What do you think about non-believers?

483 like think glibs about non-believersI address you with an important question: How do you feel about non-believers? I think that's a question we should all think about! Chuck Colson, founder of the Prison Fellowship in the US, once answered this question with an analogy: "If a blind man steps on you or pours hot coffee over your shirt, would you be mad at him? He answers himself that we probably would not be, just because a blind man can not see what is in front of him. "

Please keep in mind that people who have not been called to believe in Christ yet can not see the truth in their eyes. "To the unbelievers, whom the God of this world has blinded the mind, that they do not see the bright light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, which is the image of God" (2, Kor 4,4 LUT). But just in time, the Holy Spirit opens their spiritual eyes so they can see. "And he (Jesus Christ) give you enlightened eyes of the heart, that you may know to what hope you are called by him, how rich the glory of his heritage is for the saints" (Eph 1,18 LUT). The church fathers called this happening "the miracle of the enlightenment". When that happens, it becomes possible for people to come to faith. They believe because they can now see it with their own eyes. Although some people, despite seeing eyes, decide not to believe, it is my belief that most of them in their lives will eventually respond positively to God's clear call. I pray that they will do this sooner rather than later so they can experience the peace and joy of God's knowledge already at this time and tell others about God.

We believe we recognize that non-believers have misconceptions about God. Some of these ideas are the result of bad examples of Christians. Others have come from illogical and speculative opinions about God that have been heard for years. These misconceptions aggravate spiritual blindness. How do we respond to their unbelief? Unfortunately, we Christians are reacting to the construction of protective walls or even strong rejection. By erecting these walls, we overlook the reality that non-believers are as important to God as believers. We forget that the Son of God came to earth not just for believers, but for all men.

When Jesus began his ministry on earth, there were no Christians yet - most people were non-believers, even the Jews of that time. But thankfully, Jesus was a friend of sinners - an advocate of non-believers. He said, "It is not the strong who need the doctor, but the sick" (Mt 9,12 LUT). Jesus Himself set himself the task of seeking out the lost sinners to accept Him and the salvation He offered them. So he spent much of his time with people who were considered unworthy and unobservant by others. The religious leaders of the Jews therefore labeled Jesus as "a wolverine, wine-drinker, and a friend of publicans and sinners" (Lk 7,34).

The gospel reveals the truth to us: "Jesus the Son of God became a man who lived among us, died and ascended to heaven; he did this for all people ". Scripture tells us that God loves "the world." (Joh 3,16) That can only mean that most people are non-believers. The same God calls us believers to love Jesus like all human beings. For this we need the insight to see them as "not-yet-believers in Christ" - as those who belong to him, for whom Jesus died and rose again. Unfortunately that is very difficult for many Christians. Apparently there are enough Christians willing to judge others. The Son of God proclaimed, "For God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world, but to save the world through him" (John 3,17 LUT). Sadly, some Christians are so eager in condemning non-believers that they completely overlook how God the Father looks on them - as His beloved children. For these people he sent his son to die for them, even though they could not (yet) recognize or love him. We may regard them as non-believers or unbelievers, but God sees them as future believers. Before opening their eyes to a nonbeliever, the Holy Spirit is locked in the blindness of unbelief - confused by theologically wrong concepts about God's identity and love. It is under these conditions that we must love them rather than avoid or reject them. We should pray that, when the Holy Spirit empowers them, they will understand the good news of God's reconciling grace and accept the truth in faith. These people may enter the new life under God's direction and dominion, and the Holy Spirit may enable them to experience the peace given to them as children of God.

When we think about non-believers, let us remember Jesus' commandment: "That is my commandment that you love one another as I love you (Joh 15,12 LUT)." And how does Jesus love us? By sharing his life and love with us. He does not build walls to separate believers and non-believers. The Gospels tell us that Jesus loved and accepted tax collectors, adulteresses, possessed and lepers. His love was also for the women with bad reputation, soldiers who mocked and beat him, and the crucified criminals at his side. As Jesus hung on the cross and remembered all these people, he prayed, "Father, forgive them; because they do not know what they are doing! "(Lk 23,34 LUT). Jesus loves and accepts all, so that all of them, as their Savior and Lord, may receive forgiveness and live in communion with their Heavenly Father through the Holy Spirit.

Jesus gives you a share in his love for the non-believers. By doing so, you see these people as God's property that he has created and will redeem, despite the fact that they do not yet know the one who loves them. If they keep this perspective, then their attitudes and behavior towards the non-believers will change. They will accept these fellow human beings with open arms as orphaned and estranged family members, who will yet get to know their true father. As lost brothers and sisters, they are unaware that they are related to us through Christ. If you seek to meet non-believers with the love of God, they too can welcome the grace of God in their lives.

by Joseph Tkach