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Mystery of Salvation
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Many of us have prayed for a spouse, son, daughter, parent or friend, hoping they would become a follower of Jesus. We may have given them books, talked with them, and pleaded with them, without a positive response. It can be very heart-wrenching when someone we love doesn’t understand they need Jesus in their lives and they continue to resist.

This resistance can be understood to a degree, but there is something we must acknowledge at the start: salvation—how one decides for Christ—is a true mystery. We will never understand why some people respond to the gospel and others don’t. The work of the Holy Spirit upon the human heart is only understood in Heaven.

For years I resisted making a commitment to Christ. I had no good excuse except I just didn’t do it. I remember when a dear friend traveled many miles in hopes of bringing me to a decision, but it didn’t happen. I believed in God and deep down wanted Jesus in my life. But for reasons I still don’t understand, I resisted.

Several years later I developed some physical problems that caused me to say those famous words to God; “If you heal me, I will serve you forever.” Well, He didn’t heal me. It was then that I decided to find out why He had “turned me down.” I began to look for answers in the Bible, which eventually led to a full commitment to Christ. Why it happened then and not sooner or later is a mystery I can’t explain.

My wife, a true agnostic, didn’t want anything to do with my new “religion.” I prayed for her and gently reasoned with her for months with no response except, “not interested.” One night, I was reading to the family from a book that told how Jesus was delaying His return to earth because He wanted everyone to be saved (2 Peter 3:9). For some reason this touched her heart. At 2 o’clock that morning she woke me and said she wanted this Jesus in her life. Another unexplainable mystery.

Salvation is the work of the Holy Spirit. He decides when the time is right, and He decides what methods to use. We cannot argue or pressure someone into making a commitment. It never works.

What We Can Do?

1. Keep praying that the uncommitted person’s eyes will be opened. “The god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so they can not see the light . . .” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

2. Be kind and patient. “Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in hopes God will grant them repentance. . .”  (2 Timothy 2:25).

Be assured, God is at work in the lives of every uncommitted person. Our part is to partner with the Holy Spirit in this great work of bringing people to faith in Christ. What an honor!

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By David Snyder. Copyright © 2010 by
GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.


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