Do you feel guilty?

There are Christian leaders who regularly try to convince people of their guilty conscience so they can do more to convert others. Pastors are fully engaged in instigating good deeds for their churches. It's a tough job and you can not blame pastors when they're sometimes tempted to use arguments that make people feel guilty about getting them to do something. But there are methods that are worse than others, and one of the worst is the unbiblical view that people are in hell because you of all people did not preach the gospel to them before they died. You may know someone who feels bad and guilty because he has failed to pass on the gospel to someone who has since passed away. Maybe you feel the same way.

I remember a Christian youth leader of a school friend who told a teenage group the grim story of meeting a man who felt a strong impulse to explain the gospel to him but did not. Later he learned that the man was hit by a car the same day and died. "This man is now in hell suffering from indescribable agony," he told the group. Then, after a dramatic break, he added, "and I have all this to answer for!". He told them that he was suffering from nightmares and sobbing in his bed in the face of the terrible fact of his failure, which would make that miserable man suffer the ordeal of fiery hell forever.

On the one hand, they know and teach that, God so loved the world that He sent Jesus to be saved, but on the other hand, they seem to believe that God sends people to hell because we fail to preach the gospel to them , This is called "cognitive dissonance" - when two opposing teachings are believed at the same time. They believe partly joyfully in God's power and love, but at the same time act as if God's hands were bound to save people if we could not reach them in time. Jesus said in John 6,40, "For this is the will of my Father, that whosoever sees the Son and believes in him, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. "

It is God's business to save, and the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost do it well. It is a blessing to be involved in the good work. But we should also realize that God often acts despite our inability. If you have charged yourself with the burden of a guilty conscience because you have failed to preach the gospel to a person before their death, why do not you pass the burden on to Jesus? God is not too clumsy. Nobody slips through his fingers and nobody has to go to hell because of you. Our God is good and merciful and powerful. You can trust him to be there for all people, not just you.

by Joseph Tkach


pdfDo you feel guilty?