Does it make sense to give CPR to a mannequin thinking they will come alive? Jesus came to heal the sick, not the well, but he also said not to waste our time with the dead. Yikes! Since we all have people close to us we want to see become Christians, how do we learn to accept not everyone is going to make it and witness efficiently?
Step 6: Making The End Known From The Beginning
In the spirit of the main point of the article, I will make the closing point now so the rest of the article makes more sense!
When witnessing to people, or even considering it, pray and ask God who you should speak to, and ask for the knowledge of what to say
The reality is, God knows who is going to make it already, and he also knows who you should talk to as part of your personal growth, but either way, he knows who you should witness to and who you should not
I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please
The reason this point is being made now, is because it will be easy to read the things below and dismiss a lot of them by saying “Jesus was God, he knew everything already”
But, the truth is, Jesus did not know everything, he was just a man and only knew whatever God revealed to him, just like us
Step 1: Recognize That We Have Close People Around Us We Want To See Come To God More Than Others
We of course want everyone to come to God, but there are people in our lives that are special to us for unique or personal reasons
They could be our family members, friends, classmates, co-workers, etc… but we all have people whose salvation means more to us than the people around us we do not know
This is just human nature as our emotions our often tied to how close we are to people, nothing to feel bad about, even Jesus had his preferred people
When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son”
Despite our best hopes for people to come to salvation, the difficult reality is that the list of people who are going to heaven is way shorter than the people who will not
Not exactly cheerful!
So how do we deal with this in a way that allows us to productively witness to the right people?
Step 2: Accept That Not Everyone Is Going To Make It
Just like an ER doctor, we are not capable of helping everyone we come into contact with
This is just a fact of life, one that Jesus specifically spoke about, as he said that not everyone is going to accept the gospel, and even out of those who listen and become Christians, not everyone is guaranteed to enter the kingdom of heaven just because they say “Jesus is Lord” and recite a sinner’s prayer
If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
“Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times”
Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”
He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us’
“But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from’
“Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets’
“But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’
Look at it this way, Jesus was an amazing preacher, but not everyone in his flock made it, as even his apostles who spent the most time with him, constantly heard his wisdom, and saw non-stop miracles were not guaranteed to “get it”, ie: Judas
While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled
Even though Judas betrayed Jesus, the Bible does not show a long, sit down conversation where Jesus tries to bring Judas to a better understanding of God’s wisdom and truth in the hope that he would not betray him, in fact, the total opposite is true
We see that once Jesus knew Judas was going to betray him, he just accepted it and did not bother wasting his emotions or efforts where they were not going to be spent wisely–he just turned back to the eleven
After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand”
“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me”
“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean
Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him
“What you are about to do, do quickly,” Jesus told him
However, by contrast, look how much time and effort Jesus spent on Peter despite him often being an ignorant, prideful loud-mouth who had a knack for saying all the wrong things
Step 3: Share The Knowledge And Word Of God With Wisdom And Discretion
Peter is a great reference for this point, as the Bible shows repeated incidents where Peter said something completely ridiculous that Jesus called him out on, but the Bible also shows they had the kind of relationship where Jesus knew Peter was going to be someone great
For example, just before his death, when Jesus knew that Peter was going to deny knowing him, he went out of his way to spend extra time to encourage Peter, which is a drastic contrast when compared to the way Jesus handled the Judas situation, ie: he immediately told Judas to get out of his sight
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers”
But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me”
Notice that Jesus said to him “And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers”
Jesus did not say this without purpose, as he was telling Peter “when this all goes down, even you will falter, but when God restores your strength and you stand up again, go and encourage the others”
This was Jesus’ pep talk to the one who would ultimately lead the apostles into a new era after his death, and would be the one to have the most potent, fiery message–Jesus was encouraging the ring leader, and was investing his time in the most efficient way possible, by giving his attention to the one who would multiply his message and strengthen others
Of course, every unsaved person is important, but some will further the kingdom of heaven more than others, this is just a fact!
Step 4: Which Is A Better Investment: 1×0 = 0, 1×1 = 1 Or 1×5 = 5?
Having personally known so much benefit from our relationship with God, it is totally natural that we want to share it with everyone
Whether it is our desire to have others overcome sin, learn to truly love, be healed of old wounds, or personally know God’s presence and witness miracles, there is something (I hope!) in Christianity that we would want to have others experience
However, as we know, people are not exactly falling all over themselves to hear the gospel of God, just like they do not typically drop everything to follow Jesus when they hear the message of Christianity
This is not exactly an old problem, and Jesus taught that if people are not willing to listen, we should either walk away without a second thought or not even speak to them about God in the first place
If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves
Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces
Yikes, some pretty strong directives!
