This evening, a good friend of mine who lives in Seattle and I carried on a lively discussion with two or three people on Facebook who had never obeyed the gospel.
One of our purposes was to encourage them to reduce to writing what they believed. They had an extremely difficult time doing this, but when they did we discovered some interesting things about their thinking:
1. Proving their position was unnecessary. One of the people expressed their belief as being a necessity to “accept Jesus as their personal savior.” However, when we asked where in the New Testament this was required, the person denied needing to do this. Another person said, “One does not have to prove why they believe the way they do.” In addition to giving her 1 John 4:1 and 1 Peter 3:15, we asked if a Muslim should prove his belief. She said, “Nope.”
2. The scriptures were not important to them. After asking one of them to provide scriptures in support for their belief as we had for ours, one said, “No you have offered Scripture not proof and that is my point.” After then offering Hebrews 11:1 and its definition of faith being “evidence of things not seen,” the person continued to deny the importance of scripture in what one believes.
3. The scriptures do not provide real faith. One wrote, “We believe through faith not because it was proven to be real.” At that point, it seemed to me that the possibility of reaching this person was pretty close to nil. How can one deal with someone who believes this? It was clear that:
4. These people were entrenched. This is the hardest part of trying to teach the gospel in the United States. People are so entrenched in their man-made doctrines they have no room in their minds for the truth. Yet, we must keep trying to reach them and give them an opportunity to obey the gospel.
It was enjoyable putting the light into the darkness, even though it was clear that people “loved darkness rather than light.”