Friday, April 07, 2006

1 Cor. 2:14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

Today's devotional is the result of a witnessing encounter I had with a man at the coffee shop next door to our church. Many of you will remember that I recently made a commitment to witness to at least one person a week. Since I rarely meet an unregenerate person in my office, I have begun taking my laptop to the coffee shop next door and working there. Today, God arranged an opportunity to witness. This opportunity would have never occurred if I had not been intentional about hanging out with unsaved people. How about you, are you intentional and available to witness? I recognize for some of you this isn't a problem, but unfortunately many Christians have become isolated from a lost world. They will have to be very intentional about being available to witness.

The man I encountered shared that he was attending a Catholic church, but that he found it lacking. This man was not Catholic, in fact, when I asked him if he had a personal relationship with Christ it was clear that he was not a Christian of any sort. He said something about believing in an impersonal force. The man also shared that he couldn't believe in any god who wouldn't accept Muslims, Buddhists or any person that kept a set of rules similar to the Ten Commandments. If I understood him correctly, he essentially believed you earn your way to heaven by being good. The man’s beliefs were not well thought out. In fact, many of them were based on his personal opinions and feelings. Interestingly, some of his beliefs were even contradictory.

What I found really amazing was that the man had grown up in a Christian home going to church three times a week. He shared that both of his parents continue to be devout Christians. How is it that a man with his background can be so blind to biblical truth and the gospel?

I only have one answer and it's likely to make some of you uncomfortable. 1 Cor. 2:14 says, “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised." A natural man is a lost man. All men in their "natural" state are unregenerate and without the Spirit. Without the Spirit they are unable to comprehend spiritual truth. Therefore God has to do something so they can understand spiritual truth and believe it. What does He do? Somehow God reveals it to them.

Remember, Peter's words in Matthew 16:16 when he confessed Jesus was the Christ. Jesus responded by saying, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven." God the Father revealed the truth to Peter. The Bible doesn't say how.

Before I came to Christ, I heard the gospel many times. One day the "light came on" and I believed. I don't know how the "light came on", I just know it did. Suddenly spiritual truth made sense and I was capable of understanding spiritual things. Before that time, spiritual truth bounced off me like bb's on a block wall.

Some claim to have this mystery figured out. I don't. I do know that in order to be saved the Father must draw you and reveal the truth to you. This is His work and no man can do it or initiate it. When the Father reveals the truth, we have a responsibility to respond.

What's my point today? We are responsible to witness. As every Christian knows, the Bible has commanded us to witness! But God is responsible to reveal spiritual truth and save men's souls. We should not be surprised when we witness if the truth seems to bounce off. The gospel doesn't make much sense to someone who is unregenerate. God has to "turn the light on." We can't do that and a lost person certainly cannot do that!

The man I witnessed to yesterday was open to listening. The seeds of the gospel have been sown into his life. They were planted a long time ago by his parents. Yesterday, I attempted to water them, but as Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 3:7 only God gives the growth. I'll be praying that God in His mercy will "turn on the light" for him.

No comments: