Sooner or later the witnessing Christian will encounter a person who, no matter what the evidence presented, will not accept the Truth of the Gospel.
Sometimes this can make the Christian feel guilty. It can make us feel like we have failed to properly present the Gospel to this non-believer. We feel that it is our fault he is not saved. That guilt feeling is intensified if we have had multiple opportunities to witness to this unbeliever.
However, we need to realize that some people will never accept Jesus, no matter how hard we try or how much we want them to. Some people will never stop asking for more proof or evidence for the existence of God.
Non-believers in the Bible were continually asking for more evidence, more miracles, and more proof also.
How does the Bible portray these people? How does it apply to us today?
In Matthew 12:38-40 (cf. Luke 11:29-30; Matthew 16:4), Jesus indicted the generation of His day when He said that a wicked and perverse generation seeks more signs. He told them that there would be one more sign only…Jesus would die and rise from the grave. Jesus said that this sign should be all that is needed as proof of the Truth of God.
The Parable of the Rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) teaches, among other things, that the knowledge necessary for repentance is found in the scriptures (Moses and the Prophets). Jesus implied that there exists plenty of evidence pointing to the truth of the Gospel, and it is found in the Scriptures. Ignorance is not an excuse.
This same theme is found in Romans 1 where it tells us that there is enough evidence in nature pointing to the existence of God so that no one can use ignorance as an excuse.
Jesus said that we should not throw pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6). This means that there comes a time when we must stop trying to convince the militant non-believer. When we become aware that the precious truth we are presenting is being trampled on by those to whom we present it, we must stop. We should spend our time on more promising prospects while keeping the holdout in our prayers.
Our arguments are only effective to a certain extent. The convicting and convincing power of the Holy Spirit is eventually what every person must deal with. It is the Holy Spirit that tugs on a person’s soul. We can present the evidence, we can debate and discuss, but each person must decide whether or not they will trust in the Truth or not.
Our responsibility is to be faithful to God as He uses us to further His kingdom.
If we are doing that, we have no reason to feel guilty when a person to whom we have been witnessing rejects the Gospel.
(C) 2010 Robert Driskell
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