The blindness of unbelievers in no way detracts from the clearness of the gospel, for the sun is no less resplendent because the blind do no perceive it.
If there is any truth in Scripture at all, this is true – that those who stubbornly refuse to submit to the gospel, and to love and obey Jesus Christ, incur at the Last Advent an infinite and irreparable loss. They will pass into a night on which no morning dawns.
Without the black backdrop of our sinful nature and its consequences (God’s wrath), the gospel is a big yawn.
Why do men not accept the gospel? How can they refuse the tender overtures of the gracious Son of God? Why do they even take offense at the cross? Let us consider an analogy. An etiquette book is a very valuable accessory. It is useful on many important occasions. A good one costs considerable money. Who would not be glad to have one, if it were given him? You wouldn’t? Why wouldn’t you be glad to be given such a book? Because it would imply you needed it! That is the reason proud sinners do not come to Christ. Their coming would imply they needed Him. They are too proud and self-righteous in their natural state to admit that!
The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time.
There is something essentially wrong with a man who calls himself a Christian and who can listen to a truly evangelistic sermon without coming under conviction again, without feeling something of his own unworthiness, and rejoicing when he hears the Gospel remedy being presented.
The issue is not the skill of the one proclaiming the message, the packaging of the message, or the technique used in proclaiming it. The issue is the condition of the hearer. Jesus illustrated that principle in the parable of the sower. The same message (the seed) is proclaimed by the same individual (the sower); the only variable is the condition of the four soils. What is essential for the messengers of the gospel is not cleverness but clarity. Only God can open the sin-blinded eyes of those who are “dead in [their] trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1; cf. v. 5; Matt. 8:22; Eph. 4:18).
Indifference is as damning as hostility. To reject the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ will render you as guilty as if you pounded the nails into His hands.
One of the reasons teenagers are not excited about the gospel is that they do not think they need it. Many parents have successfully raised self-righteous little Pharisees. When they look at themselves, they do not see a sinner in desperate need, so they are not grateful for a Savior (Timothy Lane and Paul David Tripp).
The gospel does not say, “There is a Savior, if you wish to be saved;” but, “Sir, you have no right to go to hell — you cannot go there without trampling on the Son of God” (John Duncan).
[T]he sober truth is that without a full disclosure on sin, the gospel of grace becomes impertinent, unnecessary, and finally uninteresting.
Explain the Gospel as perfectly as possible and they sadly just do not see it. The problem is not necessarily the presenter. The problem is definitely not the Gospel! Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:4 that the Gospel is “the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” That’s impressive, as good as it gets! But because of the spiritual blindness of the individual (2 Cor. 4:3-4), unable to see the Gospel’s greatness, there is simply no desire without God’s enabling power. And add to the blindness, a spiritually dead heart (Eph. 2:1), and there is absolutely no way a person on his or her own will ever desire Jesus Christ. In other words, people are not blinded because they chose to renounce the Gospel. Rather people renounce the Gospel because they are blinded by the evil one.
Oh, what would the damned in hell give for a sermon, could they but listen once more! They would consent, if it were possible, to bear ten thousand years of hell’s torments, if they might but once more have the Word presented to them! If I had a congregation such as that would be, of men who have tasted the wrath of God, of men who know what an awful thing it is to fall into the hands of an angry God, how would they lean forward to catch every word.
If you do get lost, some of you will have to wade through your mother’s tears and leap over your father’s prayers and your minister’s entreaties. You will have to force a passage through the warnings of godly people and the examples of pious relatives. Why this effort to destroy your own souls?