Don’t give up on friends in de­nial of spir­i­tual needs

The Commercial Appeal - - Sports -

I have a friend who likes to ask me hard ques­tions about the Bi­ble (since he knows I’m a Chris­tian). But even if I find an an­swer, he just comes up with an­other ques­tion. Some­times I think he just likes to ar­gue. Should I give up on him?

No, don’t give up on him; even if he’s ask­ing ques­tions just to keep from fac­ing his own spir­i­tual need, God is able to break through the hard shell he seems to have built around his heart and mind.

Do you re­mem­ber Saul of Tar­sus? he was con­vinced that Chris­tians were not only mis­guided, but that their faith in Je­sus was dan­ger­ous and needed to be stamped out. As a re­sult, he vi­o­lently lashed out at them and did every­thing he could to con­vince them they were wrong. Later he wrote that “(I) do not even de­serve to be called an apos­tle, be­cause I per­se­cuted the church of God” (1 Corinthi­ans 15:9). But God in­ter­vened, dra­mat­i­cally con­vict­ing Saul of his sin and con­vinc­ing him of the truth of the Gospel. As a re­sult, Saul’s life was changed — and he be­came Paul the Apos­tle, whose mis­sion­ary ef­forts touched the whole Ro­man Em­pire. No won­der Paul could say, “If any­one is in Christ, the new cre­ation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthi­ans 5:17).

Pray for your friend, that God will work in his heart and show him his need for Christ. Pray too that God will give you an op­por­tu­nity to con­front him and ask him why he seems to be push­ing God away. Ask God as well to help you be a wit­ness to him, not only by your words but by your life. He may dis­miss what you say, but he can’t dis­miss the re­al­ity of a Christ-like life.

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