God Either Opens Eyes to the Truth or Not

June 18, 2013 at 11:16 AM 1 comment

thief

The more you witness to people, the more you should come to the realization that a person’s eyes are open to the truth only if God opens them. We can spend hours, days, or weeks discussing aspects of Christianity with someone and yet, if their eyes are never open to the truth we speak, there is nothing we can do about it.

Jesus gave us the Great Commission. He told us specifically that we are to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age,” (Matthew 28:19-20).

We are commanded to tell people about the salvation that is only found in Jesus Christ. It is not an option. It is a command “Go therefore…” Our job is to tell people the truth. God’s job is to either open their eyes or not. We have absolutely no control over that because it is God’s responsibility.

You can use the most persuasive arguments you know of and still leave people refusing to acknowledge the truth. Our job is to tell people – in actions and words. We are also to pray for them that God will open their eyes.

It is frustrating to witness to someone when they fail to see the truth. This was how Jesus reacted often when He presented truth to people and they rejected it. Some even wanted to kill Him because the truth made them so angry. Yet, He persisted and so must we.

Over the course of the past few days, I’ve been talking with two Muslims on Twitter, as I previously mentioned. What they did was tried to turn the conversation away from discussing Muhammad/Islam and zeroed in on problems they see with Jesus or Christianity. To be fair, Muslims are not the only ones who do this. People of all religious stripes do it for self-preservation. No one likes to have their beliefs attacked and religion and politics are areas where emotions can sweep us up and cause us to lash out at others who disagree with us.

In the course of my conversation, we discussed everything from Muhammad being a warmonger (not true they said), to circumcision. At one point, the one Muslim argued that if I’m not circumcised, I’m not clean. He said that Jesus spoke a lot about circumcision. When I asked him to prove it, he referenced the Old Testament and Paul, but not Jesus. He also failed to understand what Paul was actually saying about circumcision. Apparently, he saw the word “circumcision” and so he referenced that verse but failed to comprehend the meaning.

For instance, he quoted Romans 2:28 – “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh.” – as proof that circumcision is a requirement. As is obvious, this verse is speaking of the circumcision of the heart – a spiritual circumcision – not physical circumcision. He didn’t get it, then accused me of not knowing my own Bible.

He also referenced 1 Corinthians 7:19, which says, “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God.” Here, Paul clearly notes that physical circumcision amounts to nothing. Again, because our Muslim friend saw the word circumcision, he assumed it supported circumcision.

At one point, he tweeted…

You can see (above), he accuses me of not knowing my Bible, yet he clearly does not understand English that well, though I have to give him credit for trying.

The last thing he tweeted me was this:

The tragedy is that being sincere means nothing. People can and are sincerely wrong. Sincerity does not equal truth.

In the end, we agreed to disagree. It has to come to that point with everyone we share the truth. At some point, we need to stop just as Jesus did while continuing to pray.

I will certainly pray for this man and I would appreciate it if you would do the same. Imagine seeing him in heaven one day because God opened his eyes in response to our prayers.

I’m 56 now, but in my younger years (college and seminary), I recall getting into arguments (loud discussions) with people over various aspects of the faith. I took personal umbrage if they didn’t see things my way. I realize of course how obnoxious I was at times in my youth. It happens to most of us. I knew everything. Just ask me and I was very willing to tell you. šŸ™‚ Now, I’d like to think I’m far more patient. I also try to wait before I speak.

What I’ve come to realize is that God does not need any of us to bring someone who is lost to Him for salvation. He could do it all by Himself if He chose to, but He has chosen to bring us into His circle and use us for our growth and His glory.

I think of the thief on the cross. There appears to have been no prior interaction in the Scriptures between the thief and Jesus and yet, something happened that opened his eyes to the truth (Luke 23:32-43) as he hung next to Jesus, dying.

What was it that changed the thief’s mind? We do not know. The only thing we really know is that somewhere along the lines, God opened the thief’s eyes. The thief saw the truth and unlike the rich young ruler who rejected it (Mark 10:17-27), the thief embraced that truth. This tells us that even when a person’s eyes are open to see the truth, they can still reject it if they choose.

Our job is to tell. God’s job is to open eyes so a person can choose to embrace the truth He allows them to see. Let’s take our job seriously.

Entry filed under: Religious - Christian - Theology. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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1 Comment

  • 1. Lester  |  June 18, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    First off, John 6:44 (no one comes to Me unless our Father draws him) my transliteration,LOL! As to circumcision, to me it’s Jewish and religious mutilation! The extreme is practiced in Africa and is horrific!
    As a young man I had psoriasis on it and negligent parents. I was born in a predominately Jewish hospital and was cut off almost immediately not in 8 days! Anyway, HUMBUG! Sorry very touchy on this subject. By the way I heard preaching the rich young ruler came to Jesus in the end!


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