Dealing with the Unrepentant

by Greg Gwin
via The Beacon 9/29/2009

Are you discouraged because you can’t get someone to change? Maybe you’ve worked long and hard to teach someone what they should do to be saved, but they simply won’t accept it. It’s clear to you and to them that there are things amiss in their life, but they just won’t commit to do what is right. Or, it might be some erring brother in the church. You have struggled to convince him that he has sinned and needs to repent, but he steadfastly refuses to admit his sin and turn back to God. Surely, these are discouraging situations.

When we face these difficult scenarios, it should help us to remember that others before us have faced the same woes. In fact, when we ‘hit a wall’ while trying to convert the lost or restore the erring, we are joining the good company of God’s faithful servants through the ages. Their words certainly strike a familiar chord:

The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts” (Psalms 10:4).

“... they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return” (Jeremiah 5:3).

Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent ...” (Zechariah 7:12).

Ye stiffnecked and uncircum­cised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye” (Acts 7:51).

But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God” (Romans 2:5).

So, you see, your frustrations at being unable to change the ways of unrepentant folks is not new. Others have endured the same things. The key thing is for us to stay committed to our task of faithfully serving God. “. . . be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (I Corinthians 15:58)