May 21, 2009
How Long Will God Wait?
Yesterday we saw that the Holy Spirit plays an essential role in salvation. Before a person can surrender to Jesus, he or she must be drawn by the Spirit (John 6:44). Often, God is at work in someone’s life many years before that individual is saved.
Today’s passage shows that God is longsuffering; He often waits an extended period of time for a person to come to faith. The Lord truly “is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). However, we must realize that God will at some point stop wooing an unbeliever and allow him to go his sinful way. For example, Pharaoh continually hardened his heart when Moses requested the Israelites’ freedom (Ex. 8:15, 32; 9:34). But eventually, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart (14:17), which means that He let the wicked ruler have his way.
We don’t know when or why the Lord decides to stop working in a person’s life. Sometimes, He’s active to the very end—there are stories of people who receive the Savior on their deathbed. In such cases, the Holy Spirit was obviously at work in their final moments. But other people keep rejecting Christ or postpone thinking about salvation. Eventually, God may let them become desensitized so they see no need for Jesus. Continually rejecting the Lord is risky.
If you’re not a believer but are nevertheless interested in spiritual things, your heart remains pliable, and the Lord is still at work in your life. Don’t put off a decision about Jesus Christ. You don’t know when God might stop drawing you to Himself. The wisest thing you can do is choose to follow Him today.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org
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Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.