God’s People in the New Testament

Written by Prof Johan Malan.

Does the Lord, in New Testament times, have a purpose and calling for specific nations in the same way He has a calling for believing individuals and churches? If so, are there nations who are fulfilling a special call? We will have to consult God’s Word on this matter.

In the Old Testament it is clearly evident that God had a people - Israel - through whom He revealed Himself. The Israelites (“Contenders for God”) were called to act as His witnesses in a heathen (Gentile) world. The wonderful aspects of God’s love were vividly demonstrated to Israel in the Old Testament. This people owe their very existence to God’s love. But it was to be a reciprocal love: the Chosen People had the obligation to react to God’s love by maintaining the correct relationship with Him (Deut. 7:7-10).

Apostate members of Israel who would turn their backs upon the Lord, would do this to their own ruin (Deut. 28:15-68). This indeed happened and is the reason why they have greatly failed to live up to their calling as God’s people (1 Cor. 10:5). The large majority of Israelites had unrepentant hearts which were not inclined to God’s law.

It is evident from the Bible that in the New Testament the Lord does not have a special people who represent Him and through whom He works. He has called-out ones from áll nations and they jointly constitute the church of Christ. Although Israel as a nation has an eternal calling as the Chosen People, they were dispersed among the Gentiles during New Testament times because of their unbelief. Even now, at an advanced stage of their end-time restoration, the majority of Israelis still reject Jesus as Messiah. Their spiritual calling and status as God’s people will only be restored during their national conversion (Isa. 27:6; Jer. 31:31-40; Ezek. 36:22-28; Zech. 12:10; Rom. 11:26-32). That will occur after the conclusion of the church dispensation (Rom. 11:25).

During New Testament times there is not a single nation that can claim a national calling or status in God’s kingdom, and that is the obvious reason why none of them is mentioned in the Bible in this regard. There are, in fact, clear indications that all nations would embark on the way of rebellion against God, and on this coarse they are heading for the judgements of the Lord (Ps. 2:1-12; Dan. 2:44-45). They will all become followers of the Antichrist and consequently be destroyed by the Lord Jesus at His second coming (Rev. 16:13-14; 19:19-21). Christ will then rule over all nations (Rev. 11:15). A believing remnant of the nations will enter the millennial reign of peace and, in a theocratic world government, assume their positions under the supreme authority of the Messiah-King (Isa. 2:2-4; Zech. 14:16; Matt. 24:30; Acts 15:16-17).

In spite of these biblical facts there were many nations and empires throughout the centuries who regarded themselves as God’s representatives on earth. The Afrikaner nation is one of them. Apart from my own explanation on the role of nations in God’s counsel I also invited comments from two other Bible scholars on this matter.

The role of nations in God’s counsel (by Johan Malan)

With a view to doing God’s will on earth the emphasis has shifted from a specific people (Israel) in the Old Testament to believing individuals from all nations in the New Testament (Acts 10:34-35) – i.e. the church of Christ. Only those who fully belong to the Lord are used as instruments in His hands, and they are never described as a specific “nation”. They have been called out from all the nations and are described as members of the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27).

The multi-ethnic composition of the church does not mean that biblical principles for the existence of nations have now been abolished. A nation is a group of people who have grown into a cultural unit within a specific area. The ideal conditions for their future survival are that they should have their own country and sovereign government. Within their own land their language, culture, social life, educational system, economy and religion can develop to their full potential without intervention from outside. The New Testament reconfirms the principle of self-determining nations settled within their own territories (Acts 17:26).

It is a natural tendency among cultural groups to demand independence and the practising of national rights in the interest of their orderly functioning. It is only when a cultural group is not threatened that it can peacefully coexist with other groups, allowing them the same independent rights. Forced integration and the removal of boundaries between nations give rise to a Babylonian-type social order in which unjust competition with members of the majority group, oppression, conflict, fighting and the violation of human rights are rife.

Like individuals, nations and their leaders also have the freedom of choice on how they wish to conduct their affairs and with which religion they wish to associate. Because of the spiritual and moral depravity of all people, nations and their governments also manifest this depraved nature. Even among nations that once had a strong Christian character, with Christian principles being entrenched in their constitutions, secularisation and a mere form of godliness had subsequently set in as emerging generations openly defied and even denied their former Christian traditions.

