What do you do in the face of gospel rejection?
This question haunted me on a recent short-term trip to South Asia. We’d shared the good news from house to house for a day with little receptivity.
Was there something wrong with our opening line? Is there a better, more culturally relevant version of the gospel? Why don’t they understand following Jesus is an individual choice, not a family decision?
The questions from our team seemed to come rapid fire. Then we were silenced by this scripture.
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” -Isaiah 55:10-11
It’s here that I again realized my role in the call of missions—a mailman responsible to deliver the message and unable to control whether the envelope is opened. That’s God’s job, and I’m learning He’s the best at it.
But that still doesn’t seem to fully satisfy me when I think about the people handed envelopes they have little desire to open. The forecast of their lives is still grim. Where’s the hope in that?
These same verses speak to that dilemma too.
“…my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” -Isaiah 55:11
The good news is that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). His Name is Jesus and He sealed the only path to eternal life through the cross and resurrection. There’s no other Name tied to salvation (Acts 4:12). And His salvation is inclusive to all who choose to believe in Him as Savior and Lord of their lives.
The gospel is the power of salvation to all who believe (Romans 1:16). It goes forth and doesn’t return void. If you’re a follower of Jesus, your life is proof of that. If its saving power is true for you, it can be true for someone else—in a quiet suburb of the United States or hidden village in the Himalayan mountains.
So take courage, do your job, and rest, friends.
Whether you face countless rejections or experience abundant harvest, the gospel seed is good. God will use it to achieve His purpose—His glory filling the world like water in the sea (Habakkuk 2:14).