Why Do So Many Reject the Gospel?
What is the number one desire driving all of our behavior? We all want to be loved? All of us, murderers, philanthropists, scholars, players, everyone wants love. We may go about trying to get love in different ways (and sometimes self-defeating ways).
What greater love can you receive than when someone will see all your good andbad qualities and exchange anything that is negative about you with righteousness?The Gospel is the story of love. Basically it is the message that God loves youenough to see the reality of your sin and make you righteous through His Son.
Why isn’t that message compelling to everyone who hears it? I stumbledacross a verse this week that gave me insight I had never seen before. Acts 13:46says,
“Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.”
Paul and Barnabas were speaking to the Jews who had opposed them on their first missionary journey. The reason the Jews didn’t believe, according to this verse, was they did not consider themselves worthy of eternal life.
That phrase “did not consider yourselves worthy” really grabbed me. It does make something so mysterious understandable in a way. I sure am glad that I considered myself worthy to have eternal life and responded to the Gospel message when I heard it at a young age. Is the cause of unbelief low self worth?
Consider the people you long to believe the Gospel who have rejected it. Do they consider themselves worthy? Could their low self-worth be the reason they reject what you have to say? It’s easy for some to see unworthiness in others, but some who feel most unworthy don’t reveal it. I’m sure these Jews who were demanding answers from Paul and Barnabas did not look like they had low self-esteem. They were strongly confronting them at the time of this conversation and even followed them on to the next city to stir up controversy there. Yet, deep inside these people and all the ones who reject the Gospel is the fact that they do not see themselves as worthy.
Someone who arrogantly asserts that Christians are using religion as a crutch are perhaps using their rejection of religion as a crutch. It helps them get through this somewhat meaningless life to think that they don’t need religion to find meaning and purpose. Brennan Manning said, “Faith is the courage to accept that you are accepted.” It takes self-worth to believe that Jesus died for you and receive the Gospel message of God’s amazing love down deep in your soul.
As you are praying for those you love and know who have rejected the Gospel, think about how to connect God’s love with their great worth to Him. Help them focus on the love they really want and how it is answered in the Gospel.