Originally posted by mikeb
God gives us all a choice. The way is narrow and many
will miss it.
I'm gonna pass on the "absolute free will vs. election" debate right now...b/c its not the point at hand.
I definitely agree that the way is narrow. Too narrow for some to believe it can possibly be true, which is why we're often labeled as intolerant bigots.
One of the things I noticed about this site early on is
the number of young, bitter members that apparently
have absolutely no use for/tolerance of any kind of
My heart hurts that their hearts are so hardened at an
early age. How do you reach out to someone that
is so bitter?
I think we have to show them we're different. If non-believers do not see us as being any different from the rest, then what incentive would they ever have to investigate true Christianity? None. That's why the actions are just as important as words sometimes, and that's also why choosing our words carefully in these "debates" is OH SO critical.
I've run into plenty of angry and bitter people...but they have enough "things" that they appear to be happy (and maybe they truly ARE happy...for awhile). For those who know the Lord Jesus and have God's gift of the Holy Spirit indwelling them, we know that no matter how much "stuff" fills one's life (stuff = things, money, children, spouse, work accomplishments, other accomplishments, etc) that there is a gaping hole somewhere in one's soul without Christ. Certainly most of these people don't even realize it, so its hard to reach out.
I have found that being someone's "friend" and taking the time and effort to develop a relationship (which is hard to do on a forum...its a lot easier to type a message than it is to get on the phone with someone, go to their house, take them to lunch, etc) will mean when the right time comes, the door opens, and I have an opportunity to show someone what Christ has done for me.
This takes a LOT of effort and more time than most of us (including myself) typically want to invest nowdays. I think this is a big fault of the modern-day church. We can throw as much $$ and Bible tracts at charities and people as we want, but when it comes time to "get to know" someone, we retreat.
It's gotta be REAL, and its gotta be lived out in our lives...otherwise, its just a religion...something we do out of ritual, not b/c its really a life-changing experience.
Sorry so long.
Take care, Mike.