Why the Cross is so Difficult for the Unbeliever to Accept

the-crossNo one can say that spreading the gospel to the ends of the earth is easy. Today is arguably one of the most dangerous periods in the history of the Christian Church for believers. The simple act of witnessing or attempting to bring people to Christ is punishable by death, imprisonment and/or torture in 51 countries. Even countries which are supposed to be religiously tolerant oftentimes are anything but. In our own country the simple act of worshiping Christ is looked upon with scorn and disdain. Christians in the United States are laughed at and ridiculed for simply trying to save people from an eternity separated from God. The question is “why?” Why is a gift of salvation and atonement for sin so difficult for the unbeliever to accept? Why is it whenever Christians are portrayed on television or in movies they are used as the butt of jokes or for mockery?  Why don’t people come running to Jesus? Having grown up and lived the majority of my adult life as an atheist, I feel that I can explain what my thought processes were prior to finding Jesus Christ and accepting him as my Lord and Savior. Take this as a brief glimpse into what you are facing when you step out into the battlefield for the souls of your friends, family and neighbors.

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. – 1 Corinthians 2:14

hard-heartIn this verse we learn the reason why there is so much distrust and unwillingness to even listen to us when we witness. I have first hand knowledge of what this means because I lived it for over 30 years of my life. Unless you have the Holy Spirit in your heart, none of the Gospel makes any sense. To the unbeliever, the Bible is simply rubbish and makes as much sense as a science fiction novel. It is simply words on a page. Additionally, whether it is the enemy affecting their thought processes or something that is less nefarious, the unbeliever’s view of Christians and their desire to save them is condemnation rather than a desire to protect them from an eternity in hell. When you tell an unbeliever that Jesus loves them and wants them to find forgiveness for their sins, all they hear is that you think that they are sinful. If you say that we are broken and that we need a Savior to gain salvation, all they hear is that we believe they are bad human beings. In a world that values the temporal, the concept that we need our Heavenly Father for anything angers the unbeliever.  The only strength that they understand is that which comes from themselves, which deep in their heart, they know is insufficient.

I have no doubt that my path to finding Jesus was directly caused by God intervening on my behalf, because the way I lived my life previous to that intervention contained nothing but hatred for Christians. My heart was so hardened that there would have been no possibility for me to even come close to accepting this precious gift of salvation without Jesus interceding for me. I believe that every man and woman on this planet feels the pull of God. They all feel that there is something missing in their lives and attempt to fill it with sexual immorality, drug use and pointless and purposeless endeavors. They know that there is something more to this life, but they don’t make the connection between what is offered by Jesus and their inability to find true joy. Those who do not know God, though they would never admit it, are jealous. You’ll hear such things as “I wish I could believe that nonsense” or “I wish I could believe that there is a heaven, but I live in a world of logic.” They have no clue that the emptiness in their hearts is there because God placed it there.

swordwordThis article is not meant to discourage, but to give you a glimpse as to how difficult yet how rewarding it can be when you witness to the lost. It might seem that you are talking to a wall and that it is completely pointless, but take it from a person who lived almost his entire life without God in his life, it is needed. If it wasn’t for people like you that God placed in front of me I would never have found salvation. Allow yourself to be a tool of God and to allow yourself to be placed in front of those people who so desperately need you even though they don’t know it. It is unlikely that they will find God at that specific moment but it is all about planting the seed of faith. For me, it took more than seven years to soften my heart enough to allow the crack in my armor that would usher in the Holy Spirit into my heart. Because that is all it takes. Those cracks in the armor require many blows from the sword of your testimony and your witness. Get swinging.

Michael Davis
Senior Editor of Veterans to Christ. Served as a Cavalry Scout from 2005-2009. Iraq Veteran.