For the longest time, a good friend of mine has been seeking the truth and trying to make sense of life. And for many years, I have been trying to introduce Christ to him. I believe that all his questions about life can be answered. And I believe that in Christ, he will find the happiness and meaning that he has been looking for.
But I have never been able to convince him of his need for a Savior.
My friend’s situation got me thinking about what people think about Christianity, why they may not agree with my faith, and why they may not want to accept God.
Some of them might think Christians are foolish, blind or impressionable. They might think the Bible teaches us to be ignorant and foolish, because it calls the wisdom of this world “foolishness” in God’s sight (1 Corinthians 3:18-20), and tells us to have faith in what we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1).
So what can we do? As Christians, we believe that it is only by believing in Jesus that we will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). And we want to share this truth with others, so that they too might receive this wonderful gift of salvation.
Should we try to defend our faith vigorously against such criticism? Or should we argue our way and try to convince our friends of the truth? Perhaps we should instead consider the wisdom from 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 before making a response:
“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
The obstacles that a non-Christian faces in coming to believe in Christ are not merely intellectual, but also spiritual—“the god of this world” blinds the minds of unbelievers. So we may persuade, we may appeal, but we can’t force a person to come to faith.
That does not mean that we should stop sharing the gospel; the Bible makes it clear that we should be a witness to Jesus. At the same time, we should also continue to live according to God’s Word, for our lives serve as clear, open statements about the truth, and our conduct may prompt others to ask us about it. That’s when we can share our faith with them—with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).
But let’s take heart and remember that at the end of the day, only God can change men’s hearts and bring such sinful creations like us to himself. We can share the gospel and tell others about our faith, and leave the rest to Him. After all, we too had not decided to follow Jesus on our own accord; we had come to God with His help and because of His grace.
Indeed, our whole Christian journey is one of grace—from the start (when we first believed) to the end (when we will join Christ in eternal life). It was by grace that our eyes were opened—not by us, but by the One who created us. We have been saved by grace and grace alone.
And so I will continue to pray that my best friend and his family will come to Christ. For just as I am saved by grace, I know that one day, they too will be saved by God’s grace.