Why does that happen? Because every new generation of people must be saved anew, and according to the Bible it is only a small group who follow the way of the true Christian faith (Matt. 7:13-14; Luke 13:23-24). The majority may still pay lip service to Christianity as it forms part of their national heritage and the doctrine of their national churches. But in the eyes of the Lord traditions without spiritual content are empty gestures: “This people honours Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men… All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition” (Mark 7:6-9). Randy Pike once said: “Theology without regeneration changes men into clever devils.”

Since true believers everywhere are only a small minority they do not determine the character and objectives of any nation. To the contrary, they are in conflict with the worldly-minded majority and because of that they are pilgrims and sojourners even among their own people. In the light of these facts the ideas of many people on the so-called “calling” of the Afrikaner people cannot be biblically substantiated. Far too much is made of the Afrikaner as a chosen covenant people with a divine calling in Africa, thereby qualifying them for special blessings and preferential treatment in God’s kingdom.

Only after a person has been saved (i.e. when he/she has made a free choice to accept the Lord Jesus as Saviour) the Lord does have a specific calling (election or appointment) for him/her in His kingdom. It is possible that large groups of Christians may receive the same calling (for instance during the revivals of the 18th and 19th centuries), and that the Lord may save many souls because of their dedication, and even bless or spare an entire nation. That would happen on the same basis as the Lord’s willingness to spare Sodom if there would have been only ten believers in the city.

As we are moving deeper into the end-time, the number of true believers is decreasing while the wicked are increasing. This situation is a repetition of the apostasy during the times of Noah and Lot. The Lord will again intervene in a dramatic way and remove the minority of true believers from the disaster area of divine judgements (that is the whole earth) by way of the rapture. The wicked will then be judged in the tribulation as described in Revelation 6 through 19 by, among others, surrendering them to the Antichrist’s reign of terror.

Only believing individuals will “survive” – not nations. Forget about the triumphing of so-called “Christian nations” over other nations or peoples. In this apostate continent (Africa) where the law of the jungle still applies to a large extent, it is the strongest man with the largest group of followers who wins, and he is often the biggest sinner and dictator. Only individual believers from all nations will eventually make it – the rest will all become followers of the Antichrist, together with their apostate governments and backslidden churches.

Only in the Millennium will there be Christian nations on earth in the true sense of the word, who will no longer be heathen nations. They will regularly go up to Jerusalem to be taught by the Lord Jesus; they will walk in His ways and coexist peacefully with other nations (Isa. 2:2-4; Zech. 8:20-23). Satan will be bound and therefore no longer able to deceive the nations (Rev. 20:2-3). The throne of David will be restored in Jerusalem and Jesus will rule as Messiah-King over all the earth: “At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the Lord, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem; they shall walk no more after the stubbornness of their evil heart” (Jer. 3:17). In that dispensation all nations will be Christian, also in the Middle East (Isa. 19:22-25).

Views of Rev. David Malan of Newcastle, RSA

Does the Lord have a specific purpose with South Africa? According to my view it will be presumptuous to answer this question on God’s behalf. Should we answer in the affirmative we may be prone to pointing out what God’s plan with South Africa actually is. Who of us will dare to answer that question?

One thing is for sure: the planting of the Afrikaner nation at the southern tip of Africa has not made the light shine in Africa as we would like to believe. The three Afrikaans churches were re-established in Transvaal in the mid-1800’s. How many missionaries did these three churches send into dark Africa during the 1800’s? Very few if any. Where is the church in Angola that should have been established and built up by the Thirst land Trekkers? Many white missionaries traversed Africa during the 1800’s, but few of them were from South Africa. During the 1900’s the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) started with missionary work in the former North and South Rhodesia (the present Zambia and Zimbabwe) but also that was only a drop in the bucket compared with the number of missionaries from England and the USA. If God indeed had a plan with the settlement of a Christian people in the Cape in 1652, then those very people caused the failure of His plan. In the same way in which Israel, after 3500 years, did not fulfil God’s high and lofty purpose with them (Gen. 12–15), we have also missed the divine purpose of our coming to Africa. Other people had to come from other countries to do the work which we were supposed to accomplish here.

