Opposition to the Gospel
Dr. Tom Walker
I believe the Lord would have us to see why some people are opposed to the Gospel of Christ. 1 Corinthians 16:9 says, “For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.” The Apostle Paul lets us know where there are open doors, there will be adversaries.
An adversary is simply one who offers opposition; one who as an enemy has enmity at heart. Satan is referred to as an adversary in the Scriptures. 1 Peter 5:8 warns us– “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
You would think that everyone should have believed the Gospel and desired others to believe it. But, it is not that way. Some folks have not believed the Gospel, have not received Christ as Savior, and continue on with opposition to the Gospel of Christ.
Philippians 1:28 tells us: “And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.” Paul the Apostle wrote to the Philippians believers and encouraged them not to be terrified by their adversaries. That word “terrified” in Philippians 1:28 comes from a word that has the idea of causing to fall or causing one to fly away. It points to one being scared. The believer is not to be intimidated by those who oppose the message he has to preach. Instead of being scared, panicky, or shaken, the one who has his or her faith in Christ, should be brave, bold, courageous, confident and encouraged.
If you recall from the Book of Nehemiah, Nehemiah went to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall. That was a good thing to do because their enemies had brought ruin to the wall. Even though they should have been commended and praised for doing such a thing, there were those who opposed them. Tobiah the Ammonite said, “ Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall (Nehemiah 4:3). How insulting to Nehemiah and his helpers to make such an offensive, ridiculous statement! You can be sure that anyone who does something good and for God or His people will have his or her critics. Even though they may arise, we need the attitude the man of God had when he said, “ I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?” (Neh.6:3). He would not allow his adversaries to stop him from doing what God had called him to do. In Nehemiah’s mind, he was not about to cease the work just to please a few adversaries.
We need to remember what Nahum 1:2 teaches us: “God is jealous, and the Lord revengeth; the Lord revengeth, and is furious; the Lord will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.” Spending too much time overly concerned about your adversaries as you do God’s will, is not worth your time. Why do men oppose the Gospel of Christ? Here are a few suggestions why.
There are some people who are not searching for the truth. They have been taught something in opposition to what the Bible really teaches. For instance, Mark 7:8-9 says, “For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.”
Tradition can be defined as: “The delivery of opinions, doctrines, practices, rites, and customs from father to son, or from ancestors to posterity; the transmission of any opinions or practice from forefathers to descendants by oral communication.”
A child can be taught the wrong thing. There is nothing wrong with holding to what you have been taught unless it is contradictory to God’s truth as revealed in the Scriptures. We must face the fact that the Word of God can be wrongly divided. Any interpreter of the Bible should rightly divide the Word of Truth.
Some people are taught repentance and faith in the Gospel is not enough. They must include their personal works to keep them saved and to maintain their spiritual relationship with God. To arrive at that conclusion, one has failed to look at the context of the Bible verses they are trying to interpret. Verses must be interpreted in their verse, chapter, book, and whole Bible context.
The Gospel of Christ is a holy message that leads to holy living. John 3:19-21 gives us light on this matter: “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
Many will not believe the Gospel because they love sin more than they love God. The sinner does not want to stop lying, stop sleeping around with the same sex or the opposite sex, and be held to God’s moral and righteous standards. The lost person does not want to be accountable to God. He wants to live according to the dictates of his own heart rather than what the Bible teaches.
Some will not believe the Gospel because it brings about a change of life, a holy life, and leads to a confession and forsaking of a sinful lifestyle.
Just because the majority of people will not allow the Gospel of Christ to change their lives, does not mean that should be your attitude. The majority is not always right. In fact, Dr. Vance Havner calls the saints of God the “Master’s minority.”
Psalm 1:1 says “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners…”
Just because someone else is going the wrong way, does not mean that you should go the same way. People not only make choices from peer pressure, some people even buy out of the same. High tech products such as cell phones, video games, and other similar items are examples. Because so many young people have cell phones, all of them want a cell phone.
The dedicated Christian must be devoted to Christ. If the majority around you do not feel that way, don’t let the pressure your peers put upon you make you go any other way than the way of the cross. If others around you want to rob and steal, you should not allow their lifestyles and practices affect what you believe about the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Luke 24:25-26 says, “Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?”
Some are slow to believe but finally do after being convicted of sin by the Holy Ghost. There are others who will not believe Christ and His Gospel. They go to the grave rejecting the good news of the Gospel and its claims. The result of unbelief is banishment from all that is good and holy in a place called Hell forever.
We who know and believe the truth about Jesus and what He has done for us love the truth of God and will stand for it until our earthly life is over.
Dr. Tom Walker is President of Foothills Bible College and Pastor of Zion Hill Baptist Church in Marion, NC.