For when the world with all its earthly wisdom failed to perceive and recognize and know God by means of its own philosophy, God in His wisdom was pleased through the foolishness of preaching [salvation, procured by Christ and to be had through Him], to save those who believed (who clung to and trusted in and relied on Him). 22 For while Jews [demandingly] ask for signs and miracles and Greeks pursue philosophy and wisdom, 23 We preach Christ (the Messiah) crucified, [preaching which] to the Jews is a scandal and an offensive stumbling block [that springs a snare or trap], and to the Gentiles it is absurd and utterly unphilosophical nonsense. 24 But to those who are called, whether Jew or Greek (Gentile), Christ [is] the Power of God and the Wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:21-24 AMP
The world, with all its earthly wisdom, is not wise enough to recognize and know God. As in Paul’s day, there are some people who are never satisfied no matter what they see – they always want more proof than what they have already seen before they believe. Then there are people who are educated beyond their intellect; they are so smart they are stupid; they have already decided that if they can’t see it, hear it, feel it, taste it, or smell it, it does not exist. These kinds of people regularly resist and oppose the work of God in the earth. If you are truly a believer, you know that the Spirit realm is very real and that the preaching of the gospel is not foolishness, but it is the power of God and the wisdom of God. It has the power to radically and positively transform lives.
It is human nature to want approval, to want others to like us and accept us. The devil tries to get us to back off of the power of God and the word of God by caring too much about other people’s opinion. It doesn’t take much to stop some people. They are so afraid of man’s disapproval that sometimes they won’t even admit to being a Christian. Jesus said that if we are ashamed of Him, He will be ashamed of us.
For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels. Mark 8:38 NKJV
If God is real to you, if you are full of His word and you know His power, then you can be bold to proclaim the gospel to everyone no matter who they are or what they believe.
Both to Greeks and to barbarians (to the cultured and to the uncultured), both to the wise and the foolish, I have an obligation to discharge and a duty to perform and a debt to pay. 15 So, for my part, I am willing and eagerly ready to preach the Gospel to you also who are in Rome. 16 For I am not ashamed of the Gospel (good news) of Christ, for it is God’s power working unto salvation [for deliverance from eternal death] to everyone who believes with a personal trust and a confident surrender and firm reliance, to the Jew first and also to the Greek, 17 For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed through the way of faith that arouses to more faith]. As it is written, The man who through faith is just and upright shall live and shall live by faith. Romans 1:14-17 AMP
Before Paul had an encounter with the power and presence of God on the road to Damascus, he was a proud Pharisee called Saul. He was ruthless in the defense of his beliefs, leading the movement to destroy all Christians and eradicate Christianity. He was there when Stephen was martyred and stoned to death. After Jesus appeared to Paul and he was saved, set free and filled with the Holy Spirit, he was bold to proclaim the gospel and lift up the Name of Jesus. He had experienced the power of God and he knew that it was real. Now he became the one who was persecuted, harassed and tortured for his faith in God. Jesus had done so much for him, heaven was so real to him, and he was going to obey the call of God on his life no matter what the cost.
Paul was not ashamed of the gospel. He knew the power of the gospel; that it is real; that God always confirms His word with signs and wonders following. He felt the call of God to preach boldly and unashamed to all people, no matter what their viewpoint, no matter whether they received it or not. He knew that it was not his reputation on the line, but God’s. He knew that it was not his job to make people believe – they had to make that choice for themselves – but his responsibility was to preach and demonstrate the gospel and give people the opportunity to believe and receive. He could not afford to be ashamed of the gospel because people’s lives depended on it – their eternity depended on him enduring the lies, the persecution, the beatings, the hardships, and even the threat of death – so that they could hear the gospel and be saved from their sins.
The people of the world are waiting for the people of God to stand up boldly for the sake of the gospel and bring salvation, healing and deliverance to a lost and dying world!