Can it be said that the Battle of Blood River was a war in which the powers of light triumphed over the powers of darkness, as we often have to hear during the commemoration of this victory on 16 December? And what about the Church of the Covenant which the Boers had to build? Yes, it has been built. Where and for whom? Was it to evangelise the Zulus? No, not at all. It was built in Pietermaritzburg for use by whites only. And while the vapours of gunpowder hung above the laager at Blood River, there already was a missionary on a hill close to Dingaan’s Kraal busy preaching the gospel. His surname was Owen and he was an Englishman … What does that say about the “Christian civilisation” that was carried into the interior of South Africa by the Great Trek? It was only more than a century after the war of Blood River that a professor of the DRC awakened and said that we have a responsibility towards the Zulus if we say that it was the powers of light that triumphed over the powers of darkness during that historic battle. Only then did they start collecting money for missionary work in Natal – the Spiritual Centenary Monument Mission.

Study the missionary history of the Cape Province. Go and visit historic missionary stations like Wuppertal, Genadendal, and others, and find out who did missionary work there. Sorry, again it was not our people. It is true that the approaches followed by many of these missionaries were not always pure, often being permeated by philanthropic and humanistic ideas. That does not matter much however since a lot of good has also been achieved. But where is our own people’s missionary work inside and outside South Africa? It was too little too late. Even today, missionary work is a very low priority among our people…

I wouldn’t go so far as to state that the present afflictions that some of our people endure are the result of divine judgements upon us because of our stubbornness for not fulfilling God’s purposes. We are not in the time of judgement now but in the dispensation of grace. However, many people consider the idea of judgement as a very obvious option.

Views of Rev. Anton Bosch of California, USA

We all long for a righteous and just society where God’s laws are respected and where people all do the right thing. There is nothing wrong with that desire. I believe that too, is in line with God’s plan. But the question is how do we get the world from its current state to that ideal state?

There are many Christians who feel that this needs to be done by bringing into power a government that will enact laws that will change society into, what they believe, to be a righteous society. But is that correct? Will it work? Has it been tried before and more importantly, what does the Bible have to say about it?

First we need to understand that the Bible makes a clear distinction between “the world” and “the church”, or what 1Corinthians 5:12-13 calls “those who are inside” and “those who are outside”. Jesus said, “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” (John 17:16).

The world and the church cannot be the same thing. That sounds pretty obvious, but what does that mean? It means you cannot have a “Christian world”. The two concepts are mutually exclusive. Christians cannot be the world and the world cannot be Christian (although both keep trying to be). I’m sure you will agree with me on that. But here’s the problem: If you cannot have a Christian world, then you cannot have a Christian nation! Nations are, by definition, part of the world and its system and the two can never be the same.

By this I do not deny that there are, or have been, nations who have a predominantly “Christian” ethic, morality or value system. But it does not make the nation Christian. For a nation to be Christian in the true sense of the word, the nation, including its government and all its people would need to be born-again Christians (at least the vast majority), its laws would need to reflect the whole of the Bible (not just the Ten Commandments) and its government and the leadership of the church would need to be one-and-the-same. Clearly this has never happened except for a few failed attempts.

The closest we have ever come to this ideal was in the nation of Israel when God Himself established a theocracy – a nation under God’s rule. In Israel there was no difference between church and state. The civil government and the spiritual leadership was the same and there was only one law – God’s law. The problem was that this did not work. Not because God failed or because His plan was flawed, but because the people of Israel were sinful, and in constant rebellion to God and His laws.

And here is the nub. As long as people’s hearts are unregenerate they will never (indeed cannot) keep God’s law. This, again, is not a reflection on the Law, but on the inherent wickedness of man’s heart. Therefore to attempt to create a Christian society through legislation becomes an exercise in futility because the laws do not change the wickedness of man’s heart.

