“A whip for the horse, A bridle for the donkey, And a rod for the fool’s back. Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own eyes.”
Proverbs 26:3-5 NKJV
“The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.”
Psalms 14:1 NKJV
There was a time when I was up to the argument with people who do not believe. Often these exchanges would happen after I had approached someone with the Gospel, and they had reacted in anger and denied the existence of God. There would be the inevitable back and forth, and in the end, they would storm off with a barrage of swear words, and I might shout, “Jesus loves you!”, as a parting shot.
As I matured in the faith I came to understand that I was dealing with fools, people who have a fixed belief that there is no God, and had little real ability to comprehend the holy, and make the leap to faith. I began to understand that coming to Christ is not the product of convincing, but a move of the Holy Spirit.
My gained understanding was built up on my own experience, as I could have easily been deemed a fool. It took 27 years of faithful prayer by my mother and a multitude of witnesses to breakthrough my foolishness, and the stoniness of my heart.
Disputing with lost people can be exhausting and endless, as they have so many things going on in their minds, as they seek to offer fleshly explanations for spiritual things. The follower of Christ should be grounded in the word of God, and bathed in prayer. We have been called to be missionaries to the lost world, workers prepared for the task.
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.”
II Timothy 2:15-16 NKJV
This can especially true when dealing with “believers” who may be false professors, people caught up in false teaching and deceived into thinking they are saved. One must be gentle with these, as there has been a seed planted, and right, spirit filled answers can assist them in coming to the truth.
It is of greatest concern to counter falsehood with truth. In those situations when I encounter one who has been deceived, I offer Scripture in context. If the conflict is not resolved, I gently retreat, reaffirming truth as I go, praying always that it enter their heart and mind. Far be it from me to win the argument, but lose the soul.
I post my writing in a wide variety of platforms, and periodically I will receive a comment from someone who is clearly not a follower of Christ. My way of handling it is to not respond, praying for the person. When the Lord was working on my heart, so long ago, I was openly hostile as conviction entered my soul. For me, the recognition that I was a sinner, ran headlong into my self proclaimed view that I was virtuous. It was like the specter of death had begun to hang over my life, as suddenly I was aware that I could be heading to hell.
“For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?”
II Corinthians 2:15-16 NKJV
The anger from me was a sign that God had begun to chisel away at my stony heart, exposing the raw flesh, open to the gentle persuasion of the Holy Spirit.
Foolishness in these days is approaching zenith, as sin has so infused into all of human thought, that up is down and down is up. It can be very challenging for the follower of Jesus who has the truth, when the world has institutionalized the lie.
Brothers and sisters, we must endure. We have the truth of the word of God to guide us, we have the body of Christ followers to keep us accountable as we meet and build each other up. And we have prayer, in which we can connect mind to mind, and heart to heart, with the One who created us and saved us.
We have been given the mission to go into all the world, bringing the truth of the Gospel. Jesus is with us, going before us and will never leave us.
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”
Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV
“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Philippians 2:9-11 NKJV
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