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Where Does Man Get Lost?
by Dinora Garza
6/22/2017 / Salvation
“Man gets lost at the intersection of his own will and God’s.”
One of the greatest challenges when we study the Gospel is how to reconcile the Sovereignty of God with man's responsibility. If salvation is 100% God’s work, why is man still responsible for his unbelief?
While thinking about it, two stories came to mind: those of Gandhi and Christopher Hitchens, and their response to the truth of the Gospel. In them, we see a glimpse of the intricate manner in which the ways of God collide with the ways of man:
By the age of twenty, Gandhi had studied several religions, including Christianity. In fact, at one point he was wavering between Hinduism and Christianity, but finally rejected the latter. He regarded the Gospel to be a distorted message and affirmed that miracles could not happen and that Jesus was only “one more among the many begotten sons of God.” Gandhi wanted to obtain salvation, yes, but on his own terms and by his own effort. He believed the only way to find God was to see Him in His creation and within people, and declared that, “It would be poor comfort to the world if it had to depend upon a historical God who died 2,000 years ago.”
God gracefully gave Gandhi a Christian friend that for about 30 years tried to persuade him to repent and be converted, and while spending time in jail, three different people gave Gandhi the book Life of Sister Theresa, as an intent to lead him to Christ. Gandhi declared himself then and there “a rebel against orthodox Christianity” and promised to die believing in Hinduism, as it seems he did. Gandhi died at the hands of a Hindu man who opposed his pacifist ideology.
Christopher Hitchens memorized Scriptures since childhood. He was well acquainted with the doctrine of the original sin and seemed to understand the message of the Gospel pretty well. He rejected God during his teenage years, and as an adult, he became famous for unashamedly displaying his absolute contempt for God during his debates. What he couldn’t stand was for God to question his sinful lifestyle: he was an alcoholic and bisexual.
As with Gandhi, God's grace toward Hitchens was constant. God gave him a Christian friend too, that for many years tried to persuade him to surrender to Christ. Then when Hitchens was diagnosed with cancer, the same Christian friend shared two long road trips with Hitchens, driving and explaining the Bible, while Hitchens read it out loud. Did Hitchens repent and believe? We do not know. He lost the battle against cancer at the age of 62.
Both men heard the message, both reacted to it in a negative way—one in disbelief, the other with hatred. Both were recipients of the constant mercy and grace of God. Yet, it seems both remained unsaved. Will they be able to blame God for their damnation when they were unwilling to come to Christ? The sovereignty of God rules supreme, yet man's responsibility is undeniable.
Where and most importantly why do men lose their souls? They lose their souls by their own volition at the intersection of what they want and what God wants. Like the young rich man of the story of Jesus, they get very distressed when Jesus' calling becomes louder. Their pride, their sinful lifestyle, and their money seem to them too great a loss in exchange for God. They see rubbish as gold and gold as rubbish, and lose their souls because the more God shows them His glory, the tighter they shut their eyes.
“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” —Jesus
larryalextaunton.com — The life of Christopher Hitchens
Turek Vs Hitchens Debate — Does God exists?
Turek vs. Hitchens (II): What Best Explains Reality - Theism or Atheism?
Passages from Scripture: John 3: 19; 5:40; Romans 1: 24-28; Romans 10; Acts 2: 23; Luke 13: 3 and Matthew 19: 16-22)
I am a Christian. My passion is to know the Lord, and help others to understand His character and will. Read one of my blogs at: onetruthonegod.wordpress.com
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Read more articles by Dinora Garza
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