Monday, July 18, 2011

What About Them?

Part of living with complete confidence is trusting in the mystery of God's will for those who will not allow Jesus to restore or find them.  The restoration of all things that I wrote about yesterday is not done automatically or impersonally.  It is Jesus that does the restoring work.  Those who have come to know Jesus' love and mercy but still then reject it are, at least for the present, lost, and if there is no repentance, if they never respond to God's grace, the time will come when they cannot respond.  The Bible's way of speaking of this is to say that their hearts have been hardened.  Those of us who have been found by Jesus need to trust God for those who are lost and not continually fret or worry about them.  If God cannot change their hearts, neither can we.

For a liberal like me, this is hard to take.  But God's word trumps my feelings, my conscience and my bleeding heart.  That is good because we learn in scripture that God wants us to continually be sowing the Word of God instead of getting distracted and frustrated when some people just don't seem to respond.
Mark 4:10-20

When he [Jesus] was alone, those who were around him along with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, ‘To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; in order that
“they may indeed look, but not perceive,
and may indeed listen, but not understand;
so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.” ’

And he said to them, ‘Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. But they have no root, and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing. And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.’

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