One of the moments when I feel sad is on Sunday night, after our meeting (we meet at 5 p.m.), when I remember several saints who walk in spiritual weakness, far from the Body of Christ, who are sluggish because of involvement in the things of the world. So I think of the words of the author of Hebrews:
Be obedient to your [spiritual] guides, and be subject to them (for they watch for your souls, as about to give account), that they may do this with joy, and not sighing [in sorrow], for this is unprofitable to you. Hebrews 13.17 LSVr
Yes, as a spiritual guide who looks after people’s souls, I see the direction some are taking and I feel sadness. My heart groans for them, because I know, if they don’t change course, they will lose eternal life. This is what the author quoted above said:
And let us take thought of how to spur one another on to love and good works, not abandoning our own meetings, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and even more so because you see the day drawing near. For if we deliberately keep on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, no further sacrifice for sins is left for us, but only a certain fearful expectation of judgment and a fury of fire that will consume God’s enemies. Hebrews 10.24-27 NET.
If it were not for the faithful and dedicated brothers and sisters who encourage me (besides my own relationship with the Lord), I might even feel like giving up the work of God, for who is it that likes to see the Evil One approach to pluck out “what has been sown in his heart” Matthew 13.19?
So we remain constant in prayer for them. We speak when there is an opportunity to be heard. We always teach about the need to love God with all our being.
Sometimes they change; sometimes they do not. There is a divine “maybe” involved, the unknown “perhaps” contingent upon a person’s decision.
The servant of the Lord “must be gentle in correcting those who oppose the Good News. Maybe God will allow them to change the way they think and act and lead them to know the truth.” 2 Timothy 2.25 GW.
Only God knows if a person will reach the goal of his faith, the salvation of his soul, 1 Peter 1.9. Meanwhile, we will continue to do our part, hoping not to feel even greater sadness for those who were once diligent in faith and good works but who are abandoning Christ and the eternal life he offers.
“My children — I am again undergoing birth pains until Christ is formed in you!” Galatians 4.19.