2008-01-25 - Fret Not
I get some very moving letters from friends / readers who are frantically worried about the salvation of loved ones. I understand their very human concern, borne of deep love for that person a nd concern over their well-being. But we can truly "fret not," for God's word teaches us that God Himself wants everyone to be saved. (Please don't misread this; I'm not saying that everyone will be saved.)
As 2 Peter 3:8-9 (NIV) reminds us, "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."
Please note that God is "....not wanting anyone to perish," and makes provision for that via His plan of salvation and His patience.
So there is no need to fret. Pray, share your faith once, and let it go. Sometimes in our fervor to "witness" to people, we tell them the exact same thing over and over, and really - it can backfire and alienate people from the very Gospel that we are wanting them to believe (and I have previously been guilty of doing it myself, so I also speak from personal experience). Think about this. I'll use another example I have witnessed among family members. What is your reaction if someone keeps telling you the same thing, i.e. "you need to lose weight (or stop smoking or drinking or whatever)." A week later, "I'm worried about you - you've put on a few pounds." Next time you see them: "I have a diet I would like to share with you." You would probably not be any more inclined to diet; rather you'd probably feel angry and annoyed.
So the next time you start worrying about someone's salvation, remember that as much as you yearn for that person to enter Heaven, there is Someone who wants that even more than you do, and even sent His son for that purpose. Trust Him with this.