ca/tongues-popoff-39-17Mhz.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Popoff
     
  8. BroTom64

    BroTom64
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    This is the gospel and what it does:

    John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
    18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    This is why some (not all) refuse to accept:

    19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
    20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
    21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

    Tom
     
  9. Johnv

    Johnv
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    One problem is our own faulty logic. We think that if we tell them about Jesus, we've adequately shared the Gospel, and then scratch our heads as to why they haven't accepted it. We're often of the "accept now, do it now, right noe" mentality. We need to change this mentality. Not only does it make sharing the gospel sound like something a used car salesman would do, but it disrespects the person we are sharing the gospel with. I had a dear friend accept Christ... after 10 years!!!! One of the reasons he didn't sooner was because he was always put off by those who beat him over the head on the topic. So much so, that he now says that they served to push him further away from the Lord for a while. That made me think.
     
  10. Marcia

    Marcia
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    The main reason people don't respond is that they are blinded and in darkness, as pointed out by C4K and Bro. Tom, and because no one wants judgment on their sin!

    I rejected the real Christ for years and years (I was saved when I was over 40!) because I thought I was inherently good, I could become better on my own, I did not want judgment, I did not want a personal, righteous God who judges things I did that were wrong, I derived a sense of spirituality and security from false beliefs, I had a New Age God and New Age Jesus that made me happy, etc.

    People can find alternatives and if they want to, they will. Unless God opens their eyes, they will continue to reject the idea of any God, or they will find a false one that suits their needs.
     
  11. John Ellwood Taylor

    John Ellwood Taylor
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    Many good post so far. I agree that we cannot 'push for a decision'. The imagery used in Matthew 13 parable is that we do not know what condition the ground (heart) is when we sow the seed. As well, 1 Cor. 3 continues with this image speaking of one sowing one watering but God giving the increase.

    This thought was doubly prompted in my mind from both a recent witnessing opportunity outside of the church and a John MarArthur sermon called "Three Reasons Why People Reject Christ" form Luke 9:57ff.
     
  12. Robert J Hutton

    Robert J Hutton
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    The Lord Jesus has given the answer to the question in John 10 v 26:

    "You do not believe because you are not of my sheep"

    Kind regards to all.

    Bob
     
  13. StraightAndNarrow

    StraightAndNarrow
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    One problem is our own faulty logic. We think that if we tell them about Jesus, we've adequately shared the Gospel, and then scratch our heads as to why they haven't accepted it. We're often of the "accept now, do it now, right noe" mentality. We need to change this mentality. Not only does it make sharing the gospel sound like something a used car salesman would do, but it disrespects the person we are sharing the gospel with. I had a dear friend accept Christ... after 10 years!!!! One of the reasons he didn't sooner was because he was always put off by those who beat him over the head on the topic. So much so, that he now says that they served to push him further away from the Lord for a while. That made me think. </font>[/QUOTE]I agree with you. I also talked with a good friend for years before someone else led him to the Lord. I'd like to think I planted the seed.

    He (like me) is an engineer. I think many scientists and engineers are put off by dogmatically pushing some of the symbolic parts of the scriptures which are not very important tothe gospel.
     
  14. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    I'd like to get everyone's take on the passage in John 12, where it says that despite Jesus' many miracles, they refused to believe. Then, in v.38, it says that their refusal to believe was a fulfilment of Isaiah 6 7-10. God told Isaiah to preach to the people of Judah, but then said a remarkable thing to Isaiah. You preach, but they won't believe. They won't believe because I will blind their eyes, dull their hearing, and callous their hearts so they can't.

    John 12:39 says the people who heard Jesus could not believe, because God had fixed them so they couldn't.

    These are difficult passages for me, and I confess they are disturbing, for I lack understanding. But there they are. And it gives one more reason why people reject the gospel. They cannot do otherwise. Unless, unless, (Eph 2:4--But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even while we were dead in transgressions...")
    That is our hope, and that is their only hope.

    Tom B
     
  15. Marcia

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    I think the Jn 12 passage fulfilling the Is 6 passage is about the Jews rejecting Christ as the Messiah. I don't know if we can say that the reason people who do not believe today is because God is blinding them. Satan is blinding people.
     
  16. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Marcia,
    I agree that John 12 is a fulfilment of Isaiah 6, because John said it was. I know that Satan blinds and hardens, and some times people (like Pharoah) harden their own hearts. These passages in Isaiah and John both are clear. The one who hardens and blinds and dull hearing is the the Lord Himself. I can't explain it, but I will not try to explain it away.

    Tom B
     
  17. Diggin in da Word

    Diggin in da Word
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    People reject the gospel because it cramps their lifestyle. It goes against everything that the flesh finds appealing.
     
  18. mima

    mima
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    Here is a way to witness:
    1. Ask a confrontational question which gives the Holy Spirit time to convict the person you're witnessing too. The question is necessary to arrest a person's mind thereby giving the Spirit the opportunity to convict the person of their sin of unbelief in Jesus. The question that I ask is-are you absolutely, positively , certain sure in your mind, that you will go to heaven when you die? At this point I stop talking and let the person consider and then answer the question. Approximately 80% of people will answer I do not know, I am not sure, I hope I go. At this point I tell them that the Bible says in three different places that "for whosoever shell called the name of the Lord shall be saved," I then asked them another question; Do you want to call? About 70% of the 80% say yes. I then lead them in a sinner's prayer. After which I asked them, if the Bible says," For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" and we are certain that you called. The question now becomes or you saved after having done what the Bible says do or is the bible lying? Literally thousands have accepted the Lord,and became born-again Christians following this method.
     
  19. Timtoolman

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    The account of God blinding, closing ears and eyes in 2 instances says because THEY WOULD NOT BELIEVE. There is the full view. God's word does harden or soften. Just like today. People set under the preaching of the gospel and reject it over and over again. Thier hearst become harden. In a way it is God, the rejection of Him and His word that hardens. Therefore man is without excurse. If you are calvnist then it makes no difference. They will or will not be saved regardless of what man does.
     
  20. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    No, Tim, that's not what Isaiah 6 says. To paraphrase, God told Isaiah to preach, but they wouldn't listen. The reason they wouldn't listen is that he would blind them, harden them and dull their hearing. God did not say they would not believe so he's blind, harden and dull. I repeat, this is beyond my understanding, but it's there.

    In the last sentence of your post you said Calvinists believe that people will or will not be saved regardless of what man does. You know something. I'm a Calvinist and I don't believe that,and no Calvinist that I have ever know believes that.

    I'm continually amazed that as much debate as we have on this board about Calvinism and Arminianism, that the non-Calvinists repeatedly misrepresent Calvinist views. I'm also amazed that so many people filter scripture through their own theology, instead of letting the scripture drive their theology.
    Oh, well, I guess if we all saw things the same way, this board would be unnecessary.


    Tom B
     

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