One morning while we were waiting for Ricky to bring our coffee, I asked Stan, “Do you ever get discouraged that not everyone you share your faith with accepts what God has for them?”
“Like when they reject what I have to tell them?” he responded.
“That’s it,” I replied.
“No,” he said, “I choose to reject their rejection. It’s not up to me whether or not they accept God’s free and gracious gift of salvation and the eternal life of knowing Him, but what is up to me is to tell them.”
“Taking the example from the person I know best,” he continued, “I am forever grateful that my initial rejection of the truth was not the end of the story. God’s people kept telling me the truth until I finally realized that it was the truth. I accepted it by faith and have never looked back!”
“Do you think that God knows who will and who will not accept His gift of life eternally with Him when it’s time?”
“Since God knows everything,” Stan replied, “I think that would fall into the category of ‘everything.’ However, my approach is that just in case it’s an open question whether or not a person will accept God’s provision of salvation, my role is to give that person the option of accepting the truth. If no one tells them, there’s a great chance they will never know there’s an option.”
“Kind of like what the station master told me when I first got my ticket to glory and he told me to leave the station and go tell people.”
“What’s that?” Stan asked.
“As I remember it,” I replied, “the station master said something like not only are there a lot of people who don’t have a ticket to glory, there’s many who don’t even know there’s a train! As well, the station master said that there’s as whole bunch of ticket holders who don’t fully know what the ticket means.”
“And as we have talked about, and will probably talk about again because it’s important,” Stan responded, “what you just said is all about discipleship, pursuing Christian maturity, and working out the salvation that has been worked in.”
“So,” I said, “the bottom line is that I am to reject the rejection that may be shown when I share the truth, is that it?”
“That’s it, my friend,” Stan replied. “Know that the person’s salvation is a whole lot more important than any rejection you might feel.”
Bible verses to consider:
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16.
And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. John 17:3.
Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? Romans 10:13-15.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your free and gracious provision of salvation and eternal life. Thank you, too, for your people who did not give up on me, but rejected my initial rejection of the truth so I could hear it again until I came to accept, receive, and embrace all you have for me on both sides of eternity. I need and I ask for your help in not feeling rejected when others reject the truth I present to them. Please help me in knowing that their salvation is so much more important than any rejection I may feel. Help me in following your lead in telling others the truth of you and your provision so they, too, will have the opportunity to accept all you have for them. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you rejected God’s free and gracious gift of life eternally with Him when your time here is done? If so, why? Eternity is a long time to be separated from God. If you do have the assurance of salvation, how are you doing with telling others that they can have the same thing? Have you ever felt rejection when you shared the truth of the gospel? If so, what was that all about? Self? Do you accept that another person’s salvation is a whole lot more important than any rejection you may feel? Why or why not?