When To Give Up On A Lost Soul
Not until they stop breathing. Only God knows when a soul is so far gone that he is out of God*s reach. Following are six of the most troubling passages in the Bible. At least they should be troubling. Sadly they are not troubling for unbelievers.
Romans 1:24: Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Psalms 81:12: So I gave them up unto their own hearts* lust: and they walked in their own counsels.
Acts 7:42: Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness?
2 Thessalonians 2:11-12: And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Romans 1:26: For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
Romans 1:28: And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
I am very thankful that I do not need to know which people have finally and decisively stepped over that line that is only seen by the Lord. One comforting truth is that I need not feel guilty about someone else*s rejection of Christ or their delay of doing it. I must do my best to share the gospel with them and then be satisfied. It is comforting to know that the Lord can provide someone else to successfully share the gospel with them. I may be the one planting seeds, watering them or reaping the crop. I must let God choose which task is mine. We must not stop serving God just because we haven*t been assigned the task that we want or because we haven*t yet gotten the results that we want. The planting and watering are just as important as the reaping.
We tend to be discouraged when we share the gospel and people reject it. We sometimes blame ourselves when we shouldn*t. The Lord has given me much relief from my feelings of failure through some of these passages.
Titus 3:10: A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
Rejecting him means to reject what he wrongly believes. It does not mean that we should stop praying for him or loving him.
Adam Clarke: God gives no man any other authority over him but to shun him. Do him no harm in body, soul, character, or substance; hold no communion with him; but leave him to God.
Albert Barnes: It authorizes us not to recognize him as a Christian brother, or to admit him to an office in the church . . . but beyond this it gives us no right to go.
It is important that we constantly evaluate what we are sharing and how we share it but we only need to feel guilty if we have not tried to obey the Lord to the best of our ability. It is also important that we not get guilt confused with sorrow. We should have deep sorrow over those that reject Christ.
Mark 6:11: And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
Acts 13:50-52: But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts. But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.
Interesting that Paul and Barnabas should be filled with joy so soon after others had rejected Christ. Joy should come when we obey the Lord, not necessarily when others do.
Matthew 7:6: Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
Proverbs 9:7-8: He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot. Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
Acts 13:45: But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
Care to discuss When To Give Up On A Lost Soul with Ron?