Two Factors That Prevent Someone From Coming To The Lord
"The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
upon them a light has shined."
Many believers today can look back with awe at the time when they came to the Lord. For many it was a totally life-changing event. I certainly can attest to that, as this was exactly my experience. It was a time of great darkness, and it's no exaggeration to say I was walking in the "shadow of death." That was my state when the Lord invited me to himself. But I had a choice, it was an invitation I could accept or reject. I accepted. He changed EVERYTHING!
For others, the opposite is the case. In a way it's a disadvantage for anyone to have been raised in a Christian home because oftentimes such a person is unaware that he has not been born again, taking it for granted that because he was born into a Christian home that therefore he must be a Christian, especially if his training has made him a moral person. If so, then how will he ever recognize his need? The Scriptures tell us that we are all, every one of us, fallen:
“There is none righteous, no, not one..."
"ALL we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned, every one, to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all."
I knew someone who was brought up in a religious home. Many years later, she came to the Lord and was born again. One day in her prayer time, the Lord spoke to her heart, "You need to ask for my forgiveness." She was stunned! She was appalled! She responded, "All my life I've been a good person, I've always tried to do the right thing." Then the Lord began a process of showing her what was really in her heart, buried under all that "goodness." To say she was humbled, would be an understatement.
“The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately wicked; who can know it?"
On the other hand, some people think they've been too wicked, and would not come to the Lord because they feel he would never accept them. But among these are many who have the most darkness-to-light experiences when they are born again, and from then on these will have the most powerful testimonies. In these lives the power of God is most clearly seen, as he takes those dark and damaged souls and remakes them into something beautiful.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,
he is a NEW CREATION;
old things have passed away,
behold, all things have become new."
2 Corinthians 5:17
If you are in the first group, having grown up in a "religious" home, please pray with me:
Father God, I grew up in a religious home and it just never occurred to me that I might not be born again. If that is the case, please come and do a work in my heart and show me what's truly there, buried under all my good deeds. If I have a wrong picture of myself, please show me the truth. I am ready to surrender totally to you as you do a work of making me new.
If you are in the second group, feeling yourself too wicked, please pray with me:
Father God, I have avoided you most of my life because I've lived sinfully and am only too aware of the evil in my heart. I have thought that I'm a hopeless case, but your Word says that anyone who comes to you, you will not cast out (John 6:37) and so I take courage and ask you to receive me if you are willing. I know what I am, and I know that I cannot change myself, but I am willing for you to change me and make me new. I surrender myself and my life to you. Please be the Savior I so desperately need. And please send believers into my life to help me begin walking in the newness of life which you are creating for me. In Jesus' name I ask.
"Born Again" - What Does That Mean?