On the eve of celebrating our Lord’s victory over sin, death and the grave, my heart is heavy. At work yesterday, the two student workers I’ve been witnessing to decided to make light of God, Christ’s resurrection and anything else remotely related to the gospel. I honestly can’t recall precisely what all they said. I think I’ve blocked it from my memory. Every time I would seriously broach the topic they would generally scoff and mock it, making references to TV shows such as South Park, which regularly stomp on the bible’s pearls of wisdom. They had some good laughs at my expense.
Somewhere along the course of conversation I again talked of the reality of judgment day and how no one could escape it. Michael, the Hindu fellow, shrugged and said, “I just won’t show up! He’s not my God. I don’t have anything to do with him. He can’t judge me.”
I replied that he must account for his life before the one-and-only God, and whether he realized it or not He is his God. Michael said, “I will just tell him I have my gods and I don’t believe in Him.”
I just shook my head at this point, wearied with their persistent unbelief.
Note to self: I realize though, in Michael’s case, I must exercise great patience, as well as engage in some skillful apologetics to help bridge the gap between our very different beliefs. May God grant me patience and wisdom to help lead him from the wilderness into the promised land.
All week I had encouraged them to attend my church’s Easter service and as they walked out the door I tried to get a commitment. Ned resolutely declined, citing his need for sleep. I turned to Michael and he said he would try. I pressed him, saying I would meet him at the front door and sit with him if he so desired. He still would not commit, but promised he would think about it.
I bid them good-bye and sat quietly in my office for a few moments. A dark cloud of defeat gathered around my heart. I whispered to my Father, “Forgive them, they don’t know what they are saying.”
My heart breaks for them. They hate God. They buck against Christ’s yoke, though it is easy. They bear the burden of their sin instead, though it is heavy. They don’t understand, they don’t seek after God. They have turned aside and gone their own way. This shouldn’t come as any surprise to me. This is the natural man’s reaction to the gospel. It is foolishness to them that are perishing.
I must be preaching right, then. Through my discouragement God reminded me that Brandon may plant and Brandon may water, but it is God who brings the increase. I am fulfilling my commission. I must remain faithful despite outward circumstances. I can’t see into their hearts or into the secret workings of the Holy Spirit upon their lives. I must remain faithful, continuing to pray for them and love them. They think I’m a well-intentioned loon now but I pray someday soon thy will come and thank me for having the courage to preach the truth to them. I pray the Holy Spirit moves them to attend church tomorrow and opens their hearts to receive the gospel truth of the glorious resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and so be saved.
To the glory of God. Amen.
I’m glad the heart breaks when you see how God’s grace is treated. I would hope that it continues to fuel your heart for prayer. Remember, God does the work.