Blog Devotionals

Why People Are Openly Hostile to God

March 11, 2024 | Sam Rainer

          In Matthew 10, Jesus sends His disciples to share the good news. In doing so, He tells the disciples the mission will not be easy. Consider some of these warnings Jesus gives them.
“I am sending you out as sheep among wolves.”
“Beware! You may be flogged, arrested, and stand trial.”
“My message will divide families.”
“Nations will hate you because you are my followers.”
“You will be called names.”
“You will be threatened.”

Why are people openly hostile to the gospel? The overarching spiritual reason is our sin nature and how we default to rebellion against God.
“For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never
will.” Romans 8:7 (NLT)

Why are some antagonistic against Christians and the church? We will cover several reasons this Sunday, but we must also consider how the church has unnecessarily hurt people. When the church causes hurt, it pollutes God’s calling and creates a toxicity that works against the gospel. The goal is to minimize church hurt and maximize church unity. Here is reality. Something will happen in almost every church because ministry includes people. How does the church unnecessarily hurt people?

Exclusion: When outsiders are intentionally pushed out.
Hypocrisy: When key leaders act in a way that contradicts what they teach.
Betrayal: When people use trust for their own personal gain.
Gossip: When people share sensitive information to others without permission.
Neglect: When obvious problems are left unattended for long periods of time.
Duplicity: When people intend harm by misrepresenting the truth.
Conflict: When disagreements go unresolved, and no one seeks reconciliation.

Back to Matthew 10. Jesus sends the disciples to share the message of His kingship and gives them a list of things not to bring. It’s a strange irony. Go as ambassadors of the King but do so in poverty. Why does Jesus send them without any provisions? They had His authority and the power to heal people. They could have made a lot of money with this power. Suffering people will pay big money to relieve their pain.
Jesus is reminding them not to abuse what He’s given them. Christ is sufficient, and He alone saves. The disciples were to remain focused only on the good news, which can heal any hurt, no matter how deep.