John Calvin dreamt of such a utopian society and attempted to establish one in Geneva in the mid-16th century. For 25 years he ran the city/state with an iron fist. He ruthlessly exterminated any opposition and enacted laws that forbade anything and everything that was in conflict with his view of godliness. As time went on the laws became increasingly draconian and harsh. Many were executed for infractions of the law, including heresy. These executions were so gruesome and macabre that they cannot be discussed amongst civilized people (Bernard Cottret: Calvin. A Biography. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. 1995: 157-231). Missing a church service, giving your child a name that is not in the Old Testament, any form of joy or merriment and a thousand other things were punishable by imprisonment. Confessions were extracted by torture paralleled only by the inquisition. What people ate, what they wore (including the colour, style and type of cloth) was all regulated. He built an increasingly invasive KGB-type police force that would routinely search people’s houses for anything that might be contraband and would check on who attended church and who did not. In addition the police were supported by a network of informants who would report on their friends and neighbours, just like in the former USSR.

Calvin did not only enforce the law, but made sure people would be in church to hear the Word several times a week. But none of this made a happy, just or righteous society. It all failed. It only produced a drab, miserable, neurotic and hypocritical community. “The extant records of the Council reveal a high percentage of illegitimate children, abandoned infants, forced marriages, and sentences of death; Calvin’s son-in-law and his step daughter were among those condemned for adultery” (Will Durant: The Reformation. A History of European Civilization From Wyclif to Calvin: 1300-1564. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1957:   476). The city failed on other levels, including that of creativity, aesthetics, productivity and spirituality. This system did not only break the spirit of the community but also caused the murder of some of the godliest people in Geneva.

The Pharisees in Jesus’ time tried to do the same thing. They added law upon law. They taught the laws, shamed and punished those who disobeyed them and did everything in their power to create a society which would conform to their idea of a scriptural one. But in the end they produced a society which was so morally corrupt that they crucified the King of Glory!

Trying to legislate an unrighteous community into becoming righteous produces the same thing in the world as it does in the church – hypocrisy. People are simply forced to appear to do the right thing on the outside while the evil just goes underground where it flourishes even more under the cover of darkness. Hypocrisy is about two standards, one for what can be seen and one for that which cannot be seen.

I am not propagating lawlessness and antinomianism in the church or in the world. Paul is specific: Civil government is placed there by God and its purpose is to maintain order and peace and if we disobey the government, we will not only be punished by the judicial system, but also by God (Romans 13:1-7).

But the only way to get people to avoid the wrong, but to also do the right, and to do so irrespective of whether they are policed or not, is if their hearts are changed. And our hearts can only be changed when we are born-again. It is then that God writes his laws on our hearts and minds. For the unregenerate the law is an external thing which is written on stone or paper and which requires enforcing by external “police”. To the saved the law is written on their desires, will and intellect and it does not require external policing but it is obeyed willingly (Hebrews 8), “…not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart” (Ephesians 6:6).

Contradiction in terms

The term “a Christian nation” is a contradiction in terms. Just as you cannot have a “Christian world” you cannot have a “Christian nation”. Recently, the subject of America as a Christian nation has become a hot topic as a result of a statement by a popular politician.

Over the past two centuries many nations have claimed to be “Christian nations”. The whole Roman Empire became “Christian” in 312 AD, France became a “Christian nation” in 466 AD and technically England remains one to this day, since the monarch is both head of the “church” and head of the state. Germany was a “Christian nation” when it spawned Nazism. Sweden and Denmark became “Christian nations” in the 11th and 12th centuries respectively. South Africa made the same claim until 1994 when overnight it changed from “Christian” to Secular/Communist. These are but a few examples of the many nations that have claimed to be “Christian” over the last 2,000 years.

However, claiming the name “Christian” did not result in these nations being more righteous than those who claimed not to be. Some of them did bless the world with great works such as the missionaries from England who spread the gospel across the globe. But did their being “Christian” make them godly and righteous societies? No. England, at the height of its “Christianity” murdered tens of thousands of innocent Boer women and children in concentration camps in South Africa. Germany empowered Hitler. And the alliance between church and state under Constantine gave birth to the Roman church. Thus we can examine each of those nations who claimed to be “Christian” and find that none of them, as a nation, exemplified the essence of Christianity.

