“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.” (Matthew 23:15)
Jesus could be rather harsh at times. One thing He never cared for was religious arrogance. The Scribes and Pharisees did have an outreach ministry. They sought to bring converts to the Jewish faith but for selfish reasons. They wanted the benefits these new converts would bring, from money, to works. This angered Jesus. But what angered Him even more was that these religious leaders drew in these converts from paganism, took from them what they could, and left them spiritually desolate. They did not follow up with the teaching of God’s Word so these converts would not slip back into pagan ways. These religious leaders did not really care for the eternal souls of these converts.
As we witness for Jesus in the world, we will see people drawn by the Holy Spirit to trust their lives to Him. That is the first step of their Faith Journey. What follows will be times of trial and testing as the Devil tries to pull them back to their former unbelieving ways. It is here that we, as followers of Jesus, must support and encourage these new converts. Our prayers must lift them to the Lord for protection. May He put a “hedge” around them of protecting angels.
Heavenly Father, as You use us to share the Good News of Jesus with those around us, help us remain committed to their salvation. Help us to be encouragers. Help us to walk with them through difficult times, reminding them that You are with them. Help us relay to them that all things work together for good to those who trust Him.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.