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Understand What 'Cannot' Means



“If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Helper, that he may abide with you forever, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; but you know him, for he dwells with you and will be IN you." John 14:15-17 Life to a born-again person is going to be a story much different from that of a person who is not born again. Jesus said to those who love him that he will impart to them the Spirit of TRUTH - whom the world cannot receive. Think on that a moment. The Spirit of truth. Whom they CANNOT receive. What that means is that those who are not born again will NOT have the Spirit of truth, and that makes it impossible to walk with them because life will be entirely different for them from what it will be for you. It is so different in fact, that it's like you speak different languages. They are not ABLE to know the truth. And you are not ABLE to see things the way they do, because knowing the truth changes everything. Explains a lot, doesn't it? There are some huge glaring evidences of this, for example the subject of abortion. To a person who is not ABLE to know the truth, it makes perfect sense that a woman has "rights" so they say, to her own body, and should have the right to destroy a child that was not planned or is not wanted. When you say that that is murder, they CANNOT see that it is. Hear this - they CANNOT, because the Spirit of truth is not in them. I have never had to convince a born-again brother or sister that abortion is murder. They know that, because the Spirit of truth has put that knowledge into their hearts. So that should stop most debates. You can't debate with a person who CANNOT see the truth. It's useless. Go ahead and try if you must; you'll find that you are unable to persuade them. What you can do though, is pray for them to be brought to repentance and salvation. Prayer changes things. Usually not immediately, but you can be confident that it surely will. "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man AVAILS MUCH." James 5:16 The work of changing a heart is the work that can only be done by the Holy Spirit, not by human argument. When a person is born again he is transformed, and that is a spiritual thing that no one but the Spirit of God can accomplish. But you can pray. You can lay your life down for others by interceding for them that they might be brought to the life-changing experience of the new birth. When that happens, he or she will be transformed. Everything changes. Oftentimes a newly born-again person will say that even the sky seems brighter, the colors in nature more vivid. It changes everything. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW creation, old things have passed away; behold, ALL THINGS HAVE BECOME NEW." 2nd Corinthians 5:17 Perhaps this is the one thing you find most difficult to do - to fast and pray for someone. It is not easy. But it is effective. Therefore, rather than debate with him/her, fast and pray instead, and be willing to wait on the Lord. Many people take pleasure in debate, and it's not that debate doesn't have its place, but if you're debating with someone who is not born again, remember that they are UNABLE to see the truth. Fast, therefore, and pray. It "avails much." More: What Does 'Born Again' Mean?