Who Has Believed Our Report
Bill had preached his heart out, had given his all, and for what? Apparently, nothing, because not one person in the congregation that night responded to his altar call. By all appearances, no one had even been phased by his message. There was no uneasy shifting in seats, no downcast eyes, no tears shed, nothing. What hurt was, this wasn’t the first time it happened.
Early that next morning, he ended up spilling out his pain and frustration to the Lord while pacing the motel parking lot because the friend he travelled with was still asleep in their room. “Lord, I preach your Word. I give altar calls, and no one comes forward to give their heart to you. I don’t understand.”
My guess is that Isaiah felt something similar when he penned the verse; Who has believed our report and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? [i] In fact, we’ve all experienced that same low at some point in time. We’ve sown our seeds of God’s Word, shared our faith in Jesus Christ, lived as epistles of Christ, given our all so that others might know Christ. And still there’s little evidence that they believed our report. [ii]
To those who are perishing, the message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified is foolish, scandalous, offensive, absurd. [iii] His story makes absolutely no sense to their natural minds. How could someone’s life and death almost two thousand years ago possibly hold any relative significance today? Jesus was just another name on a branch of the Jewish family tree. There was nothing aesthetically pleasing about him, nothing out of the ordinary that made him worth admiring. He was some deluded soul whose preposterous claims sealed his death on a cross with the other riffraff of society. [iv]
Their disbelief doesn’t nullify the absolute truth that Jesus is God's Son as He claims. His suffering and death on that cross was and is wiser than the whole of man's philosophical wisdom. [v] His humble sacrifice that breaks the yoke of sin was and is stronger than man’s enslavement to sin. And we get to preach that message with confidence because we believed the report and know through personal experience the Power and Wisdom of God who saves our souls. [vi]
So, what was God’s response that morning to Bill’s complaint? “I didn’t tell you they would come forward in your altar calls, I told you to preach the Word.”
God in all His wisdom is pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. We plant. We water. God does the rest. [vii]
Take courage and keep your hands to the gospel plow. God is perfectly able to convince others to believe. He convinced us, didn’t He?
[i] Isaiah 53:1 [ii] Matthew 13:24; Ecclesiastes 11:6; 1 Peter 3:15; 2 Timothy 1:8; Mark 16:15; 2 Corinthians 3:2; 1 Corinthians 9:22 [iii] 1 Corinthians 1:18, 23 AMP [iv] Isaiah 53:2, 9; Isaiah 52:13–15 [v] 1 Corinthians 1:20–21; 1 Corinthians 3:19 [vi] 1 Corinthians 1:24; 2 Corinthians 4:13; Romans 1:15–16 [vii] 1 Corinthians 1:21; 1 Corinthians 3:6–10