The Gospel is incredible. It’s life-changing, restorative, healing, what the hungry soul desperately craves and needs. But, the Gospel is also divisive. There’s no getting around it.
We’ve all seen it – a husband who wants to follow Jesus, but the wife will have no part of it. Or a wife who is devoted to the Lord and the husband does everything he can to hold her back. Or teenagers who come back from camp committed to God only to hit the cold negativism of their parents. I’ve seen it many times. Following Jesus can divide families and friends.
That’s what Jesus says:
I have come to divide people against each other! From now on families will be split apart… Father will be divided against son and son against father… (v.51-53)
This is a hard passage for us to understand. I thought Jesus was about love and restoration; putting marriages back together. He is – but the Gospel is not a neutral thing. You are either for it or against. You either receive it or reject it. This topic is emotionally explosive – so this causes division. Many of the wars in the history of the world have been fought over religious issues.
So what should I do? How should I respond?
- Be committed to the Gospel. It’s what matters most in this life (and what follows). Don’t vacillate in any way on this.
- Love people. The command to love people is not based on the opinions they hold or even what they do. Love them genuinely.
- Share the Gospel kindly. Some of the irritation has been caused by us. Know what to say – and HOW to say it.
If someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 16But do this in a gentle and respectful way. 1 Peter 3:15
4. Expect fallout. Expectations are important. Know what to expect. Some will embrace the Gospel – others will reject it.
- Share a story of how you’ve seen this in your life.
- Who have you shared the Gospel with this week? Share the story with us.
By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor