“. . . the crowds were giving attention to what was said . . .” Acts 8:6
Truth cuts both ways. When Peter had preached his sermon at Pentecost, the listeners were immediately convicted and cried out for direction saying, “What shall we do?” When Stephen delivered essentially the same message, his audience was offended. They gashed their teeth at him, covered their ears and stoned him to death.
Wherever the truth in Jesus is proclaimed with faithfulness and power, the choice to receive or reject Jesus will always be present. The gospel is either life or death to those who hear it, it either saves or kills them. Either way, after hearing the message of Jesus no one can ever remain neutral.
This is the test of our witness and words both as Christians and as a community of faith. If someone can sit in our presence, in our place of worship, hear the truth of Jesus, and be intrigued, amused, and entertained, but remain unstirred then something is missing from our message.
Designing truth to our liking is dangerous. Cold intellectual truth puffs up the mind, imaginative truth lulls one into a false sense of security, doctrinal truth creates confrontation. The message of Jesus applies to the induction of the heart. It’s the gospel balm of redemption and all that goes in to make up God’s offer of pardon and peace.
The word of God by its nature is sharper than a two-edged sword. It divides the matters of the soul and the things of the Spirit from the presence of sin from which our ears of faith have been deadened. If the good news ceases to be good to those who hear it, it’s not the fault of the listener. It’s that we’ve thrown the cold water of boredom onto the burning fire of that by which salvation is found.
Today stir your Spirit anew by asking yourself these questions: Is the word of Jesus fresh and alive to you? Are you hungering for His Presence? Is your communication with Jesus open active and alive?