Just because Gods word will not return void, it does not mean that everyone will receive it! This is one of the absurd interpretations I have often heard concerning this text. To state the obvious, if it meant that everyone who heard the word would receive it positively, then it would be a lie. It is not the scripture that fails us, but rather a bad interpretation of the verse. We must look at this text in a big picture sense. That all of Gods word will achieve its purpose both in a saving and judgment sense. When someone hears Gods word and rejects it, can we really say that it has returned void? Or hasn’t the scripture confirmed and revealed the heart of the person who has rejected the truth?
I have often asked myself, Why God would send His messengers to a people He knows will reject His message? The conclusion is He is by nature good, which is why He commands people to repent everywhere, even those who wont repent. However contrary to much popular theology today, God will not fail in winning His elect, those whom He has foreknown from all eternity. Not one of them will be missing from among the great multitude before the throne!
For what its worth, I think its our responsibility to preach and share the gospel. To invite and exhort all to come to repentance and to put their trust in Christ. However, only God is in charge of the effectual call! There will be those whom He will call by name, whom He will effectually bring to Himself. And He alone is in charge of that! We as Gods people are responsible for preaching the gospel, and as we go forth, there will be some whom God effectually calls. There is a mystery in this that I leave with God and trust Him with, and I’ve learned to trust God implicitly on the election issue. That’s His business, not mine, and I’m not gonna charge God with wrongdoing. We may rest assured that God being Just and righteous, will never treat anyone unfairly. He will show Himself righteous, both in mercy and in judging the sinner. The Judge of the earth will do what is right!
So in concluding whether in reception or in rejection, Gods word will always achieve what it was sent forth to do. We need to remember that, and don’t get to hung up if people reject what we have to say.