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When do you know it's time to stop praying for someone's salvation

Redeemed78

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I've been praying for my "friend" Colton for over six months. In that time I shared a little with him nothing pushy just little seeds. Yesterday I asked him if I could prove God is real and the Bible is true would he be willing to change his mind and believe and he said" Yes. If I saw god float down and fist bump me, or died and walked through heaven/hell, or someone dug up enough wood planks to suggest Noah's ark, I'd at least believe those respective parts.". I feel like my prayers were for nothing and was a waste of time. I cast my pearls before swine. I really just want to leave him to his own fate and stop praying for him already. He doesn't want to change.
 

Serving Zion

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I've been praying for my "friend" Colton for over six months. In that time I shared a little with him nothing pushy just little seeds. Yesterday I asked him if I could prove God is real and the Bible is true would he be willing to change his mind and believe and he said" Yes. If I saw god float down and fist bump me, or died and walked through heaven/hell, or someone dug up enough wood planks to suggest Noah's ark, I'd at least believe those respective parts.". I feel like my prayers were for nothing and was a waste of time. I cast my pearls before swine. I really just want to leave him to his own fate and stop praying for him already. He doesn't want to change.
I've been reminded of a few instance in scripture that show there is a type of person to not pray for:

Jeremiah 7:16; 11:14; 14:11; John 17:9, 1 John 5:16

It might be good for you to look through those examples and see if there is any circumstances surrounding them that bears a resemblance to your friend's reasons. It could be that he is an innocent casualty of the lies of the false teachers, meaning that if he was to see the truth of Christ then he would turn and follow. But, on the other hand he might be one of the real wicked types that we should not be praying for.
 

Blade

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ForHisGlory "Never give up praying and witnessing Christ to your friend. Sometimes it seems useless, but you never know when one seed planted will actually take root."

AMEN and amen! I remember once my mom told me this story about someone she knew in the hospital (or if your UK in hospital :) ) They were not saved and in a coma so my mom and others prayed they would wake up and get a chance to repent.. blood of JESUS they did wake up and repent. That was so awesome praise GOD.

Now I truly from my heart believe He will tell you when not to pray. We don't know the heart He does. There are those that knew God, seen wonders, His power and walked away back into this world for fame glory and money. This minister said he was praying for this woman one day and the lord said "stop" said she knew fully what she wanted. She in her heart walked away. Lost forever I can not say will not touch that.

Its something I can not imagine at all. How can someone truly know Him and go back into this world. How this effects the Father, Christ.. its your creation.. praise GOD
 

Luminous_Rose

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I'm sorry to hear that you've been frustrated with this. It happens in this world.

I will let you in on something I've learned in my life time. When Satan fears losing, he plays the best wild card in his deck. You know you're getting somewhere when things seem hopeless because Satan's goal is to frustrate you and keep you from reaching your friend. Never stop praying for your friend. Your prayers to God are never wasted. I encourage you to keep praying.

Keep in mind that all of us are capable of having hard hearts and it's only God's love that can chisel through it and then mold it and shape it according to His will.

A lot of people get nervous at the religious questions and would rather resort to heckling or saying something slightly humorous like they don't care.

Whether you keep contact with him is your choice, but prayer never hurts.



I have a bit of a story if you have time/care to read:

I remember in middle school I knew of this girl, but we weren't good friends until we were in high school. We became great friends. She had a rough time family wise. Her mom had a successful job, but wasn't home a whole lot. She often times had to hang at a friend's house until her mom got home or was alone at home until her mom got there. She expressed it was lonely not having brothers/sisters. Her biological father isn't in the picture and he has his own other family so she has half-siblings, but she has a hard time being around her father and it's just awkward to her. Her mom in her middle age started getting lonely without a man and would start coming home drunk and bringing strange men home. Sometimes my friend couldn't sleep, but wished that her mom just wouldn't have come home at all those nights and would've gone to the guys place instead. Her mom would come out and brag about it - one time her mom did that when I was spending the night over there...never again did I ever do that. It was just all sorts of wrong and not to mention dangerous to do.