Any nation can claim to be “Christian” just as any person can make the same claim. But, claiming to be Christian does not make one a Christian. The word “Christian” means a follower of Christ. The name was first used in Antioch: “And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). Thus a Christian is a disciple – one who follows Christ. It is clear that the vast majority of people who claim to be Christians do not follow Christ. And the same can be applied to those nations who use the same title.

For an individual and a nation to be Christian, implies a relationship with Jesus Christ. Where any relationship exists, it needs to be acknowledged by both parties in the relationship. You can claim a relationship with the Queen of England and know a lot about her, but does she acknowledge the relationship? In the same way Jesus warns that there will be many who will claim a special relationship with Him: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ ” (Matthew 7:21-23).

Jesus speaks of those that He never knew in spite of their claim to His name. In Revelation 3:5, Jesus speaks of those whom He will acknowledge before His Father and the angels. In the same way, a nation can make its claims to being Christian, but the real question is whether God acknowledges that claim. The Bible speaks about such a relationship only with regard to two groups: Israel and the Church. No other nation is mentioned as having a special deal with God. Many nations are mentioned in connection with the last days (not in good terms) but the most amazing is that America, the most powerful nation of all, is not even alluded to. Would God not have made mention of it in the Bible if He was planning a special covenant with America, or any other country?

Secondly Jesus says that the proof of that relationship, or lack of it, is manifest in behaviour (“you who practice lawlessness”). In the same way we can look at the fruit of someone’s life to determine whether their claim of being a Christian is valid or false. (God is the ultimate judge but we are taught to know the difference – Matthew 7:20). In the same way a nation that claims to be Christian needs to prove it by their works. Pre-World War II Germany was said to be Christian because an overwhelming majority of its citizens were “Christians” - but what did it produce? What was its fruit? Two world wars in one lifetime in which millions were killed and entire people-groups annihilated are not the fruit that points to a good tree. Now we need to look at the fruit of any other nation that makes the same claim and judge objectively.

What does the Bible say about the nations of the world? 1John 5:19 says “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one”. The NIV translates it: “the whole world is under the control of the wicked one”. The Greek word for “world” here is kosmos meaning the world, its people, governments, systems, riches and everything that it contains. Also note the word “whole”, meaning every bit, totally, completely – nothing and no nation is excepted. Many people think that this was the state of the world only before the Cross. But John makes this statement long after the Cross and he places every nation (amongst other things) squarely under the control of the Devil and not under God.

Revelation 5:9 speaks of those who are redeemed out of every nation but the Bible never speaks of a redeemed nation.

In Daniel chapter 2, God shows Nebuchadnezzar an image and the interpretation of the vision. Daniel supernaturally details all the great kingdoms that will follow the Babylonian empire until the end of the age. Each of those world empires, except for the final one, have come and gone, exactly as predicted. Finally “the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Daniel 2:44).

Revelation 19 explains how this will happen: Jesus will come again and he will destroy all the kings of the earth and their armies and then He will set up His Kingdom. Not one earthly kingdom is spared which simply means that not one belonged to Christ! He does not use a single one of them as a base on which to build His Kingdom. Thus there is not a single Christian nation at His return – which is any day now.

National repentance

It has become customary to speak of prayers of “national repentance”.

On May Day, this year - 2010, a large number of people met at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC to pray various prayers of repentance “on behalf of the American people”. I remember a number of times, when growing up in South Africa, that the Government called national days of prayer and repentance in the hope that God would send rain at times of drought. Shortly after the fall of Apartheid many churches, groups and individuals prayed prayers of repentance on behalf of the nation for the sins of the past. Many have prayed prayers of repentance because of the holocaust under Hitler. And the list goes on.

But is this a Biblical idea?

The short answer is no – there are a bunch of problems with this notion. The first is that repentance is something that needs to be done, rather than prayed. Every day millions of prayers ascend to God in which people pray prayers of repentance. The vast majority of these are a waste of time since the prayer has no intention of changing their actions, lifestyles or habits. Repentance is about doing not talking. The word itself means a change of mind and of direction. You can be heading down the road and say a million times that you are going in the wrong direction, but until you actually make that U-turn and stop going in the wrong direction and start going in the right direction, nothing will happen. It’s as simple as that.

