How Responsible Are We When the World Rejects Our Message?

It is a humble impulse to feel that our weak effect on people is our own fault. And it may often be true. There are character traits in speakers that God uses to overcome resistance in hearers (Acts 11:24; Matthew 5:16).

But we must not bear more than we should. Not all rejection of us and our message is our fault. The apostle John writes,

The reason why the world does not know us
is that it did not know him. (1 John 3:1)

John does not say: The reason the world does not know us is that we are hypocrites, or that our contextualization is inadequate.

He says: If the world rejected Jesus, the perfect manifestation of love, then there are times it will reject us, precisely because our message and manner are getting close to Christ’s.

Keep the humble reaction. But balance it with this truth, lest you despair and give up speaking.

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.