The Word Convicts of Sin
There was a time between 2004 and 2008 when I took my Holy Spirit courage pills and shared the gospel with many of my close friends, especially between 2004 and 2005. The reactions were all over the place - some cut off communication immediately when they found out I was a Christian, others ridiculed my faith, and a surprising number were open, intrigued by the changes in my life and the role God played in that transformation.
Now I wish I could tell you that lots of those friends eventually made decisions to follow Jesus; so far that hasn’t happened. As I reflect upon a number of those heart-to-heart chats that took place over cups of coffee, my new cell phone, or e-mail, one theme comes up over and over again. Following Jesus meant surrendering their will to his, and that meant actively turning away from sin and walking in obedience. To date that has been a bridge too far, especially for many of those friends who are openly gay. When you’ve invested your entire life in being “yourself,” giving the reigns over to God can seem impossible.
Leroy Eims from The Navigators ministry talks about the stumbling block sin creates when sharing the gospel in his devotional “The Word Convicts of Sin.” He shares the story of taking a college course about evolution where the professor’s stated goal was to destroy the faith of any Christian in the room. Eims decided to take the opportunity this created to share the gospel with people in his class. One day the professor’s assistant came to talk to him after class; Eims directed him to a film Moody Bible Institute had created which showed why there was much more reason to put faith in creation than evolution.
The professor’s assistant said the film had changed his thinking, and he believed what it taught. But give his life to Jesus? No way. Why? “It would mean turning from my sin, and I’m not ready to do that.” At their root, most objections to the gospel have nothing to do with God or the Bible, but rather the call to repentance. In our flesh we love sin and have no desire to turn from it; that takes the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit to change the heart.
We know the persistent sharing of the truth through people like you and me is often one of the tool the Spirit uses to reach people. I just have to remember that when people reject the message, they’re ultimately rejecting Christ and not me - I’m just the messenger. Yes it hurts, especially when its people we love - but that doesn’t mean we should give up. Let’s take these parting words from Leroy Eims to heart:
Since the Holy Spirit uses the Word to convict us of sin, we should be faithful to proclaim it to others.