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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.

SOCK IT TO ME BABY!!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sunday message

With a new job and a new schedule come adjustments, especially in sleep patterns.  Thus I woke up just for the tail end of David Jeremiah's sermon this morning (though I didn't stop there), but it was the most important part for me.  Dr. Jeremiah was talking on the subject "God is Love", and how He loves everyone- even those who haven't accepted His Son and found their salvation. He reminded us of Romans 6:23:  "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."  You see, God loves us even though we haven't accepted this gift; the rub being we cannot enter heaven without it.  But because He loves us, He will wait a LONG time before giving up on us.   "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."  2 Peter 3:9.  And because of that, I had to review how I pray.

You see, I have never been slack myself about engaing with atheists.  But whether it is responding to the infinitely silly question from one blogger:  "Okay, Creationists, why didn't God give us the ability to travel in space?" (Yup, actual question asked); or  trying to get past the notion that a "real" God should think and reason as we do, it is hard to get an atheist to really listen.  Many consider that they "already know it all", claiming "I've been brought up in a church/I've read the Bible, along with the Quran, etc." and refusing to believe that there is more to it than that.  Because you cannot get them to understand that God wants more than that, He wants a personal relationship.  That's when they go into "Easter Bunny mode" generally.  And even if you are willing to play the "what if" game with their beliefs, they will not extend you the same courtesy; any reasoning you use, they will dismiss without even hearing, "but if God exists", and tell you they won't continue the conversation because you are deluded.

And yet I try, not trying to make a point, but because God cares about them- and so should I.  I don't know how many times I have said, "I do this because I care about you," only to be met with the attitude, "I don't need your caring because God doesn't exist.  If I gave them a gift they didn't need at a birthday party, a reasonable person would say, "That's okay, thanks for the thought." Because they would accept the caring that went into it, whether it was the right gift or not.  Care about an atheist this way, and because God is in the equation, you get, "You've done nothing for me."  But they are the free thinkers.

And I bring this up not to attack them, but to explain my state of mind during these set-tos.  I don't get pissed for myself (though I do get mad for God's sake at blasphemy), or get a case of hurt pride.  But I get frustrated, and depressed.  Because Satan has chosen to erect a wall of "I can't hear you" in these people, and they will not listen, even when you use the same rules of logic they profess to follow.  It hurts.  And I am confessing right here that, in times when you are constantly barraged with groups putting up anti-God billboards, when our President tells us Muslims kill Americans because Christians are evil, when it seems half our population lives to kill and rob and rape before they can be killed or robbed or be raped,   it just doesn't seem worth it to care about these people anymore.  And you begin to pray that God finally gives up on them and brings His judgement this day, this hour.  "Look at them, God, you can't save them if they won't hear.  Isn't it time to just bag it all?"

I'll admit to that prayer at least once a month.  But when I put together my golden, logical case for ending it all, what God hears is,  "God, you are being foolish.  You love these people but they will never love you.  Why waste your time?"  Which is me making three mistakes.

First, God is never foolish.  And He's certainly not foolish because He " is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness".  He waited 2,000 years on my undeserving ass.  Was that so foolish?
Second, I am judging others as irredeemable.  If God wants to send out both combines to get the masses and gleaners afterwards to get the bits and pieces, who am I to judge how He tills his farm?  It's not like I'm the choicest ear off the stalk.
Third, it's not a waste of time if one person gets to avoid eternal damnation.  Ask the person who doesn't avoid it.

Lately, I have prayed keeping in mind the story of the widow and the corrupt judge from Luke 18.  For those who don't remember, it goes like this:

"1Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. 3And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

4“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’”

6And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
 
 
Another way the bold verse is put is "Avenge me against my Adversary", and that is the prayer I have been praying for myself and others.  Because the Adversary is Satan, and this prayer, to me, is the same as the line from the Catholic Prayer to St. Michael, "...defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the Devil."  When I pray for the judgement day, I have to make sure it is because I am asking God's will be done, and not because I have mistaken the people around me for the Adversary.  Better then to pray, "Avenge them, Lord, against THEIR adversary."  I don't have to heap hot coals on their heads.  I just desire for them to hear.
 

11 comments:

  1. My experience with Atheists is that they have not been brought up with God at all, as that is the true definition of an atheist. My experience with agnostics (those brought up knowing, but chose not to believe) have not given up on God per say, but in the faith that all humans have good within them. They see horrible things done by people, too people, to good people who have done nothing but right (sickness and cancer) and feel that God has abandoned them. And therefore they stop believing.

    Which is more a state of our society than a religious choice so to speak.

    And sometimes in the end, those people are not yours to save. They will either leave this world in redemption or not, it's their choice.

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    1. That would be the way I would have thought, but every atheist I've jousted with claims being raised in a church. What they did there, I don't know.

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    2. MAybe they are just looking for confrontation? Who knows. Either way not everyone's for saving.

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  2. "when our President tells us Muslims kill Americans because Christians are evil"

    What color is the sky in your world?

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    1. Blue, sometimes gray during the day. Black with white spots at night. Yours?

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  3. I have a friend who became an atheist because his brother got cancer, he prayed every day for the cancer to magically disappear, and when it didn't and his brother died, he says therefore God doesn't exist. I am just astounded by that logic.

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    1. Someone(perhaps his pastor) should have had him read 2 Samuel 12 before it got that far. That's who we as Christians let down our friends in times of grief- by not knowing where to take them in a book that has everything.

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  4. WOW!! I really like this post. Very thought provoking and it speaks some of my own frustrations.

    I have a friend who says "I have my god and you have yours". It hurts my heart that he is so uncaring about the destination of his soul. My son is one that believes in God but doesn't need God in his life.

    While there are times I want to quit praying for them or sharing the gospel as God leads, I can't quit. When I became a new christian, someone told me, "pray for people as if there was no one else praying for them".

    And so, I take my frustrations to God and continue to pray.

    Glad you wrote this post. Gave me something chew on!

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  5. Well, that was certainly a content-free "argument" to support your delusion.

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    1. "If I gave them a gift they didn't need at a birthday party, a reasonable person would say, "That's okay, thanks for the thought." Because they would accept the caring that went into it, whether it was the right gift or not. Care about an atheist this way, and because God is in the equation, you get, "You've done nothing for me." But they are the free thinkers."

      Thank you very much, Brian, for proving my point.

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