Speaking where the bible speaks, and silent where the bible is silent.

Have you ever wondered why Jesus wasn’t able to convince the Pharisees of his day to accept the truth? After all, if anyone should be persuasive, it ought to be the Son of God. Yet the Pharisees could listen to him speak, watch him do unheard of miracles, and still called him a servant of Beelzebub. The fact is that these people had no love for the truth. “And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thess 2:10-12). The basic point is that if a person is not interested in truth, God is not going to force them. He will allow them to wallow in their self-deception, totally convinced that they are right, while remaining in the wrong.

I don’t know how matters have been approached in the past, but I have always found that it is best to sit down with a Bible. Answer points by turning to the passages and reading them. If a passage is brought up, turn to them and read them. It is often amazing how often seeing the actual words straightens out misconceptions. By going to the passage it is easier to spot when something is being taken out of context.

Unfortunately, there will still be times when you read a passage and the person will not under any circumstance accept what the passage obviously states. It is at that time you must decide whether it is worth additional effort or not. However, if a passage is clear and the person is contradicting it, I have generally found that additional talk will not alter the situation. “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces” (Matt 7:6). You can’t make a person accept the truth. You can only show them the truth and let them decide for themselves.

The apostles of Jesus Christ were commissioned to preach the gospel into all the world (Mk 16:15,16). No where in that commission was it ever revealed to force all who heard the gospel to obey it. No! We plant and water, but God gives the increase (1 Cor 3:6). Thus, preach it, teach it, read it, study it, prove it, and contend for it, but never force anyone to obey it. Jesus didn’t, the apostles didn’t, and neither should we.


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