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How to cope with those who wont listen to God
Minister Riley Nelson Richmond Hill Church of Christ

One of the most heartbreaking things in life is having loved ones who will not listen to God’s word. They don’t even want to talk about it.

So what is a Christian to do? This is not a new thing; in fact, it happened to one of the apostles.

In Romans 10:1-3, Paul wrote, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they might be saved, for I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they, being ignorant of God’s righteousness and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” Paul truly felt pain for their lack of understanding.

What did he do?

Paul continued to live the Christian life before his kinsmen, making sure to live close to God and even stop to check his faithfulness from time to time. “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air, but I keep under my body and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).

Christians must constantly stay focused. Christians will never influence or convert others to Christ if they themselves are not striving for perfection. This is a continual work that must be seen by all.

Christians cannot give those they are trying to win a reason to point a finger and say, “If that’s the way a Christian acts, I am glad I am not one.” This means in public with friends, family and co-workers, the Christian must show a Christ-like spirit. Christ was willing to sacrifice himself for others, and so must each Christian.

Those who try to live like the world and then wonder why they cannot influence others for God must look within themselves and see their true natures. Straddling the fence between God and Satan is just not possible. They must make the choice.

In order to live closer to God, one must really become a student of the word. Not just go to class and listen, but study the subjects, know what the teacher is talking about and be able to add to the class. It also takes personal study with Bible dictionaries and commentaries, as well as reading good periodicals and books that will help one grow and think. Every Christian is supposed to grow (2 Peter 3:18).

The very thought of how to cope with not being able to reach loved ones with the gospel shows growth in the one asking the question. They are beginning to see the big picture. Being a Christian is much more than just attending services. It is being concerned about the lost, being willing and looking for ways to show others the way. It is being involved with good works and working as hard for God as one does for themselves and their families. It is being careful about how one speaks and acts, thinking more of others than of self.

“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

It is sad when loved ones will not listen to God, but those who do must continue following God.

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