It is always a good idea to pray for people to come to God, but the main idea is that we are supposed to understand how to best use our time, and not spend it in situations where it is a poor investment
Step 5: Do Not Be Discouraged, We Plant, Water, And Reap, All In Their Due Time: God’s
Despite our best efforts, and no matter how God leads us, there is no guarantee that the work we put in will yield results that we see immediately–this is something we should be prepared for
For example, looking again at Peter, Jesus did not see him become the strong leader he was meant to be, the transformation in Peter’s life did not happen until after Jesus’ death
I mean honestly, ask yourself, how many people have you met that were “new” Christians at your church, it is not that frequent when compared to the number of people who are Christians because they grew up around people who knew God
But, do not be discouraged if you do not see the payoff of your work, we never know when God’s word will take root in someone’s life and lead them to eternal life–we will however know once we get to heaven as we will probably see even the most unexpected people there!
1 Corinthians 3:7-9
So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building
However, sometimes God put someone in our heart and even though this person seem hopeless, we dont know what mighty works God is doing inside of them.
That is very true, we are in total agreement on that!
We plant, water, and reap all according to God’s purpose and timing, without guarantee of seeing the results until we enter the kingdom of heaven
Does this mean that I may not be saved, and I may not cross the Narrow gate? I’m Christian, I grew up Christian, and I sincerely love the Lord… and I try my best to follow his example… but like you said ” Jesus specifically spoke about, as he said that not everyone is going to accept the gospel, and even out of those who listen and become Christians” does that mean that even though I try God may not accept me?
Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to write, this is a very sensitive point, and I am grateful you took the time to discuss it
One of the biggest games the enemy plays with Christians is this: tell us the standard for salvation is so low that it does not inspire us to change our lives in any meaningful way, or tell us the standard for salvation is so high it is impossible to get into heaven
It does say that God will judge with impartiality, and while nobody knows exactly what his standards for judgment are, we do know that Jesus and the apostles warned us it is not easy to enter into the kingdom of heaven
Does this mean you are “maybe” not saved?
That is not a question I can personally answer, but would ask you this instead:
Are there areas of sin in your life that you have not let go of, ie: are there things you continuously do even though you know they are wrong?
This is the first thing we should ask ourselves when pondering salvation, as it can immediately show us behavior, attitudes, etc… that need to be laid down at the foot of the cross
For example, I have been a Christian ever since I was three, but until very recently I struggled with lust and porn ever since I was exposed to my first playboy at the age of twelve
I always had a close relationship with God, read the Bible like crazy, went to church, played in our church worship band, and even lived in a way that was, by most people’s standards, a really great Christian life
However, I struggled against this sin in a way that sucked me in constantly, because I desired it, and I did not have the attitude that Jesus told us to have when battling sin, which is to approach the fight against sin willing to sacrifice anything to overcome it
If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
Even though I thought I loved God, I did honor him with everything in my heart, as I still desired that particular sin over my relationship with him
This was a very difficult thing to admit, and it took me a long, long time
To this point, God looks very differently at the sins we are working on and the things we knowingly turn a blind eye to
Think of it like this, Jesus washed the feet of the apostles, but they had to sit down and let him, as Jesus had to convince Peter to sit down and let him do it
Despite all of Jesus’ efforts and intentions, they still had to allow him to purify them through choice
A lot of people want to believe that going to heaven is as easy as saying a sinner’s prayer or wearing the label “Christian”, and can quote verses that sound convincing, but they do not hold any merit when compared to the body of the teachings in the Bible about this
Should the idea that salvation is difficult scare us?
Honestly, yes, it should, we are told to approach salvation with respect, gratitude, and God-inspired fear, not seeing ourselves as above judgment, in fact the opposite is true, God will judge us according to the fact that we have knowledge of the truth, and we were not living in ignorance of it
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling
Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling
2 Corinthians 5:11
Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience
1 Peter 4:17-18
For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
The last scripture in the bunch is what really hits me hard, because people often think that they are guaranteed a place in heaven no matter what they do, and get really offended and/or scared when they feel this is not true
I welcome you to pray and ask God for him to show you anything that needs prayer and work, I am right there on my knees with you
Hey Nathan, I got a serious question what if u want to follow God like me … I love God its just I get scared reading the Bible and have Panic Attacks about going to hell and stuff and even if I try my hardest I feel that when I die God’s going to be like NO and send me to hell anyways any advice for me if possible can someone email me words of encouragement please and thank you firstname.lastname@example.org
I do not generally have email contact with people, but I want to speak with you!
I am going to set some kind of private messaging area on the site to avoid email altogether
But, in the meantime, what are some of the reasons why you feel God would reject you, are you worried about sinful areas of your life, did others reject you previously?