OK, I’ve heard a false statement over and over in reference to evangelism, that when someone rejects the gospel, “…they’re not rejecting you. They’re rejecting Jesus.”
There’s one BIG problem with that. I believe that the people who say it are well-intentioned and that they’re not bad people – they’re just wrong.
Philippians 3:17 “…that I may know him, in the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his suffering, being conformed to the image of his death.”
When you put on the shoes of the gospel of peace, they’re not custom fit. They usually come in one size too small or too big and come with stones inside that cannot be removed.
It’d be nice to pick up the shoe off of your foot and shake it of all debris, but that is not living in the power of his resurrection, or the fellowship of his suffering, or being conformed to the image of his death.
“Evangelists” that opt for the F350 Diesel with Egyptian leather seats style of evangelism, as opposed to the rusty Ranger with no exhaust and a homemade flat-bead, do themselves and others a disservice by avoiding the cross at all costs. (This is an illustration of a metaphor of evangelism and NOT about the kind of car you drive. Drive whatever you like!)
There’s a reason Jesus was born in a feeding trough. It’s the same reason the angelic host of heaven brought glad tidings of great joy to the outliers of society.
If you want to avoid all suffering but still want to share the gospel, you can’t really call yourself an evangelist. There’s a difference in being a travel agent and a tour guide of the gospel. Travel agents can give you directions to the beach while tour guides have been on the high seas of devotion.
This isn’t a rant to shame anyone but an invitation to a deeper life in Christ. Considering all that Christ has already done for us, and continues to do for us, and will continue to do for us, isn’t it reasonable to accept rejection by others for Christ’s sake?
You can’t carry the cross without splinters, and you can’t evangelize while avoiding the stones in the shoes of the gospel of peace.