Friday, June 24, 2016
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matthew 23:37 KJV).
As in Christ’s earthly ministry, so today—God never takes free will away!
Recently, a brother in Christ shared his heavy burden with me. One of his relatives is in dire health, suffering 99 percent brain damage. His doctors say, even if he survives, he will be in a vegetative state. The brother explained to me that he shared the Gospel with this man years ago, but had not heard from him since. He is still worried the now-dying man never did anything with the Gospel—especially sad now that he is holding to life by a thread and maybe drawing closer to hell.
This brother had to understand it is beyond his control. He has shared the Gospel most faithfully, and there is nothing he can do for his relative but pray for him now. His brain is not functioning properly anymore, but he still may be aware in his soul. We cannot be sure just how alert such people are spiritually. If they so desire, God can always bring His Word to memory in those who have heard it years before.
Beloved, we should never beat ourselves up wondering if we shared the Gospel enough with someone who is dying or who has since died. If they only heard us share the Gospel with them once, that one time was all that we were able to do. While we care for them deeply, we cannot force people to trust Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. The God of the Bible is all about freedom. If people do not want Him, He will not force them to accept Him. After three years of ministry, with a heavy heart, Jesus looked at Jerusalem and wept. They had no interest in Him or anything He had to say to them (today’s Scripture).
God has done everything to keep people out of hell by sending Jesus Christ to die for their sins. If they want to ignore that, that is their choice. Let it not be ours!
Our latest Bible Q&A: “Can you explain Jude 9?”