If you’ve paid any attention to the news at all lately, it would seem that the world is going to hell in a hand basket in a hurry. Morals a quickly fading. Beliefs are fragile at best. Direction is lacking and all sense of responsibility has gone out the window.
How are we, the Church, supposed to make these people believe again?
The simple answer, we’re not.
In the book of Luke, Jesus tells the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. Lazarus is a beggar and the rich man is a man of great indulgence. The rich man paid no attention to Lazarus. Both men die and Lazarus is taken up to Abraham’s side while the rich man goes down to the fiery depths. The rich man soon learns that there is no help for him, so he asks for help for his five brothers. Surely, if someone came back from the dead, they would believe.
He [Jesus] said to him, “If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should arise from the dead.”
Luke 16:31 (ESV)
Just as a man in Heaven cannot help a man in Hell, there is nothing you or I can do to force a person to believe. We can and should share the Gospel in a way that is comprehensible by all, but the believing part is out of our hands. It is up to the Holy Spirit to take the seeds we spread and help it to grow.
Once a seed is in the ground there is little one can do aside from watering to help it along. If the ground is good, the seed will take root and grow, but if the ground is bad and does not receive the seed, there is precious little we can do to make a difference.
Daily Bible reading: 1 Samuel 25-26; Luke 16:19-31