We have loved ones we want to be saved. No matter our prayers, pleadings, and petitions, they refuse to listen to truth. Accepting the false doctrines they have been taught without reservation, they settle their minds and eschew any further dialogue.
This is an exceedingly painful situation because we literally ache for their souls. How can we get them to see the truth of God’s Word?
Some take dishonest, rebellious paths. They reorient truth in their minds so it will absorb their loved ones. They seek “fresh perspectives” and begin to rethink their entire belief system. Their new elasticized definitions of church, salvation, Christianity, grace, and salvation masquerade as enlightenment, but they are old lies in new clothes (John 8:44). In their love for people, they show disdain for the Scriptures and God. Truth becomes negotiable. They convince themselves that all sincere beliefs are equally valid so false teachings/teachers cease to exist.
Rather than solving the problem, they have compounded the sin. They begin exchanging evil for good and lead people down the road to apostasy (Isaiah 5:20,21). As their rationalization entrenches, they become increasingly hostile to truth and instead of leading their loved ones to heaven, they lead them even farther away from God (Hebrews 6:4-6).
God will not alter Scripture to accommodate man’s fickle minds, so we must not pretend that he will (1 Corinthians 4:6). Truth will not change, because it is knowable and produces salvation (John 8:32; John 17:17). It existed long before the creation of man (Psalm 119:89). We cannot change it, we can only submit or stand against God (Acts 5:39; Acts 23:9).
Men have always resisted the truth of God’s Word. God was often ignored by Israel. Even the words of the Master Teacher were rejected (Matthew 13:57,58; et al). God sent Isaiah and Jeremiah to preach to people who would not listen (Isaiah 6:9; Jeremiah 1:13-19). The disciples were shouted down, shut up in prison, and murdered so that the gospel would not be heard.
Those who proclaim the gospel will be hated and suffer persecution (John 15:18; 2 Timothy 3:12). Nonetheless, preaching cannot be stopped (2 Timothy 4:1-5).
Truth will divide homes, friendships, and nations (Matthew 10:34-39). We must speak the truth with all boldness, conviction, tenderness, and love (Ephesians 4:15). We must never waver from Scripture because souls are far more precious than feelings.
Finally, someone can be taught wrong all of their lives and hold firmly to that pseudo truth. Yet, Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21, NKJV).
Paul wrote often of the falling away that would soon come to the church. We learn that those who fall away will follow “deceiving spirits” and “doctrines of demons” who “speak lies” (1 Timothy 4:1,2). Men have followed “cunningly devised fables” and led people away from truth (2 Peter 1:16). We all have a responsibility to study the Word of God so we can know that what we are being taught is truth (Acts 17:11).
If we have exhausted our efforts to help them see the truth and prayed diligently for their souls, and they refuse truth, we must move on and let them go. While this is proper, it may feel like a segment of our soul is being tossed into the fire. Yet, Christ’s pain, in this regard, far exceeds ours. He understands our suffering (Hebrews 4:15; Isaiah 53). This fact can empower us through the rejections and loss.
Besides, as we move on to more productive fields, victory awaits! And that victory will mean far more than any loss.
We Must Use Wisdom in Reaching the Lost