Youve prayed, had them over for dinner, told them how Christ has wonderfully touched your life; youve tried to serve them any way possible, etc., etc. And yet they remain outside of Christ.
Yesterday I was talking with a friend whose life, along with his wifes is a wreck. He had just finished the book, Mere Christianity which I had given him to read. In it, C.S. Lewis masterfully presents a thoughtful and persuasive discussion on why God must exist. My friend acknowledged the quality of Lewis argument, but dug in his heels on even considering the possibility that the truth might apply to him. I stood there frustrated. What am I to do?
What I need is to realize:
- The natural man is hostile toward God and wants no part of Him: The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Rom. 8:7) (See Rom. 1:28, 30; 5:10; I Cor. 2:14)
- All the evidence in the world will not convince the heart of a person in rebellion against God. For example:
Jesus condemns the unbelieving masses who, in the face of His miracles refused to believe: Then Jesus began to denounce the cities where he had done most of his miracles, because they hadn’t turned from their sins and turned to God. What horrors await you, Korazin and Bethsaida! For if the miracles I did in you had been done in wicked Tyre and Sidon, their people would have sat in deep repentance long ago, clothed in sackcloth and throwing ashes on their heads to show their remorse. (Matt. 11:20, 21 NLT)
Immediately after witnessing the resurrection of Lazarus, unbelieving Jews sought to have Jesus killed:: Then Jesus shouted, Lazarus, come out! And Lazarus came out, bound in grave clothes, his face wrapped in a head cloth. Jesus told them, Unwrap him and let him go! Many of the people who were with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw this happen. But some went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done [with intention of destroying him]. (Jn. 11:43-46)
Unbelievers criticized John the Baptist for his austerity, and Jesus for his liberal habits: Jesus: "How shall I describe this generation? These people are like a group of children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends, ‘We played wedding songs, and you weren’t happy, so we played funeral songs, but you weren’t sad.’ For John the Baptist didn’t drink wine and he often fasted, and you say, ‘He’s demon possessed.’ And I, the Son of Man, feast and drink, and you say, ‘He’s a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of the worst sort of sinners!’ But wisdom is shown to be right by what results from it." (Matt. 11:16-19 – NLT)
- It is God who will bring people to faith in His Son: Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. (2 Tim. 2:25b, 26) (See Jer. 31:33; Ezek. 11:19; Act. 11:18)
What then is my responsibility? I am to faithfully and graciously model and present the message of Jesus: Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly FatherAnd the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct (Matt. 5:16; 2 Tim. 2:24, 25a) (See Matt. 5:13, 16; Col. 4:5,6; 1 Pet. 3:15)