(NOTE: This article is scheduled to appear in the July 21 edition of the Linn County News.)
It might surprise you to know that sinful people will never accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. At least they won’t without God changing their heart. The Bible says: “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” (1 Corinthians 2:14 NASB) Persistent unbelief is simply one of the hallmarks of a spiritually dead soul. The Apostle Paul wrote of this in the book of Ephesians where he states that they were “dead in their trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1) The fact is that all people are spiritually dead…unless God makes them come to life.
So what does this mean for the Christian? It means that if you are a follower of Christ, you should rejoice and thank God that he chose to grant you spiritual life. You didn’t just wake up one day and decide to follow Jesus. We’re simply to radically sinful to do such a thing. The Holy Spirit pierces our soul with conviction and drives us to brokenness in repentant faith. We embrace Christ as Lord. The things that we once thought foolish (or didn’t think about at all) become supremely dear to us. This is the work of God in the sinner’s heart.
Perhaps you’re reading this and the idea of unyielding commitment to Christ seems odd to you. If so, rest assured, you are spiritually dead. Yet perhaps in reading this something within is beginning to stir. You realize you’re a sinner. You know you’ve offended an infinitely righteous God. And maybe for the first time you understand your need for Divine grace and mercy. You are called to repent. To turn from your sins and bow to Jesus Christ as Lord. Are you willing? If so, know this. It is God placing that desire in your heart. And it is God who will immediately and eternally forgive, accept, and love you…if you will only come to Him.