Saturday, December 27, 2008

His Best Shot

Many Christians assume that human “free will“ prevents the Holy Spirit from fulfilling his commissioning to establish the Kingdom of god on earth. They cite human free will as the reason why things will get worse and worse on earth. The Holy Spirit cannot prevent humans from doing their worst.

This view is that is based on a misunderstanding how the Holy Spirit operates. He is actually an expert on achieving his objectives by working through human free will. He does not work against free will. He works despite it. For example, the Holy Spirit has the ability to convict people of sin.

When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment (John 16:11).
The Holy Spirit is able to convict those who are opposed to Jesus of their sin.

I know this is true, because it happened to me. I was moving away from God as far and as fast as I could. I had written a good essay for my course in Philosophy that proved that God did not exist. To my surprise, a number of things happened to me and a number of thoughts were put into my mind that caused me to repent and believe in Jesus. I had a turnaround that surprised even me, but throughout the conversion process my free will was not compromised and I was not forced to do anything against my will.

I could have rejected the wooing of the Spirit, but he so subtlety exposed the weakness of my foundations and so deftly destroyed my objections that it was almost impossible to resist. He knows the perfect way to challenge and draw each person.

Most Christians believe that the enemy can put thoughts in their mind that might cause them to fall into sin. We call that temptation. However, very few seem to understand that the Holy Spirit is able to do the same things even more effectively. He can prompt other unbelievers to do things that challenge an unbeliever. He can put thoughts in an unbeliever’s mind at any time. If he can do that for me, he can do it for anyone.

Many Christians seem to be more confident of the devil’s ability to tempt Christians into falling, than they are in the Holy Spirit’s ability to convict sinners into repenting. That is bizarre. The Holy Spirit is far more wise and far more powerful than the devil.

My faith in the Holy Spirit’s ability to convict sinners to repentance has an interesting implication. The reason that so many people in the modern world have not come to faith is not because the Holy Spirit is incapable of bringing them to faith in repentance. The church is not declining, because the Holy Spirit is not up to the task. The truth is that he has not been able to bring the modern world of sin and bring them to faith, because he has been held back. He has been held back because there are not enough Christians who are willing to work seriously with him at this task. He has also has been held back by God, because some other things must happen first. See the Game of Two Halves.

We have not yet seen the Holy Spirit having his best shot. Many think that because he has not done it yet, he cannot do it, but that is wrong. When the Father lets him go for it, most Christians will be totally amazed at what he does. He will make the devil look totally embarrassed and feeble.

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