Column: The Gospel Is Powerful To Save!
Published 12:28 pm Tuesday, June 20, 2023
By April J. Buchanan | Religion Columnist
Seven men, on separate occasions, approached the same man with the Gospel.
Each time the man’s heart only grew harder, more boastful as He eagerly awaited each man’s vain and valiant attempt at winning him to Jesus.
He began making a list of each man’s pitiful attempt to break open his heart and win him to Jesus. What fun. What sport to make of these pitiable little messengers holding their Bible, ready to tell him he needs Jesus.
As each man came, he sneered and listened to every word they said, so as to record them all later to be able to use against the next sad little messenger.
When a new messenger arrived, this man, with an desperately hardened heart and gravely lost soul, drew out his own sword and would show the list to the messenger and say, “your kind continue to come telling me I need Jesus and none of the words of these messengers has worked, what could you possibly add that they have not already?”
The messenger, seeing the list, would be stirred with such passion, hoping to share the good news of Jesus with this man and that this time the words would penetrate his hardened heart and by the grace of God, upon hearing the good news of Jesus, he would believe and be saved.
The man listened and prepared to record every word once again. His wayward heart hardening all the more and pride soaring as he prepared to defeat another little messenger of the gospel. When the messenger was done, he’d simply say,
“Your work here is done. I have not been won.”
Another defeated messenger would walk away feeling drained of all the previous passion that had just blazed in his heart only moments before, later only to find renewed strength and comfort in praying to the Lord and mentioning this man’s name to Him.
And then another. The same outcome. And another.
And then the Seventh messenger. What could possibly be special about him?
The man saw him coming and the blaze of fire rushed within him, no anger but great passion that this little messenger would not defeat him.
As the messenger approached, already this man had in his hand the record he had made of all the messengers before.
The messenger introduced himself and then made known his purpose for being there. In no time at all the man gleefully drew out his sword, the record of all messengers before. And he asked his question once again,
“your kind continue to come telling me I need Jesus and (showing him the paper and all that had already been said before) none of the words of these messengers has worked, what could you possibly add that they have not already?”
The messenger remained quiet for a moment, then began to walk away.
The man thought, “well, that was easy”, but then wandered why this man didn’t challenge him and why he didn’t seem to care to spar with him. It began to tear down his defenses and began to shake him as never before. He went after the man and asked why he would not try to win him, surely he has something more to say.
The messenger simply pointed at the man’s own record of all other messengers before and said, “What more could I add to tear down your heart of stone, for I am but a man and in your own hand is the Word of God, His Good News to you and rather than allow it to break open your heart, you use it for evil. I’m nothing special. None of these men did you any harm. The problem is not with the message. The problem is not with the messenger for which you have set out to defeat. The problem is your own hardened heart. Your greatest foe is your own rebellious nature, your own hardened heart against your Lord and Creator and you hold in your hand the truth that has the power to save, yet you use it as a weapon against those He has sent to care for your soul. This battle has never been between you and man, but your battle against the Lord.”
Weeping. Great vehement weeping, bore from the depths of the man’s soul. And as he looked up he could only say, “Oh what a pitiful man I am. I have sinned against my Lord, what must I do to be saved?”