I Cannot Live the Life

Recently it has come to my obvious to me that many in our society do not understand the value system of true Christianity (i.e. true religion). I am not sure what has created this situation, I simply have detected that it does exist with many people that I have approached in recent months. Many of these people have no idea of the Christian’s philosophy. Ideals, lifestyle, and are themselves caught up in discouragement, unhappiness, and indecision with life in general. Many people in current society subscribe to the following philosophy; “If I do nothing, I will have no further problems – If I stay where I am I will be no worse off than I am.” The sad part about those that possess this attitude is, this attitude, when applied to spiritual situations creates an impossible obstacle for the person to overcome when they are confronted with the gospel. You see, the gospel requires that the person possessed with this philosophy will find the challenge of the gospel more than they are willing to personally accept.

Many times we talk to and occasionally discuss (i.e. in Bible classes) with those we describe here. We soon find out that they are unwilling to consider anything other than their own conclusions about life, family, and  religion. Most people are unwilling to make the life changes that God requires of them through the conversion process – such as Hebrews 5:8-9, “though he was a Son, yet learned obedience by the things which he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became unto all them that obey him the author of eternal salvation;” (ASV) Many people that possess this disposition feel that the Biblical standard requires too much change, they are unwilling to consider such a drastic change of life; Paul deals with this attitude well in

Romans 6:1-13 – Please note the passage – “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. We who died to sin, how shall we any longer live therein? Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with (him) in the likeness of his death, we shall be also (in the likeness) of his resurrection; knowing this, that our old man was crucified with (him), that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin; for he that hath died is justified from sin. But if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him; knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death no more hath dominion over him. For the death that he died, he died unto sin once: but the life that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Even so reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey the lusts thereof: neither present your members unto sin (as) instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves unto God, as alive from the dead, and your members (as) instruments of righteousness unto God.” (ASV)

WE NEED UNDERSTANDING AND PATIENCE: In helping these people come to accept Christ and make the conscious decision to change we need to exercise patience and long suffering, we should do as Paul instructed Timothy –

cf.  2 Timothy 4:1-2, “I charge (thee) in the sight of God, and of Christ Jesus, who shall judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” (ASV)

We must first convince them that others fail too, that everyone makes mistakes but that we must learn that just because we make a mistake, does not mean we are a failure; we must repent and start anew –

cf. Galatians 6:1-2, “Brethren, even if a man be overtaken in any trespass, ye who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; looking to thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (ASV)

EMPHASISE THE CHRISTIAN’S HOPE: Teach this person that there is more to life than is obvious to man in the world, there is the Christian’s hope of heaven. The Christian is looking beyond this present world and sees something exceedingly precious and beautiful –

cf. Romans 2:7, “to them that by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and incorruption, eternal life:”

2 Corinthians 4:17-18, “For our light affliction, which is for the moment, worketh for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (ASV)

Hebrews 11:10, “for he looked for the city which hath the foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”

We must teach this person that God has made allowances for his children who fall from grace (i.e. backslide) –

cf.  Acts 8:22-24, “22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray the Lord, if perhaps the thought of thy heart shall be forgiven thee. For I see that thou art in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity. And Simon answered and said, Pray ye for me to the Lord, that none of the things which ye have spoken come upon me.” (ASV)

1 Corinthians 10:13, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it.” (ASV)

1 John 1:9-10, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

CONCLUSION: We may not convert many people with this formula but we may convert some. The Lord has instructed us that we are to “sow the good sees” and He will “give the increase,” – cf., 1 Corinthians 3:5-7, “What then is Apollos? and what is Paul? Ministers through whom ye believed; and each as the Lord gave to him.  I planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.  So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” (ASV)

REMEMBER THIS FACT: There are many people that are in the world. Many of those in the world do not know us nor do they understand our motives. Because of this we must continue to approach everyone with the patience and understand that ought to characterize every Christian while they work at personal evangelizing with others. May we never become discouraged in our efforts to convert the lost – cf. Matthew 28:18-20, “And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” (ASV

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