The dictionary says that to "respond" means "to answer - in any way, to return an answer, or to act in response."
The Bible describes several different responses that people have made to the gospel of Jesus Christ and THEY HAVE NOT ALL BEEN POSITIVE!
In Acts, chapter 7, Stephen testified of Jesus Christ the Messiah and was KILLED for his efforts. Notice: Stephen's "words stung them to fury and they ground their teeth at him in rage" (v. 54, Phillips translation). "Then they mobbed him, putting their hands over their ears, and drowning out his voice with their shouts, and dragged him out of the city to stone him" (v.v. 57-58, LB).
In the New Testament, Jesus told a group of people one time, "You are trying to kill me - all because I told you the truth I heard from God" (Jn. 8:40, LB).
In Acts 24:24-25, a man named Felix heard the apostle Paul speak of the Christian faith and basically said, "GET OUT OF HERE I DON'T WANT TO HEAR ANYMORE!"
One day, I prayed over a few names in the Colorado Springs phone book and sent a personal letter to these individuals. I described a miracle that God had done within our family. I also asked these individuals to consider the claims of Jesus Christ.
I received a phone call at my home from a lady named "Carol" who immediately began to revile me and tell me that I can't get away with this. I had hoped that if she had hardened herself to Jesus Christ and His claims that she could have thrown my letter away, just as she would do with anything that she considered to be junk mail. But no, she would not be content until she had threatened me with going to jail.
I thought at this point, "Is this gospel true?" "Yes it is, and anyone will get the same response at some time if you are willing to tell others about it!" (See Matthew 5:10-12).
Have you ever thought of what makes people respond in a negative way to the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Yet others, after hearing the good news of Jesus death for our sins, have said, "How can I respond? What shall I do?" (See Acts 2:37-38).
One man said, "Here is some water, What keeps me from being baptized?" (See Acts 8:35-38).
A jailer said to the apostle Paul, "What must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:29-31).
A rich man asked Jesus, "Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" (Mk. 10:17).
A thief cried out, "Lord, remember me when you enter into your Kingdom." And Jesus said, "Today (at your death) you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:42-43).
A tax collector humbled himself before God, beat his breast, and cried, "God be merciful to me a sinner!" And God accepted Him, forgave his sins and declared him in right relationship with God.
WHAT WILL BE YOUR RESPONSE? Will you be like the man who said to himself, "You have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Wine, women, and song for you!" But God said to him, "Fool! Tonight you die. Then who will get it all?" (Luke 12:19-20, LB).
I don't have to talk to you, or give you this pamphlet and risk your rejection. But I will, because I love you and am willing to seek your welfare (what's best for you), regardless of how you treat me. Your real response will be to God, not to me. Which of the responses that the Scripture declares will you make?
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Tract No. 13 by Don Krow