A few years back, I bought a book called Answers To Difficult Bible Texts by Joe Crewa.
I expected about 10 difficult passage for the author to deal with, however to my amazement, he listed 76!
Over the years, I have been asked many tough questions, and here are a few:
· How often should I mention Christianity to my adult children who have left the faith?
· Should I secretly baptize my grandchildren since my children refuse to have them baptized?
· What happens to babies who die without baptism?
· I’ve been a church goer all my whole life; this the first time I’ve seen an individual confession and absolution offered- is this appropriate?
· Do I have to go to church to be a Christian?
· Why don’t most free churches offer first Holy Communion classes?
· Can my visiting non believing relative take communion today?
As a minister of the Gospel, the most common question I have had to help folk with is, Why do some hear the Gospel and believe, and others don’t?
That’s a real tough one; however, my best answer is, “I don’t know”.
Look at Romans 11:33 as this will help to why some and not others fall under God’s hidden will-
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God
How unsearchable his judgments and his paths beyond discovery!
While we don’t know the ultimate answer to this question, here is what we do know from Scripture.
First, we know that all are dead-in-their-trespasses sinners and deserve hell; no one is righteous (Romans 3). We also know that God loved all and sent His Son to suffer hell on the cross and die for the sin of the world (John 3).
Second, we know that God desires all to hear and believe this Good News and have everlasting life (I Timothy 2 & 2 Peter 3).
Third, we know that God elects to heaven but doesn’t predestine anyone to hell (Romans 8:30).
So why do some hear and believe, and others don’t? Again, ultimately, God hasn’t revealed this to us, so we should take a guess at it.
Fourth, we know that all of us, by our human nature deaf to the Gospel and are in desperate need of the miracle of having our ears opened.
Finally, we know the miracle of faith in God’s work (Ephesians 2:8), and rejecting the Holy Spirit’s call by the Gospel is sinful our responsibility. God gets credit for salvation, and because of what we choose- God’s way or the other way- we get credit for the consequences of everlasting judgment (Acts 7:51; Matthew 13 & 22).
Our Bible states that we are justified by faith alone and not by works of the law (Romans 3 & 4). As Romans 10:17 says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (ESV).
Our Lord uses grace to create and sustain our faith through the Word and Sacraments ministry. The Holy Spirit creates faith through the vehicle of the Word as we hear and receive it in our hearts and live it in our lives.
So, why do some believe, and others don’t? Well, as we have seen, this really isn’t a question for us to ponder.
However, the question we can ponder is- when Jesus asks is, “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15). Therefore, we would do ourselves a great favour to hear the Gospel and receive the Sacraments often in faith so that God who began a good work in us will carry it to completion (Philippians 1:6).
Thank you for visiting me here; I hope this post was helpful.
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Virtual hugs, I look forward to your visit to my next blog post!
Paula Rose Parish