The Gospel Should Be Preached In and Out of Season Until People “Get It”

December 21, 2013 at 6:42 PM 1 comment

by Fred DeRuvo

cross to eternityWhen I open my email inbox, I invariably have “junk” mail. You probably do as well. It’s easy to simply empty the junk folder without having to read through all the junk. Just click on that folder, click “empty” and poof! it’s all gone without me having to even read any of it. I like it that way. I bet you do as well.

The same applies to my blog here at WordPress. From my dashboard, I can see the number of spam and I need only highlight that folder, click “empty” and poof! all spam is gone without having to waste my time reading any of it or deleting it individually.

Currently, WordPress has captured over 54,000 pieces of spam (comments) for me that I didn’t have to deal with at all. What’s also nice is that, if someone continues to deliberately send spam or inane comments, all I have to do is manually place their email (or IP) address in and future comments automatically go to the spam folder. I never have to deal with them except to take out the trash by emptying that folder every now and again. Out of sight, out of mind, as they say.

Recently, my spam folder collected over 350 spam comments. I highlighted the folder, but this time, prior to simply emptying it, I chose to open it and scroll through the comments, one after another from advertisers and companies that sell the same garbage. I was grateful for the spam protection that WordPress applies to my blog.

As I continued to quickly scroll through the few hundred pieces of spam (over many pages), to my total surprise, on or about the third or fourth page in, I saw a few comments from individuals that I had banished from my site via the spam folder long ago. Though their comments had long ago been relegated to the “spam” folder and stopped being read or even seen by me months prior, these individuals had apparently continued to “post,” believing that I would be forced to read their comments before I manually trashed them (which I hadn’t had to do since I had assigned their IP and/or email address to spam months prior).

Who knows how long they’ve been sending their inane comments my way only for their comments to be automatically directed to my spam folder and flushed without me even setting my eyes on them. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am. I would never continue to do that if someone on a forum had indicated that my comments were no longer welcome, but for some, their hubris dictates their actions.

But besides spam, we’ve all had the annoying telemarketing calls. The scripts were always the same. They always tried to direct the conversation so that you had to answer the way they wanted you to answer. Often, it went something like this, “This is not a sales call. We would like to send you something completely free of charge, so let me just verify your address and we’ll get this out to you immediately. Do you live at such and such?

My answer? “Not interested,” and I would hang up. Eventually, I had to say, “Not interested and please remove me from your list” and then hang up. It’s incredible what it takes to get people to leave you alone, isn’t it? Now, if I continue to receive calls from the same number, I simply don’t answer.

There is only one thing in life that is worth hearing over and over again until people “get it.” That is the gospel. There is no other source of salvation except Jesus Christ and He makes that very clear in John 14. He and He alone is the way, the truth, and the life and no one (NO ONE) comes to the Father except through Him. How does one do that? By believing that He is who He says He is and that He has existed before all time and because of His life without sin, His sacrificial death, and His resurrection, salvation is available to all.

I realize there are plenty of people who do not believe that Jesus is God the Son. There are numerous examples of people like that in Scripture too, who denied He was anything special, until God opened their eyes. When that happened, they saw the truth and their accountability became much greater with that revelation. Many embraced that truth, though many more rejected it.

Jesus Himself stated “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day,” (John 6:44). We don’t like to hear that, do we? It’s again due to our arrogance. We want to think we can puzzle through all things. Jesus says we can’t.

The one thief on the cross initially rejected truth, but then something happened and his eyes were suddenly opened to the reality of who Jesus was (and remains). For him, that truth prompted its embrace. He began to understand that He needed someone outside of himself to gain what he most desperately needed: salvation eternally.

There are so many things in this life that simply waste our time. They have nothing to offer us except false promises and fool’s gold, yet we tend to dwell on them too much. We should be considering what happens after our death. We should be considering what Scripture tells us about God and His willingness to sacrifice Himelf on Calvary’s cross in order that we might have life leading to eternal salvation now.

We learn a great deal from Ezekiel and how he was to approach the people of Israel. God told him that it was his responsibility to tell the people of Israel what would happen to them if they failed to listen and repent. Ezekiel was to tell them whether or not they responded obediently to his message.

“As for them, whether they listen or not– for they are a rebellious house– they will know that a prophet has been among them,” (Ezekiel 2:5). They would know because everything that Ezekiel would warn them about would come true and they would not be able to deny it.

I can empty my junk mailbox. I can eliminate spam with one click of a button in WordPress. I can hang up on telemarketers. I can even do my utmost to ignore God.

The problem is that by ignoring God, I am ignoring the most important gift ever offered: salvation. Whether the world likes it or not, the gospel must be preached in and out of season. We do not know when someone will hear what we say or see what we do and God will choose at that moment to open their eyes to the truth.

It is most definitely worth the redundancy. Preach the gospel in and out of season, whether people listen or not. Hopefully, they will.

Entry filed under: Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation.

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1 Comment

  • 1. libslayer2013  |  December 22, 2013 at 6:06 AM

    Wonderful analogy using spam folder vs gospel message.

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