John the Baptist said that the Pharisees who had come to see him baptize must: “Bear fruits worthy of repentance” (Matthew 3:8). Paul, speaking of the mission to the Gentiles said: “That they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance” (Acts 26:20). Isaiah said: “Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord,  And He will have mercy on him;  And to our God,  For He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7). So, no prayer of repentance is worth anything unless it is accompanied by actions. In spite of the many prayers of repentance prayed on behalf of the nations, all nations are becoming more sinful and thus those prayers clearly do not work.

Secondly, there is no such thing as repentance “by proxy”. This means you cannot repent on behalf of other people, whether living or dead. No-one except Hitler himself can repent of the things he did – and he cannot because he is dead and it is too late for him. You can repent on behalf of your family as much as you like, but until they individually and personally repent, nothing is going to happen. We cannot repent on behalf of our family, a church, and least of all, a nation.

Sin is personal. When we sin, each who has sinned is guilty of that sin and each one has to personally repent. One could argue that Israel sinned as a nation when they refused to cross the Jordan (Numbers 14), yet the two individuals that did not agree with the majority were saved and entered the Land. So, was God dealing with them as a nation or individually? Clearly individually; since Joshua and Caleb would have had to perish with the rest of the nation if God was dealing with them as a group. When God destroyed the world in the Flood, righteous Noah and his family is saved. The same happened in Sodom. Thus, even in the Old Testament, God’s dealings are on an individual basis.

Thirdly, God does not deal with nations, He only deals with individuals. Jesus did not die for America or England – He died for each of us personally. The only nation God ever had a relationship with as a nation was Israel (See the first article in this series). Yet, Jesus did not even die for Israel. All the verses that are quoted as examples of God’s promises or dealings with a nation are directed at Israel and they cannot be claimed for any other country. When Israel eventually returns to God (Romans 11:26), each individual Jew will still have to make a personal decision. Israel will not be saved because of a decision of the government, but because of the cumulative effect of each Jew coming to personal repentance. We need to be clear the Jews in the end are saved, not because they are Jews, but because each of them has personally believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.

One of the favorite verses used by those who promote the idea of National Repentance is 2Chronicles 7:14: “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land”. This promise is very specific – it is to “my people who are called by my name”. Is South Africa, or Germany, or America, God’s people? Obviously not. Which country is called by God’s name? None – except Israel. So this verse has nothing to do with any nation other than Israel. The only people who can claim both those conditions are Christians. They are the people of God (Romans 9:25, 1John 3:1-3, 1Peter 2:10). And they are called by His name (Acts 11:26, 1Corinthians 12:12).

But then you cannot apply this verse to Christians since their Land does not need to be healed. The Christian’s land is the New Jerusalem and that is perfect. Here we are but strangers and pilgrims. (Hebrews 11:13, 16).  The often-recited verse in 2Chronicles 7:14 only applies to one nation, and that is to Israel, and even then the promise has been suspended since Israel rejected the offer one time too many.

Should we not pray for nations? Yes, we can pray but there is only one valid prayer and that is that people, individually, will come to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and repent. Because we are often too lazy to name individuals before the Throne of Grace, we resort to those catch-all phrases: “Lord save the Chinese”, “Lord help the poor”, or “Lord be with those in prison”. What does that mean? I don’t want to be insensitive, but it means absolutely nothing.

As Christians we can make a difference, but it begins where you are. Pray for each of your unsaved family members; pray for others you know by name – your colleagues, neighbors and others you have dealings with. First pray that the Lord will help you to show them what it means to be a real Christian. Next pray that the Lord will soften their hearts to the Gospel and bring them to repentance. Finally pray that the Lord will open an opportunity for you to share your Hope with them and that He will give you the courage and wisdom to do it right. Do this until Jesus comes. Yes, that is a lot harder than “Lord save the lost”, but that is our duty; everything else is a copout.


Anton Bosch

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