Summary: What explanation does the Bible give for why many who are exposed to the gospel don’t receive it?
Why Many Don’t Accept The Good News
The past couple of weeks we have been looking at Romans chapter 10. Two weeks ago we saw how Anyone and Everyone who calls out to the Lord to save them will be saved and will also not be disappointed in the decision that they have made. Last week we re-visited the fact that in order for someone to believe the gospel they have to first hear it. And in order for someone to preach the gospel they have to be sent.
Opening Question: What frustrates and or disappoints you the most? (Allow a few seconds for audience participation)
Nothing can be more frustrating and disappointing than when those you love reject the gospel.
Those of you who are believers know the frustration and disappointment of people you know and love who even after hearing the good news still are not willing to accept it. You have been praying and bringing it up to them for a certain period of time and each time you get rejected. It can be very discouraging. As our text says tonight, “But not all the Israelites accepted the good news.” It was true in the Apostle Paul’s day and it is true in our day too. Paul is using references to Old Testament passages that spoke of Jesus and were fulfilled in his life. Paul is talking about how the good news first came to the Israelites. Jesus who was their very own was rejected by those who should have recognized him as their Messiah. Sadly, many didn’t.
We are blessed to live in a country where the gospel is sooooo available. There are 600 religious radio stations, 450,000 churches and a total of 25% of protestant churches are in this country. What is tragic though is the reality that after age 19, the probability of someone accepting Christ as Savior is just six percent.
What does the Bible tell us about why people don’t accept the gospel?
I want to look at a passage in 2Corinthians 4. “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”
Now it must be noted here that many people don’t accept the gospel because they don’t know they need to. That’s why we must have a passion for missions and taking the gospel beyond these walls.
This passage teaches us that there is a god of this age who is Satan. He is out to keep people (he does all he can to shield) from understanding what the good news (gospel) is all about. We know that the gospel means good news. What is the good news? The rest of the sentence tells us: “…light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.” When a person who is a seeker (not yet a Christian) begins to read the Bible or participate in a Bible study or hear a preacher talking about Jesus there is the imagery here of a light shining on a persons heart…helping them see and understand their need for Christ. When that light begins to shine on their heart there is a hunger there. A yearning for something greater. That is the glory of Christ. Glory is the excellencies and brilliance of Christ. It is who he is and what he promises to do for us. He is all you need and then some. He is powerful. He is provider. He is protector. He is comforter. He is King. He is Savior. He is sensitive. He is seeking after you! He is all that is excellent. He is eternal. He is everything you need! This is the glory of Christ! “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” That’s the glory! But the enemy wants to keep us from seeing the glory of Christ. So if we are not careful he will put blinders on our eyes.
(USE FLASH LIGHT TO ILLUSTRATE THE LIGHT OF THE GOSPEL ON OUR HEARTS) The light illuminates our hearts. It makes us want to look up from where the light is coming from. But the scripture teaches us that the god of this age keeps people from looking to the glory of Christ.
I want to illustrate how Satan blinds a persons eyes to the glory of Christ by reading portions of an interview between beliefnet.com and Marilyn Manson on his religious beliefs. Now, I’m not bashing Marilyn today. I believe what he has to say is no different from “normal” people who reject Christianity for whatever reason. (Interview was taken from www.beliefnet.com)