When preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of Heaven, there’s something I think we should all keep in mind – myself included – and that is the fact that God is the one who opens us to the truth.
I was just thinking about this, so I wanted to write a little about it. Sometimes it can become frustrating or discouraging when people can’t seem to hear what we say (or understand what we write). For me, I often feel like this. There are Christian blogs that get more likes and views off a single post than I get in a year, though that’s the upper extreme. I can see how people get concerned with these things, but for me, I have to keep focused on my own determination not to compromise the truth for the sake of being more pleasing.
As someone with a background in digital marketing, particularity for websites and blogs, I know how to get traffic. If gaining followers was my primary goal, I would have many more than I do.
Even while retaining my integrity, I know I can always improve my approach and attitude, but I can work my whole life at this and no matter how effective God makes me, there will always be those who cannot receive it. I think this is something we can all benefit from understanding better, and for a number of reasons.
For those of us who teach things that do not always make people feel comfortable or go against tradition, this understanding helps us stay focused on what our conscience dictates we do. First and foremost however, I think the best reason to keep this in mind is because it helps us remember the patience of Jesus Christ.
If we really understand that “no one comes to the Son unless the Father draws him,” “all good things come from God,” and “what do we have that we did not receive,” we see those who are blind differently. We do not see them as inferior people who just refuse to accept Jesus, we see people who cannot – and we understand that God was gracious towards us, and He could just as easily chosen not to be.
I can spend years writing all the things I intend to write about the gospel, the laws of the kingdom of God, and preparing spiritually for the Day of the Lord, but ultimately it is in God’s hands who will hear and who will not. Even so, those who do are only getting intellectual understanding. It takes Jesus writing these things in our hearts for any real benefit to occur.
That’s something I struggled with for a couple years. I was learning about Jesus and the scriptures intellectually, but with very limited ability to perform the righteousness I believed in. It’s like reading a manual. We can read all day long, but if we have no knowledge in practice, what good is it? We can study the bible our whole lives and miss the whole point, not to mention having our natures changed so that we can actually walk in the ways of God.
The best way for us to learn about the gospel and the righteousness of God is for the Holy Spirit to reveal these things to us – and indeed he must or we don’t know these things as we aught to in the form of having our nature changed. The only way to stay focused on the truth during end times deception is by God placing His seal on us. So, why should I or any of us bother with ministry at all?
Why should any of us spread the gospel when God has to open our eyes and ears? God is hidden from us to a large degree, and He has ordained that man will learn from man. I can’t comment much on this, but that is the way He deems best. Even so, there are many men and women who are self-appointed or appointed by other men rather than God. How can we tell the difference? The Holy Spirit has to tell us, and God has to give us ears to hear and eyes to see.
That being said, there are some I’ve seen, on YouTube in particular, who claim to have special understanding of prophesy or some other idea, and they basically set up an ‘emperor’s new cloth’s’ scenario where they tell people things like, “if you cannot believe what I say, then it’s because you are deaf and blind.” As with that old story, though they say only the wise can see the shiny cloths, in reality, believing on them makes us naked fools.
So, on a final note, we should be careful in calling people blind or deaf if they cannot believe what we say. It can be very off-putting, and I see those who use such tactics as being manipulative. We can hold this understanding within ourselves though, and we should because it helps us continue even when the whole world seems blind, and as we do, we will remember the wisdom, sovereignty, and patience of Jesus Christ.