Noah, commanded by God in light of the pending judgement, preached for 120 years with zero converts outside of his immediate family. That’s exactly seven people in 120 years. Jeremiah, who was 17 when God called him to preach to the southern kingdom (tribes of Judah and Benjamin), preached for 40 years with no success. Jesus said that a prophet has no honor in his own country (John 4:44), and he also lamented “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her!” (Matthew 23:37).
John chapter 6:65-66 records this: And He [Jesus] was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.
In John 15:18-19 Jesus informs us: “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.”
What is my point? People hate the truth. This is seen throughout the Biblical account. The prophets in the Old Testament, who were rejected and killed for the truth they were commanded to deliver. Jesus, the awaited Messiah, the Son of God, was rejected by His hometown and largely by the nation of Israel who He was sent to. Jesus warns us in the scripture above that the world hated Him first, so we should not be surprised when it hates us too. This is the way of the world, and the foretold expreince of the elect of God. The world will largely reject the truth, and hate those who proclaim it; born again believers are to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, knowing that the world hated Him first, and it will hate us too. Take heart believer, and do not become discouraged. Christ warned us so that we would not be caught off guard. Rather than seeing rejection from the world as failure, we should take it as affirmation. Affirmation that what the Bible says is true and can be relied upon; we are shown to belong to Christ, as He was hated and His followers will be also.
Do we give up on proclaiming truth when there seem to be little to no results for doing so? By no means! Like Peter, we say “to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68) God uses the proclamation of the Gospel by His own to spread the good news, of which there are two results: converts, or condemnation. Efforts for the Gospel are never wasted. Our job is to obey the command to go and make disciples, and to leave the results up to God. Be encouraged today! It can be a lonely path, but it is the only one that leads to salvation and eternal life. Just today, I was reminded by an older brother in the faith that the world hated Him first, and we can expect the same. It was such an encouragment to me and a wonderful reminder. I am passing it on to you, my readers. Likewise, will you go and encourage those brothers and sisters in your sphere of influence today? The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Let us work while it is still day, because night is coming.
Soli Deo Gloria!