Many speak of faith, Jesus, and the church, especially when the church is in the news as it has been over the last week in light of the First Baptist, Sutherland Springs tragedy. I’ve read and heard of comments by unbelievers that prayer is ineffective and God is make believe–standard atheistic fare that has been around for centuries.
Remember that those who are not “in Christ” know nothing of Christ. Those outside of the faith know nothing of the faith. Don’t let the comments of the lost lead you to lose your way! Scripture says this of the lost: “They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts.” (Ephesians 4:18, HCSB) When it comes to matters spiritual, the lost are blind, excluded, and ignorant. Sin separates people from God.
Those who have not received new hearts that only Jesus can give are, in fact, spiritually dead. They are not qualified to speak of things spiritual. Those who have not been made alive with the Messiah are dead in their trespasses and sins. (Ephesians 2:1)
What then do we do? First, we must be careful about who we allow to counsel us. Are those we follow following Jesus? If not, their words about spiritual matters are of no worth. Spiritual buzz talk is everywhere today and most of it is garbage.
Second, we do not celebrate the truth that the lost are spiritually dead. This is no cause for celebration among believers. We find no vengeance in the lostness of others because “we too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires. . . “(Ephesians 2:3)
Third, we pray for the salvation of the lost and serve as ambassadors of Jesus to them. God “. . . wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4, HCSB) That is precisely what our world needs in this moment, the knowledge of the truth. So we pray that the lost have the experience of Paul: “At once something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized.” (Acts 9:18, HCSB)