When Good News Provokes A Negative Response
By Teri Gasser
“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21
“I’m not hostile against the Bible!” my dad hollered, his face red and neck veins throbbing.
How did our pleasant visit erupt into this angry response?
My parents, husband, and I sat silently, staring at the floor. This was not the answer to prayer my husband Bill and I expected as we prepared to share the Good News of Christ. The anger displayed by my dad hurt.
Was this what Jesus felt?
Not everyone Jesus spoke to received His message with joy. The religious elders of His time got angry at Him, too. They rejected Him and labeled Him illegitimate (John 8:37-41). They even sought to kill Him. Eventually they succeeded. So, we shouldn’t be surprised when we suffer rejection and persecution for our beliefs. Jesus warned this would happen (see John 15:18-20).
When this occurs, we can look to the example Jesus set. How did He respond to hostility?
First, He didn’t change His message. Nor did He yell and get in peoples’ faces? Instead, He spoke the truth in love. When He encountered enmity, He graciously withdrew. With all the power of God at His disposal He never forced Himself on anyone.
Sitting with my family, Bill and I knew we had to do the same. We couldn’t leave because my parents were visiting us. Instead, we refrained from arguing and changed the subject. Our suffering for Jesus sake, in America, has been minimal. At one point my dad refused to speak to us for six months because Bill left a track for him to read, but I’ve met Jesus followers in India who’ve been beaten and shot at. These faithful believers don’t cower. They keep speaking truth in love—like Jesus did.
What persecution have you endured for the Gospel? How does Jesus’ example help you? Continue sharing the Gospel with confidence, knowing Christ endured rejection, too.
Like Ezra, Teri Gasser has a “heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes. . .” (Ezra 7:10, esv). She’s been married over thirty years, has four grown children, and adores her grandchildren. Her passion is to see women transformed by truth. Teri Gasser serves as the Director of Women’s Bible Studies at Grace Baptist Church in Manhattan, Kansas. She’s also a pastor’s wife, Bible study leader, speaker, and writer. She hopes to have her first book published soon. Visit her online at Terigasser.com.
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