Obstacles to preaching the Good news of Jesus Christ – Part 2

1Thessalonians 2:18Therefore we wanted to come to you–even I, Paul, time and again–but Satan hindered us.

Everything good that God wants to do for us, in us and through us gives the devil belly-ache and he tries his utmost to create hindrances! The devil is aware of the power of the Gospel and the breakthrough it will bring when it is preached. So he subtly throws in obstacles that will seem normal to the spiritually untrained. I will explore some of these obstacles and show you how we can overcome them. Deception is one the devil’s greatest tools. The sad thing about the deceived person is that he thinks he is doing what is right. The actions of a deceived person are right in his own eyes. Yes, a person can be sincere yet deceived.

Wrong methods and tools

This is a major obstacle to getting people to receive the gospel. No matter how good the news you bring, if the method is wrong people are turned off. There is a group of well meaning Christians that use fear, condemnation and scare tactics to bring people to God. They give the full details of hell and the lake of fire. They forget that after the person has been scared into Christ, the seed of condemnation will grow into a mighty tree and the devil will take advantage of this to keep the person down at all time. So, although they have come to Christ, they live under a cloud of condemnation and fear and they become miserable. After a while, such people will say the Christian life is not working for them because they were happier when they were without Christ. These tools of guilt destroy the father–son relationship that God wants to have with each of his children. So be wise. This tool was used among Galatians (Galatians 3) and it caused a major setback in their spiritual walk with God. Friend, there is no amount of good works can qualify anyone for salvation. So don’t try to qualify or disqualify anyone for salvation based on their performance. It will only keep them out of reach of the blessing of the good news of God’s grace.

Bondage of culture and religious beliefs

We need to be wise to differentiate between our personal and traditional cultures and the Bible culture. We need to put things in perspective and prioritise things properly. Each one of us was born into and lives within a culture. Every culture has it strengths and weaknesses. Each culture, in some aspect, could contradict God’s plan; in particular it could hinder the preaching of the good news in one way or another. A good example was in the early church in the book of Acts. Christianity began with the Jews, and then it was taken up by the gentiles. At first, some of the Jewish Christians thought they were the only ones that Jesus came for. They thought that salvation belonged only to the Jews. But to their surprise, when Peter went to the house of Cornelius, the Holy Spirit came upon the gentiles as He had previously come down on the Jewish believers. Before this God had to prevail over Peter before he would even open his mouth to preach the good news to the gentiles. Another issue was that of circumcision; some of the Jews in the early church were of the opinion that for any gentile to enter into covenant with God they must be circumcised after they received Christ and adopt the Jewish lifestyle. These led to a major problem and stalled the gospel for a while in the early church. Everyone’s culture is dear and important to them but God’s culture should stand above our culture so that the gospel is not hindered. Don’t be a slave to culture, be a creator of godly culture.

Further reading

2 Corinthians 2:11, Galatians 3

Personal declaration for the day

Today I will ride above every obstacle in my way and enjoy the good news that Jesus brought for me.

Questions for you to reflect on

Which obstacle do you intend to overcome today?