Why should we preach the gospel to others who end up sinning against the spirit?
“And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” Luke 12:47-48
The servant in the above scripture had much knowledge of the Word of God through the holy spirit. He made a choice to serve his Master and become a disciple. Therefore he was responsible for the knowledge he had as well as for the requirements it entailed. However, he did not prepare himself by sacrificing his will to do the will of God.
Consequently, he committed some willful sins. That is why he deserved many stripes. If one is given much “light” by the Lord, much is required of him. Conversely, the other man had little “light” or knowledge and even though he did things deserving of punishment, he was not chastised severely because less was expected of him.
It is important to note that no one forced the first man to become a servant of the Lord. Jesus tells us in a parable that there is a cost to being his disciple and that one should first count that cost.
“And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For it he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’” (Luke 14:27-30)
Obviously, the servant did not count the cost before he chose to become a disciple of the Lord. He did not realize that he would have to give up everything, including his old nature in order to follow Jesus.
Why, then, would we want to enlighten our loved ones if that enlightenment might lead to their receiving “stripes” (chastisement by the Lord). The answer is that we are not to question who God calls, nor are we to influence the choices others make. It is our duty as Christians to tell our loved ones the good news that the Lord is calling out a select few, a “little flock,” to be his Bride to reign with Him in heaven.
The opportunity to be part of God’s Church is still available to those who are willing to completely give up their wills in sacrificial living in order to serve Jesus with all their hearts and minds.
No one has the right to withhold information (knowledge or “light”) so that loved ones may be spared “stripes” should they need chastisement on their journey as servants of the Lord. Furthermore, God only gives “stripes” for willful activities and only for the ultimate good of the recipient. God is not vengeful and does not punish for the sake of punishing. He is just and punishes for the sake of life. Therefore, it is definitely the Christian’s responsibility to inform his loved ones of the opportunity to serve God, but also tell them to count the cost before they make their decision.
To learn more about the cost of being a disciple, listen to, “What Does Discipleship Cost?”
To learn more about our responsibility of converting others listen to, “Are Christians Supposed to Convert the World?”