They don’t like us at all.
JANUARY 12, 2023
They don’t like us at all. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
The deepest message of Jesus and the Bible is the radical grace of God to sinners and sufferers. That’s what Key Life is all about. So, if you’re hungry for the hopeful truth that God isn’t mad at you, keep listening. Steve Brown is a professor and our teacher on Key Life.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible open it to the 19th chapter of the Book of Acts. And this week we’ve been looking at when it’s appropriate not to share the gospel. That doesn’t leave me off the hook and it doesn’t leave you off the hook, but if your time is limited and it is, make sure that you’re sharing the gospel to somebody who cares. Jesus said, if they don’t, if they reject you, you should just shake off the dust from your feet and go to some other place. And we’re putting legs to that by looking at this particular text in the Book of Acts. And if you’ve been listening and you never listen to me. If you’ve been listening, we have seen that you, it is appropriate not to share the gospel in the face of outright stubbornness. Sometimes people just are not going to receive the gospel because they don’t want to give you the pleasure of saying, aren’t you glad? They don’t want that. They want you to leave them alone. I think I told you about Roe Brooks when he was working at Harvard, and I mean, he’s a big guy with a smile, as big as you can believe, and tremendous evangelist. I mean, he talked to anybody he came to and he was walking on the Harvard campus and a young man saw him coming and tried to hide and couldn’t get away. And then he finally said to Roe, when Roe caught up with him. He said, Roe, leave me alone. I know what you’re going to say and I just don’t want to hear it anymore, so leave me alone. And Roe said, okay, he said, let’s pray. And he put his hand on the young man’s shoulder and he said, Father, I’ve got a young man here who never again in his life wants to hear about you. And I asked, and about that time there was a tap on Roe’s should. And he said, Roe hold it. I don’t want to go that far. Well, that kind of stubbornness God can deal with, but the outright stubbornness, Paul says, is one of the reasons not to share the gospel. And then the second reason is unbelief, this is Acts 19: 8 through 9.
And he entered the synagogue and for three months he spoke boldly, arguing and pleading about the kingdom of God. But when some were stubborn and disbelieved,
There you go, both of them. And then it says.
speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, Paul withdrew from them.
Paul believed in aggressive evangelism, but sometimes the hostility and the anger that was expressed as a result of that caused Paul to say, I’m going somewhere else. And you have permission to do that too. They don’t like us. We’re living in a culture that has changed radically. You might want to read Eric Metaxas book Letter to the American Church. I don’t agree with all of that, but I agree with all of the principles in what my friend Eric says in that book. We are not liked in this country, and this is true in Canada. And I suspect if I were an unbeliever I wouldn’t like me either, frankly. Cause if what I’m saying is true and what you are saying is true and what we both believe is true, then people who don’t believe it are in trouble. Matter of fact, the sin of our culture is autonomy. People don’t want there to be a God because if there is a God, then they’re not God and that makes them angry. It’s like sticking a stick in a hornets nest. They just don’t like it. And I get that, I really do. I mean, I understand hostility, which is given when the gospel is given. But when you see that happening, just say, okay, okay, now you need to know my proclivity is to then eat their lunch and I’m good at it. You say, well, that’s pretty arrogant. No, it’s not. It’s what I do for a living. You know, I did for years a forum called Skeptics Forum. That’s where we invited unbelievers, atheists, and agnostics, people who didn’t want to be Christians to come and spend Monday evenings with me over a significant period of time. And I promised them, I’m going to tell you what the Christian faith says about each of the subjects we discuss, and I’m not going to be fanatic about it, I’m not going to beat you over the head with a Bible, and I’m not going to pray for you, at least in your presence. We’ll just have a discussion. And if you’re going to reject this, you ought to know what it is. And so, we had, and I did a number of those. We had a number of people that came who were not believers. And you know what the hardest thing about that time was? It was to keep from saying after one of them had said what they believed, to keep from saying, are you, are you an idiot? Have you never read a book? That is the most sophomore silliest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. And I can’t imagine that an intelligent person would say something that dumb. And you say, well, you lost them all, didn’t you? No, I never said that. I just wanted to say that because some of it was that way. I remember one time at Coral Ridge in the early Evangelism Explosion program, we were sent out to visit homes in the area of people who had visited the church. And I went to a particular home where there were two girls and a guy, and I ate their lunch. I mean, one said, I don’t believe this stuff. And I said, what is it you don’t believe? Maybe we don’t believe the same things. And then we began to talk. And when I turned to one of the girls and away from him, I heard him go phew. I mean, he didn’t want to talk anymore. So, I’m good at this. This is what I do for a living. I know more about religion than you do, but Jesus has let me know that, and a lady who was taking us around for those visits said to me, I guess they won’t ever make fun of the Christian faith again. She said, no, probably not. But I did notice they didn’t come to Christ either, good point. So, I have this thing in me and it’s sinful and I’m not proud of it, to be argumentative, to debate, to win arguments. And I win a lot of them. And Jesus told me to stop it. And I realize that if there’s real hostility, real anger directed at us, and some of the things that are said about Christians and our culture are unbelievably false, like we’re trying to create a theocracy and take away their fun, like we don’t want them to be free to be whoever they, that’s all nonsense. It’s all smoke screen. It’s all not true. But when that hostility is directed at us, find somebody who is not hostile and talk to them about Christ. You have my permission and God’s permission to go somewhere else. It’s important to remember that cause we waste a lot of our time trying to deal with people who are angry and just don’t want to hear anything that we have to say. And so, it’s appropriate then to go somewhere else. Paul was an aggressive evangelist and because he was people got angry and when they were angry enough, he didn’t win the argument, he left the building. He didn’t win the argument. He left the building. Paul said to the Philippians.
For many of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction.
The Brothers Karamazov, the 16th century Cathedral in Seville, Jesus appears to bring joy to the common people and the Grand Inquisitor is upset. He takes Jesus prisoner and asks Jesus why he had the power 1500 years ago, but he didn’t now to perform miracles and mysteries. Now, the Inquisitor said the church has supplied that miracle, mystery and authority. Leave us alone. Go. He says, and come no more, come not at all. Never. Never, never. Jesus left, and we should too sometimes. You think about that. Amen.
And thank you Steve. Remember, if you missed any episodes this week, just drop by keylife.org to stream those. And tomorrow join us for the nearly world famous Friday Q&A with Steve and our friend Pete Alwinson. Well, who is the smartest person you’ve ever met? Well, for me, there’s quite a few, but somewhere on that list would have to be Dr. Hugh Ross. He’s one of our favorite guests on Steve Brown Etc. And when we spoke with him recently, he told us about some really exciting new scientific evidence that strongly points to the idea of a finely tuned universe. A universe created by a loving God. Yeah, pretty much with Dr. Ross on the case, it’s getting harder and harder to be an intellectually honest God denier. If you listen to the show, you’ll see what I mean. Well, actually you can, because we put that episode on a CD that we would be happy to send to you, for free. Just call us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. And if you would like to mail your request, just go to keylife.org/contact to find our mailing addresses. Just ask for your free copy of the CD featuring Dr. Hugh Ross. And finally, a question. Have you ever considered partnering in the work of Key Life through your giving? Giving is easy. You can charge a gift on your credit card. You can include a gift in your envelope. Or just pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950 and then follow the instructions. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.