Dedicated to my sister Christina in her ever-pursuit of sharing Christ
In the past few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to share the Gospel with my neighbors and other closely-related people in my life. I have found it almost frustrating to persuade people into salvation to the point of asking God to give me the mind and perspective of the unbeliever so that I may be better equipped to share the message of the Gospel.
As I observed my own efforts and others’ around me trying to save the lost, the Holy Spirit gave me a fresh outlook and revelation on this topic. The following is a conversation between the Holy Spirit and myself:
How do we save people? It seems to be so difficult to persuade someone into trusting the Lord Jesus. There are two things I noticed in contemplation of all this. The first thing to note is that most of the time, an individual turns to the Lord when they are broken, either through a tragedy, loss, or hopelessness. When one is broken, they become aware of their ‘sorry’ state. They realize that something is missing. Hopelessness brings one realization of the reality of their corrupt state- being dead in spirit.
Therefore, a realization, or revelation, has to occur for one to see any need to repent and surrender. If they are #1 Not aware of their corrupt state, they cannot see the need for salvation. If a country is at war, both sides have the option of surrender. But a country at peace has no need to surrender. Thus, it is with salvation. Until one gets a revelation that they are, in fact, sinners in need of saving, they will have no true repentance nor are they able to repent.
The second point, or #2 Recognition of sin goes hand-in-hand with recognition of grace. Grace is the realization that there is a God who loves us. This is radical news to anyone. Therefore, when realization comes, there is no if-and-or-but, a person will immediately surrender and repent. Grace overlooks one’s addictions and in-turn says, “I accept you exactly the way you are”!
But often times, it takes a loss or tragedy for a man to find God, or more like, realize God. One may ask, “Where then is God when we are not lost or hurt”? The reality is that God is always present, but He cannot be recognized entirely to the point of surrender unless we receive that revelation.
Having said that, God is always at work within you, but A) Our flexibility with Him is respected by Him and B) He does all He can with what we give Him to work with. If we limit Him so much, what do we expect to happen? But faith will usher in the reality of His work. Faith will bring truth into manifestation.
Salvation is never achieved through indifference. One must get a revelation of their need for salvation. Realization and revelation will bring one to a position of surrender. Therefore, our job is not to save or convince people to claim salvation, because neither Christians nor Non-Christians own the rights to salvation. Salvation belongs to the Lord (Psalm 3:8). Only He can claim someone to it. Since the Lord is our salvation (Psalm 27:1), a revelation of the Lord is needed. That revelation is given from God. And it is only He who can save the lost.
The question becomes, “Who then can be saved”? God wills that none perish, but all come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). The progress begins with us, allowing the Lord to direct us to those individuals He wants us to minister to. We should follow this pattern: Speak, Pray, and Watch!
The steps of this pattern can be taken interchangeably. The steps are adjustable to the Lord’s direction. Speaking God’s Word and the truth of Jesus Christ should be our life story wherever we go, representing Christ and not allowing any man to tempt us with religion (The Standard Christian Epidemic). Praying should be a lifestyle for us believers, as it is the means by which the spiritual realm runs by. Watching is the concept of listening and obeying the Lord’s direction. Watching is also the prophetic realm. We are to be sensitive to His voice and direction through discernment and wisdom.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. (Ephesians 2:8).