They displease God and are hostile to everyone 16 in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last. 1 Thessalonians 2:15-16 NIV
Joining another church or switching denominations was rare when I was a child. We passed one church on the left side of the road every Sunday. I think I have only been in it once, and that was for a funeral. A deep seated loyalty for your church, for your denomination, for your theology kept the walls for disunity firmly established.
There were always some Jews that hated the gospel message. Even though the message was about serving God, it did not fit their framework. They wanted people to convert to Judaism as the way to be a follower of God. Gentiles who were not circumcised were especially offensive to them. They felt justified in their persecution and hatred for those who were, in their opinion, preaching heresy.
When you engage in evangelism, there will be opposition. You are invading the enemy’s territory and offering the captives the opportunity to be free. You have authority from Jesus to share the message, You have power of the Holy Spirit for boldness to share, and You have the love of the Father deposited in your heart to offer for the genuineness of your message.
As for differences in theology that kept us separated from our brothers in sisters in Christ, the cross pollination over the last 50 years has blurred denominational lines. Theology matters, so does unity in the body of Jesus. May God give us grace to live out the following… In Essentials Unity, In Non Essentials Liberty, In All things Love.
There is a dividing line. Not every road leads to heaven. Jesus is the only way, truth and life to the Father. There is no compromise on that message. However, when that message is communicated with arrogance and without love, we are known more for our divisiveness rather than our devotion of love for one another.
There will be resistance to you sharing the gospel message. That being said, we still need to share instead of retreating back.
- Who needs to know about Jesus in your sphere of influence?
- What obstacles keep you from engaging in that conversation?
- How do you engage in prayer over the person and the circumstances in order to share the life giving message of Jesus?
- Have you experienced hostility toward sharing the message of Jesus? What was the resolution?
For God so loved the world. This world is full of people who are at enmity with God. But, He loves us still. Our heavenly Father demonstrates the model for serving and loving others…He gave us His one and only Son, Jesus. Go and do likewise.
Blessings Love y’all