Joomla Template by Create a Website
  • Video lessons on Revelation and the Old Testament
    are now available.
  • View press release of Carlton's newest book -
    God and Men: No Holds Barred.
  • Read about the Life Changing Verses books.
  • View lessons from the Old and New
    Testaments of the Bible.

Salvation: When others don’t accept

Published: Tuesday, 25 February 2014 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

And Jesus said,

“In whatever place you enter a house, stay there till you depart from that place. “And whoever will not receive you nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet as a testimony against them.  Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!”   Mark 6:7-11

My interpretation of this Bible passage may be totally wrong.  I have not attended any formal religious classes or training.  All I have is the Holy Spirit leading and guiding me through God’s Word.  The reason I prefaced this write-up is to ensure that you understand what I think Jesus is saying.  There is a TOUGH spiritual truth and many of you may have a depressing emotional reaction to my interpretation.  Basically, I believe that Believers should not dedicate themselves to the salvation of one person.  God may have many people for you to witness to.  In all cases, the Holy Spirit leads people to Christ.  Every Believer should be sufficiently flexible in their witnessing to allow the Holy Spirit to lead them to people who need Christ.

 

The background of the passage is the event concerning Jesus sending His 12 disciples out into the world to witness for theKingdom of God.  He gives them specific instructions about what to carry that is basically only the clothes they are wearing.  He also gives them power to cast out unclean spirits.  Everything is good until we get to these verses.

Jesus says that if they are not welcomed, if they are rejected, or if they are ignored, then they should leave.  The leaving should include a testimony against those people.  They should shake off the dust from under their feet.  I interpret this to mean that they should take nothing of that city or of the people with them.  The people in that city have rejected the power of the Holy Spirit.  They have rejected that Jesus is the Messiah.  This is the heart of the gospel.  The Spirit reveals the need for the Savior and people reject that revelation.  At this point, Jesus says to leave that city, and don’t take anything with you including the dust from the street.

When you apply this spiritual truth to today, it implies something that most Believers will have a hard time accepting.  I know that I have struggled with this truth, because I wanted to keep adding God’s unconditional love for the sinner.  I thought that if I began to witness to someone, I should continue that witness until they accepted Christ or one of the two of us died.  God is saying that there comes a time in your witnessing to a family member, a friend, or a work associate where you cease and desist from continuing to witness to that person.  This sounds harsh and unlike God.  It is possible that someone constantly witnessing to another person can turn that person away from God.

However, the Bible is clear on two points that makes it valid to stop your witnessing to someone.  The first point is that many people may need to be involved in someone accepting Christ.  Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:1-9 makes it clear that different people have different purposes in telling someone about God’s plan of salvation.  Each of us should know the spiritual gift that God has given us.  This gift is our spiritual strength in our relationship with others.  We all cannot be Pastors or Evangelists.  But, we are all called to be witnesses and tell others about God.

The second point is that we should be firmly convinced that God will put people in our lives that would only respond to the gospel because of who we are.  In other words, a member of your family may not receive any witnessing by any other member of the family.  However, that same person may respond to a friend sharing the story of Jesus Christ with them.  This point is so important because EVERY Believer will be used by God to witness to certain other people.  We don’t need to set our own personal goal to “save” someone when God is the author of our salvation.

I would like to end this discussion with a personal testimony.  I worked for a manager who had a terrible reputation of being a narcissicist, egomaniac, obnoxious, uncaring about people, and just plain rude.  There were many other terms applied to this manager, but I think you have the picture.  For the first six months, I kept asking God why he would allow such a person to be in my life.  Because of the tough times at work, I was reading all 150 Psalms every month.  Finally, God broke through my desire to get away from this manager, and God revealed to me that I was the ONLY person on this earth that could witness to this person.  No one else would come within 10 feet of him.  It was at that moment that I knew that I needed to befriend this person.  To my surprise, he befriended me.  He would invite me to lunch, to go on business trips with him, and spend more time with him than anyone else.  There’s a lot more to this story, but I did tell him many times about being a sinner and Christ dying for his sins.  To my knowledge, he never accepted Christ to my face.  He eventually died of cancer at the age of 54.  Three months before he died, he asked me to meet with him and tell him one more time about Christ.  I did.  I cannot wait to get to heaven and check to see if he is there.

Be on the watch for people that God will put into your life that need to hear something about Christ.  Also, trust God to put the right people into the life of your loved one that has not accepted Christ. After all, only the power of the Holy Spirit can draw someone to God.  All God wants you to do is to be available for others when God has prepared them to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Allow God to do His work through you when it comes to telling others about Him.

Hits: 528