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Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Least Likely Convert

I'll bet there is someone that you don't ever think will become a Christian. This person has laughed at your faith. He has exhibited no interest in Christ. This person may have developed a morality that rivals that of Christians. He may even point out each time a "Christian" is caught in a scandal. He may believe that his own pleasures are the only reason for living. Ultimately, he is a hedonist regardless of whether he leans toward a heightened or depraved morality. He does what pleases him even if it appears altruistic. There is no world outside what he can verify with his five senses.

Maybe you have stopped praying for this person. No one would blame you. He hasn't given any indication of moving slightly closer to a faith in Christ. In fact, he may have moved farther away when you prayed for him. You got frustrated and started believing that he will never come to Christ.

It is harder to give up on someone you care about. A husband or wife that doesn't know the Lord is very difficult to live with too. He or she may treat you wonderfully but you don't have the same ultimate values. There is always a disconnect when it comes to spiritual matters. You can't seem to communicate when it comes to spiritual things. You have explained, been laughed at, been argued with and have left frustrated so many times. You may love each other deeply but this spiritual gap makes things less than they could be . . . less than you long for them to be.

You have called your preacher to come explain the gospel. Unfortunately, the problem isn't a lack of information or the ability to win the "Christian" argument. The problem is resisting the Holy Spirit. No preacher can prevent that from happening.

Zaccheus was the least likely convert. He had cheated people and become rich. He is a little man who may have been despised by those in a spirtual community. Let's look at the elements of his conversion.

Zaccheus had heard about Jesus. There had been enough interest that he wanted to see Him as He passed by. Zaccheus climbed a tree, maybe because no one would step aside so he could see. His tree climbing resulted in being seen by Jesus.

Zaccheus had an encounter with Jesus Himself. There was no preacher coming by to evangelize him. There was no argument that was won. Ultimately, everyone who comes to Christ must have an encounter with Him.

Zaccheus was known by the Lord. Jesus called him by name. Jesus said he would come to his house to eat. Zaccheus could have rejected Him at that time but he didn't. It was a greater opportunity for him to know this great Man better.

Zaccheus made a commitment. He did so publically. His offer to give back what he had taken was his public commitment to Christ. He didn't hide his new faith.

Jesus declared Zaccheus as saved. Our salvation is not determined by what we have done but what He has declared. Yes, we make a commitment but Jesus identifies with us. Our spirit and His Spirit agree. Then, we know salvation.

Maybe you should change your prayer for the person you care about and does not know the Lord. Maybe you should pray that this person opens his or her heart to the gospel. Pray that their will be no resistance to the Holy Spirit.

God saves the least likely converts. Keep praying.

Luke 19:8-10 (NASB)
And Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."

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