“Those who have never lived in a society which has been won over from paganism by Christianity find it hard to imagine how extensive are the obstacles presented to Christian faith by religion, vice, custom and sheer laissez-faire. Wherever they went, Christians were opposed as anti-social, atheistic [because they didn’t believe in the Roman gods] and depraved. Their message proclaimed a crucified criminal, and nothing could have been less calculated than that to win them converts.
To the Greeks such a new story showed how ridiculous the new faith was; to the Romans how weak and ineffective it was; while the Jews could not bring themselves to stomach it at all. To Jew and Gentile alike Christians were offensive, on account both of the doctrines and the behavior credited to them. All this they had to live down if they were going to win anybody at all for Jesus.”
—Michael Green, Evangelism in the Early Church, (p. 29)
Romans 1:16 (ESV)
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
1 Corinthians 1:18 (ESV)
18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
The church again faces a daunting task of confronting an increasingly decadent, pagan and oppositional culture. But the gospel is still filled with power and God still watches over his word to perform it (Jeremiah 1:12). The Kingdom of God needs to be announced again and the world will be changed, again.