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Salvation is from God and God alone. No amount of work on our part can make someone to turn towards the Word of God and believe, unless God has mercy: "...it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy." (Romans 9:16 NKJV) "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (I Corinthians 1:18 NKJV) "Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him(Jesus) whom He(God the Father) sent.” (John 6:29 NKJV) God is Sovereign! And by that it means He and Him alone has the authority to move a person's heart and change their disposition (awareness), and cause a sinner to repent (change their mind about themselves, how a person manages their life, and a person's attitude towards God Himself). "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:44 NKJV) "...He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, (Ephesians 1:4, 5 NKJV) As believers, we have the privilege to access God through prayer and the Holly Spirit that lives in us. And that is a powerful tool to have. "...The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. "(James 5:16 NKJV) Be an example in everything and live with the hope that an unbelieving friend or relative will see the light and be drawn to it. Once the disciples of Jesus had a question about salvation too after Jesus told them a story about a rich man salvation. After what they've heard it seemed impossible to them to see who can be saved at all: "When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:25, 26 NKJV) So, read the Gospel to people, show them who they really are, with love and care, then humbly explain who God is, pray to our Father in Heaven and believe in His everlasting power to save mankind.
I think that there is a number of reasons, each quite personal. Each conversion is unique because everyone is different. One reason (for the purpose of answering your good question) could be selfishness. Raised in a Christian home or in a home with great morals and values or neither, before having a personal relationship with Christ we are serving Satan by default. We are confused or even enticed by Satan's lie that he does not exist and that really we are serving ourselves only. We often think, 'why serve someone else, for their benefit when I am enjoying serving myself and reaping the benefits.' We never understand the real benefits of the Christian life until we enter it. I think that is because it is a personal relationship with God. It is like a marriage, people can explain how great it is but you never really understand until you are in love with someone yourself. Yes marriage is hard work and yes it is all about serving each other but the benefits outweigh the hard work and selflessness. Sin (selfishness) is understandable in the unsaved, don't be discouraged if that is their choice until reaching the end of themselves. I believe that we are only ready to be saved when we reach the end of ourselves. Realizing that our selfish ambitions are hollow and having no other options except to accept Christ as our Lord and saviour or to reject Christ. Do not be discouraged when you think they have reached the end of themselves by your standards, but are still continuing in sin. The fact is that we do not know the limits of a person, only God does. Do not give up praying and trusting God throughout a seemingly hopeless situation. Basically it is hard to choose Christ because the devil is working hard. God bless you for asking this question. Trust God He is sovereign.
Most people who are not raised in a Christian home have to do battle with Satan who will strive for the capture of their souls. He tried to convince me that every one of my friends were already saved and they didn't have to know that I was lost.
Julian, I believe it is simple a matter of authority. All beliefs, religious or otherwise, must be based on some authority. You believe it because of this or that, but it has to come from somewhere. When man is told he must submit to a higher authority, especially one he cannot see, he will most often reject it. And because man does not inherently know right from wrong, but still wants to be in charge, we have the world we see today. Arguing religion or intellectual debates concerning God and His creation seldom win anyone to the Lord. Whenever possible however, your personal testimony and your walk with the Lord will show them instead of telling them what He has done in your life. After that give it to Jesus and be patient. It took many years of my loved ones praying for me before I came to the Lord. It’s all in God’s timing. Hope this helps, God bless Don
Just as a baby says "Me do.", so we just want to do it by ourselves. Sad, but the balance scale mentality is prevalent. I do much more good than bad, so I'm OK. Also the Horatio Alger mentality of raising ourselves by our own boot straps is the American way. The idea of denying ourselves is not popular. I minister in a Senior community. Most of these people are "good" people. They worked hard and now have a comfortable retirement. They have not cheated on their wives. They were honest in their businesses. We pray for them. We love them. Often, when trying to share, they will comment, that it is OK if you need a crutch. We have seen a few come to Christ, but it is the exception rather that the rule. Sometimes. when they have a crisis and we reach out to them, they respond. Most of the time they just try to pay us back. The people are very friendly. But as Christ mentions that it will be harder for a rich man to obtain salvation that it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. It certainly is true.
After hearing the word I think many people realize that following Christ will require them to make changes in their lifestyle that they are unwilling to make.
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