Arminian Today

A Jesus-Centered Arminian Blog

Let the Gospel Upset People, Not Us

There is no denying that the gospel makes people upset.  I have watched it with my own eyes as I explained the gospel to a lost person and then they turn into this ugly, ranting, mean-spirited person who hates God and hates the gospel.  Up until I explained the law of God, they were pretty nice to me and were cordial but when I begin to explain the justice of God Almighty in pouring out His wrath on humans who violate His just laws, it was here they turned on me.  People hate the gospel and more than that, they hate the God of the Bible (Romans 1:18-19).

With this in mind, I pray that we who preach the gospel to the lost would remember that people can get upset with the gospel or with God but let it be because of the truth of the gospel and not us that make them mad.  In other words, yelling a person or simply calling them names is not befitting for the disciple.  I seek to be a 2 Timothy 2:24-26 model when it comes to evangelism.  2 Timothy 2:24-26 reads (NIV):

24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

Notice verse 25.  Opponents are to be gently instructed.  This is not yelling at them.  Pointing a finger at them.  Accusing them.  This is preaching the gospel to the them in grace and love.  1 Peter 3:15-16 (NIV) expounds:

15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

Notice that Peter the Apostle says that we are to give our answer for the gospel with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience.  And he adds that people are to see our good behavior in Christ.  I pray that the crowds who hear us preach in the open air would see our good behavior in Christ as we deal with mockers.  I pray that those whom we give out tracts to would see our gentleness and respect.  I pray that those who are offended would be offended at the gospel and not at us.

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:21 that God saves people through the folly of what we preach.  Let that be true.  May it not that people see us as the folly by our actions.  They may think the gospel foolish and they may think we are foolish for preaching, handing out tracts, standing with a cross, etc. but let it be the gospel that they find foolish and perhaps our actions for the gospel but not our own foolishness in our yelling, hurling insults, etc.

I write this because I rejoice that so many people are now rising up to preach the gospel in the open air.  There are more street preachers today than ever.  More people are going out to hand out tracts.  I rejoice that there are many people who are becoming passionate to share the gospel with the lost.  But let it be that our hearts are broken for the lost (Romans 10:1) and that our burden comes from the Lord (Matthew 9:37-38).  Let it not be our pride that drives us out to preach.  Let it not be our own self-righteousness that drives us out to preach.  Let us plead with the lost through tears.  Let us preach the gospel and leave the results to the Lord.  Let us exalt Christ and not ourselves in our preaching and pleading (2 Corinthians 4:5).  Oh may people leave our preaching angry at God or angry at the gospel but let them not take offense because of our actions toward them!  Let us preach the gospel remembering that we too once were just as lost, just as dead in our sins, just as blinded as they are now (2 Corinthians 4:4; Titus 3:1-3).  It was the mercy of God that saved us (Ephesians 2:4).  Take no pride in your salvation but humble yourself before the Lord (Romans 11:20-22).  Remember your chains that He broke off.  Don’t allow pride to rob you of exalting Christ even in the midst of harsh opposition to the gospel (1 Peter 4:12-19).

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  1. I love your passion on this topic. I’ve been wanting to get out witnessing for too long and I think the Lord is really working me over because the urge to tell others just keeps growing. It’s been several years since I went to the streets regularly, and that was with my Calvinist brothers. I have no Arminian friends to preach with, so I’ll probably join my Calvinist friends.

    Now Dimly

    07/06/2014 at 7:23 AM

    • Amen brother. The same is true for me. I have a few Arminian friends where I live but oddly they don’t go out witnessing. It is my Calvinist brothers who do and I join with them in sharing our faith. Thankfully they preach the gospel just like I do though we would differ behind the scenes. I am friends with them and seek to demonstrate John 13:34-35 with all disciples. Sometimes that is easier said than done. 🙂

      • Were you ever a part of The Great News Network when it was around? I did an Evangelism Bootcamp with them in 2006–awesome stuff. And check this out, I brought my tracts with me to church today and ended up in a good conversation with a guy who said he didn’t think he was ready for Jesus’ return. Got to share about the law and grace and hope to talk more. Then my five year old said he wanted to know Jesus during communion, so That opened the door for some good discussion today. Feeling charged!

        Now Dimly

        07/06/2014 at 2:17 PM

      • I was not. Awesome to hear about the gospel conversations! I pray for fruit.

      • Thanks. What state do you love in, just curious if you’re near Ohio?

        Now Dimly

        07/07/2014 at 11:17 AM

      • South Carolina.

      • Darn, nowhere close!

        Now Dimly

        07/07/2014 at 10:19 PM

      • Only in spirit (1 Cor. 5:4). 🙂

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