Acts 26:19-23 :
“Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to them of Damascus, at Jerusalem, and throughout all the country of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance. For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple, and tried to kill me. Having therefore obtained the help that is from God, I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would happen, how the Christ must suffer, and how, by the resurrection of the dead, he would be first to proclaim light both to these people and to the Gentiles.”
Paul’s testimony makes sense. He only did what God told him to do. Not only that, he actually told the Gentiles to “repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance.” Paul knew, based on his study and knowledge of the Bible, that everything he was preaching was “what the prophets and Moses said would happen.”
Paul’s conversation with these non-Christian leaders, demonstrates the problem we all have as believers when we try to communicate God’s truth with unbelievers. Paul’s arguments, no matter how excellent and logical they may be, will always be rejected by people who hold false assumptions about life and what is true. Preaching to the unbelieving requires Jesus to be actively speaking to the hearts of those who hear because they are already believing lies that must be put aside before the simple truth about Jesus can be accepted.
As sinful, self-righteous people, we tend to think that we are neutral and others are not. In reality, neutrality is a myth. We all live with a set of beliefs about life that we defend. We are all dogmatic and we are all fundamentalists according to what we hold to be true. If someone attempts to respond to this by saying, “I am not dogmatic!” it reveals that their dogma is to not believe in dogma, which is self-refuting. When leaders or media declare a “neutral” position, it demonstrates that they are ignorant, hypocritical, or worse. Unfortunately, this kind of deception continues to persist in our day. Jesus, by the Holy Spirit, must influence us enough to hear the truth of what Paul is saying.