Jesus demonstrated His resurrection from the dead by many infallible proofs (Acts 1:3). Christianity rests upon powerful evidence. Many compelling reasons can be offered in favor of following Jesus Christ. From the earliest days of the church, preachers have courageously proclaimed the gospel of Jesus Christ in face of opposition. They did not ask people to just believe what they were saying based on a feeling, but rather marshaled evidence to persuade their audience of the truth.
What about the Jews who claimed to believe the Old Testament but denied that Jesus was the Christ, the promised Messiah? Do we read of Christians in the New Testament telling them to pray for God to give them a good feeling to confirm if Jesus was the Messiah? No, they gave persuasive proofs. Consider Apollos who “vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ” (Acts 18:28). Saul, later called Paul, “confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ” (Acts 9:22). Paul formed a habit of going into synagogues and reasoning from the Scriptures; he would explain and demonstrate by drawing arguments from the text that Jesus was indeed the Messiah who had to suffer, die, and rise again (Acts 17:2, 3). Just because the evidence he presented warranted that conclusion did not mean that all were driven to that conclusion. Not all understood the evidence. Nor was everyone convinced. Acts 17:4 goes on to say that some were persuaded in Thessalonica. In Ephesus, however, though Paul went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God, some were hardened and did not believe (Acts 19:8, 9). Other factors may interfere with one’s response to the gospel. An honest soul can see the reasoning and obey, but a man with ulterior motivations may twist his way out of the necessary conclusions.
We must keep presenting the gospel for it is the power to salvation to all who believe (Romans 1:16). Some may grow angry. They may even resort to violent opposition because they cannot answer the powerful proofs we present. When we present the words the Holy Spirit has given in the Bible, men cannot refute them. Those who disputed with Stephen, who was filled with the Holy Spirit, were not able to resist the wisdom and Spirit by which he spoke (Acts 6:10). Though many mistreated Paul for his words, we find him in the final chapter of the book of Acts still preaching the kingdom of God with all confidence (Acts 28:31). When he appeared before Felix and Agrippa to answer for crimes the Jews accused him of, Paul proved Christianity while those who opposed him could not prove their case (Acts 24:13; 25:7).
Agrippa recognized the persuasiveness of Paul’s words (Acts 26:26-28), yet no record indicates that he ever responded favorably by becoming a Christian. Paul spoke words of truth and soberness, but men in positions of power and opulence are often quick to dismiss the gospel (Acts 26:24; cf. 1 Cor. 1:26). Paul reasoned with Felix of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come to the point that Felix trembled; however, Felix pushed his response off into the future for what he hoped would be a more convenient time, but, again, history provides no such record of that time ever coming (Acts 24:25). The gospel is reasonable and the evidence for it is powerful and persuasive. Some may resist it, but we must keep proclaiming the word of salvation (Acts 13:26).