John 1:9-13 HCSB The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. (10) He was in the world, and the world was created through Him, yet the world did not recognize Him. (11) He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. (12) But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name, (13) who were born, not of blood, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.
The fallen world order does not acknowledge or receive Christ and the New Testament, and particularly Paul gives us a variety of reasons such as: own fleshly inclinations, wrong teaching, our fallen nature, the Devil’s blinding of the heart, Jewish legalism, cultural and spiritual strongholds, and human ignorance, pride and folly. I have listed some verses on this topic below:
WHY PEOPLE REFUSE TO RECEIVE CHRIST
Romans 8:7 HCSB For the mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God's law, for it is unable to do so.
1 Corinthians 1:18-25 HCSB (18) For to those who are perishing the message of the cross is foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is God's power.
1 Corinthians 2:14 HCSB (14) But the natural man does not welcome what comes from God's Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to know it since it is evaluated spiritually.
2 Corinthians 3:14 HCSB (14) But their minds were closed. For to this day, at the reading of the old covenant, the same veil remains; it is not lifted, because it is set-aside only in Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 HCSB (3) But if, in fact, our gospel is veiled; it is veiled to those who are perishing. (4) Regarding them: the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 HCSB (4) since the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments (5) and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
Ephesians 2:1-3 HCSB And you were dead in your trespasses and sins (2) in which you previously walked according to this worldly age, according to the ruler of the atmospheric domain, the spirit now working in the disobedient. (3) We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and by nature we were children under wrath, as the others were also.
Ephesians 4:17-18 HCSB Therefore, I say this and testify in the Lord: You should no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their thoughts. (18) They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts.
Colossians 1:21 HCSB And you were once alienated and hostile in mind because of your evil actions.
This is a convincing enough lists of verses – some folks are perishing in stubborn unbelief and spiritual blindness. Such people need a lot of patient prayer and witnessing if they ever are to believe. I was an anti-Christian atheist prior to being saved and many thought I could not be saved – but nevertheless God “got me”.
Yet we need to put an end to Pollyanna views such as: “If we just preach the gospel everyone will believe.” If Jesus Himself could not get everyone to believe, even with all the miracles He performed and His wisdom, love and grace - then we need to accept that this is “something fundamental” in humanity. In fact there are almost two types of people “those who are perishing” and “those who are being saved” and it is seems that it is with difficulty that many of those who are perishing find Christ.
One reason that the world does not acknowledge Christ because the “ruler of this world” is the Devil (1 John 5:18,19) and he has absolutely zero intention of letting this world be released into the freedom of the sons of God. (Romans 8:19-25)
Therefore intercession and spiritual warfare must precede evangelism if the Devil’s grip on fallen humanity is to be broken. Much prevailing prayer has preceded every great revival – (see Dr. Stewart Robinson’s excellent review article Praying the Price of Revival https://globalchristians.org/prayer/payprice.htm ) and here is a link on Prayer Evangelism: https://globalchristians.org/articles/prayer_evangelism.htm
The natural human mind is not a level playing field. It does not naturally think the thoughts that accompany salvation. It rushes into folly and gossip and pornography and tabloid rubbish and totally ignores, ridicules and dismisses the deep things of God.
Humanism, which almost deifies the natural human intellect, is without a good explanation for the lust, cruelty, evil, folly, and madness of humanity. Humanism can never properly explain Auschwitz or Rwanda or the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
The world did not acknowledge Jesus, His own received Him not, yet some did believe and He gave them the power to become sons of God. That is the power to be eternal beings of great glory and authority.
The basis of this sonship is being “born of God”, that is a spiritual birth that comes from God, not a literal or physical birth from mankind or the human will (see John 3:1-18). In the new birth we are born as eternal spiritual beings, who are citizens of Heaven (Ephesians 2:19, Philippians 3:20), and are seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6, 1:20).
The world can give us all sorts of other powers – the power to earn money or the power to be famous or the power to rule nations, but only Jesus Christ can give us the eternal and holy power that will last forever, the power to become a son of God.
Blessings in Jesus,