Recently, my dad died an excruciating death from mesothelioma. Despite my ministering the Gospel to him and asking him if he would surrender his life to Jesus, the Lord clearly showed me he refused to the last and I won’t see him again. My mother and siblings are similarly set against God, even asking me not to mention Him when I gave the eulogy at dad’s funeral. Since, I have been unable to intercede for others like him, so adamantly rejecting Jesus. What is the point of intercession? It won’t change a hard heart like my dad’s.
I’m so sorry to hear about your dad and your family’s aversion to Christ. Wonder why? I’m sure it must be very heart-wrenching for you.
Regarding intercession, evangelism, free-will and people’s response to the Gospel, these are very complex and mysterious interactions. And thankfully we can’t rule out their scope,until the very end. There are numerous stories of the most unlikeliest of transformations and each of ours is one such too!
So faith and hope should be the two constant under-girding principles of intercession. While we do intercede to see results, we also intercede out of obedience. And even while we don’t perceive result in the object of intercession perhaps,yet, God sure must be perceiving results in the subject that intercedes!
God also specializes in achieving multiple ends simultaneously in the ways that he deals with his creation.
The true story of George Muller’s 5 friends is helpful here. There’s not been one day land or sea that George Mueller hadn’t prayed for his 5 friends. Eighteen months into praying the 1st one came to the Lord, 5 years for the second, the 6th year, the 3rd one
After several years he writes, 30 years or so these two are still not in your fold!
After 52 years at his death (funeral), his fifth friends embraced Christ.
On a liter note, they say heaven will have 3 surprises; all the ones that we thought would be there may not be there. All the ones that we thought won’t be there, might be there and the big one finally is that we ourselves, would be there!
So cheer up and keep at it, with faith and hope, leaving the outcome to the perfect and just Judge.
We are called to be faithful, not successful in our ministries to people on behalf of God!
Hope that helps in some small ways, Andrea.
Thank you for your reply, Charles. Like so many unbelievers, religion (tradition) has blinded the minds of my relatives. Sadly, here in England, vast numbers of people view themselves as being born in a Christian country, so “we are Christians by osmosis and let that be the last we hear of God”. I absolutely believe no one is doomed in ignorance and I know dad fought for the right to be separated from God as he knew the truth which would set him free. Only the Lord knows fully why and I am sure He’s cried over that too.
Something you said in your reply that had never occurred to me before: “God sure must be perceiving results in the subject that intercedes!” This is striking. If for no other reason, then, I shall pray for others out of obedience and trust God as I do. As you say, we are called to be faithful.
Good will come of this, because He assures me of that in Romans 8:28. The Lord can do His work in me in the meantime and heal this immense sadness as I grieve. God bless you sir.
Praying for your peace, comfort and strength at this hour of need, Andrea.