Have you ever tried to share your faith with someone and came up with negative results? Did you start to question yourself and your calling? Did you feel that nothing you could say or do would change the heart of that person or group of people? Please do not get disheartened! Sometimes it is not your fault that someone’s heart is hardened to hearing the Gospel. When times like this come to my mind I am reminded of the story of Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31. In this piece of Scripture, there was a rich man whose heart was far away from God and he was self-observed. Then, there was another man, a beggar, that sought the scraps of the rich man. Both men died and Lazarus went to heaven and the rich man went to hell. At that point, it was too late. The rich man was stuck in hell because of his attitudes and actions, while Lazarus was being placed in the bosom of Abraham (Luke 16:23).
The rich man was dying of thirst and asked Abraham to send Lazarus to give him a drop of water to quench his thirst. Abraham told the rich man that it was too late and the man begged Abraham to send Lazarus to his siblings. He did not want them to follow his shortcomings. The rich man told Abraham that if Lazarus would show himself to them that they would believe and repent of their sins. However, Jesus made a powerful statement that followed. He stated, “If they do not hear and listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded and convinced and believe [even] if someone should rise from the dead,” (Luke 16:31, AMP). You see, sometimes you cannot guide someone to salvation because their hearts are hardened. No matter what you say or do, they will not believe in the Gospel you are trying to share with them.
However, when the time comes and it will come for everyone, they will be looking up at us in Jesus’ bosom. They will beg Jesus to give them a drop of water to quench their thirst. Then, Jesus will tell them that He sent His servant to try to reach them and they refused to learn. If they would have accepted His message of salvation through repentance they would have never been thirsty again (Luke 4:14). They could have been satisfied with eternal life in the kingdom of heaven, and they would have been filled with God’s love, grace, and mercy. However, they became their own enemy because they refused to see the truth before them. The did not listen to Moses, they did not listen to the Prophets, they did not listen to Jesus, and they did not listen to you.
The moral of this message is to not stop trying to help others by sharing the Gospel but to help those hearts that have been broken in the past that were trying to share it and it was not received. Not everyone is willing to hear the truth and we must understand that fact. Some people’s hearts are hardened by God for a reason. Like Pharaoh and the example of this rich man in the Gospel of Luke. This hardness has nothing to do with us and our Gospel, it has to do with that person individually. Knowing this should allow healing in the hearts of those who hurt. So please, if you have been hurt in the past because someone would not be persuaded and convinced of Jesus’ sacrifice for them do not be dishearted. Sometimes people will not want to receive the free gift of salvation because of their selfish ambitions and their worldliness. Pray for them and pray for the Gospel to be lived out around them so their hearts can change before it is too late, but remember that sometimes all we can do is plant a seed in them and nothing more.