Monday, October 17, 2022
“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:5 KJV).
Passing from spiritual death to eternal life is truly a personal matter….
Recently, I listened to an old recording of a preacher describing how he was ministering to an elderly neighbor woman. For the last few years, she had been attending his home Bible studies—yet she had also maintained her membership at her local denominational (works-religion) church. He lamented how she had to be over 70 years of age, and, with each passing day, she was that much closer to dying in her trespasses and sins. Even after hearing Gospel truth and reading Bible verses with him for a couple of years, she was still of her “I have to work for God to accept me” persuasion. Whatever ultimately happened to her is unknown. Last I heard, the preacher himself is alive (almost 100).
Several years ago, another brother in Christ shared a similar story with me. His “works-religion” sister-in-law, age 60, attended his home Bible studies for two years. She heard and read Scripture verses all during that time. In fact, he thought that maybe she was close to trusting the Lord as her personal Saviour. Eventually, however, he was discouraged to learn that she continued her membership in her cult. Today, both of them are close to 90 years old. He is a saved man, but his Christian life has disintegrated due to apostasy. She, to our knowledge, is still a lost or unsaved soul.
We all have relatives, friends, and acquaintances who are content without the Lord Jesus Christ. They have heard us witness to them, repeatedly share Bible truths with them, but they are not interested in forsaking the “family religion.” If we could believe for them, doubtless we would. Yet, this is not how God has designed justification (Him declaring us righteous) to operate. There is no “faith by proxy.” According to today’s Scripture, we must individually believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour; we cannot believe this for others to be saved. They have to believe it for themselves, and we cannot force it.