She started getting into drinking and throwing crazy parties when her mom wasn't there. I would warn her about these things saying, "She's going to find out about this and then you're going to be in a lot of trouble." She invited me to one of her wild parties and I declined. She said up front she didn't expect me to come, but wanted to be nice and give an invite. She then later messaged me freaking out because her mom said she was coming home early and her house was full of people. Let's just say that didn't end well for her...her mom lost it and threatened to kick her out.

She always seemed to get frustrated and asked, "How are you always right?!" I would just say, "Well, I know better than to do those things. It's not respectful to throw parties when my folks are away. It's not healthy for me to get drunk."

By the time we were in college, I had invited her to college group, which was a church thing I'd go to. I met my now husband at this group. I invited her to come and felt that it would be great. She declined a few times, but later on she got lonely enough, bored enough, and then asked me, "Hey, do they still have that college group again tonight?" I said, "Yeah! It's at x time!" She came that night.

Soon she started attending services and then doing their fundamentals courses. I was happy for her and then her mom started coming.

I had my hopes up so high and then Satan played some wild cards. I couldn't come to college group and my friend offered to pick me up, but I wanted to chill with my husband who couldn't go because he was doing homework and I apologized to her. She got all mad and said she was going. Each time I would try to talk to her after that, she said, "Oh, I can't talk to you right now. I have to write this paper for my fundamentals class."

She also told me about how she bashed someone in the grocery store who was quick to judge about her and she flat out used the part in scripture out of context, the "do not judge lest you also be judged" to rip him apart and she got in an argument with the person...and told me about it and was so proud of herself. I told her that's not the way we treat others and tried to tell her there's more to that bible verse than just, "Don't judge me!" There is a time to judge and a time not to, but we must be careful how we do so.

She also kept going to get the attention of boys, which was totally the wrong motive.

She pretty much used Christianity as her way of making herself feel more superior. It wasn't long after that she fell off the map and wouldn't talk to me anymore. Oddly, after going to church, hm? It seems that she moved for school and ended up married, but I don't know much after that.
 

Hopeful

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I'm sorry to hear that you've been frustrated with this. It happens in this world.

I will let you in on something I've learned in my life time. When Satan fears losing, he plays the best wild card in his deck. You know you're getting somewhere when things seem hopeless because Satan's goal is to frustrate you and keep you from reaching your friend. Never stop praying for your friend. Your prayers to God are never wasted. I encourage you to keep praying.

Keep in mind that all of us are capable of having hard hearts and it's only God's love that can chisel through it and then mold it and shape it according to His will.

A lot of people get nervous at the religious questions and would rather resort to heckling or saying something slightly humorous like they don't care.

Whether you keep contact with him is your choice, but prayer never hurts.



I have a bit of a story if you have time/care to read:

I remember in middle school I knew of this girl, but we weren't good friends until we were in high school. We became great friends. She had a rough time family wise. Her mom had a successful job, but wasn't home a whole lot. She often times had to hang at a friend's house until her mom got home or was alone at home until her mom got there. She expressed it was lonely not having brothers/sisters. Her biological father isn't in the picture and he has his own other family so she has half-siblings, but she has a hard time being around her father and it's just awkward to her. Her mom in her middle age started getting lonely without a man and would start coming home drunk and bringing strange men home. Sometimes my friend couldn't sleep, but wished that her mom just wouldn't have come home at all those nights and would've gone to the guys place instead. Her mom would come out and brag about it - one time her mom did that when I was spending the night over there...never again did I ever do that. It was just all sorts of wrong and not to mention dangerous to do.

She started getting into drinking and throwing crazy parties when her mom wasn't there. I would warn her about these things saying, "She's going to find out about this and then you're going to be in a lot of trouble." She invited me to one of her wild parties and I declined. She said up front she didn't expect me to come, but wanted to be nice and give an invite. She then later messaged me freaking out because her mom said she was coming home early and her house was full of people. Let's just say that didn't end well for her...her mom lost it and threatened to kick her out.

She always seemed to get frustrated and asked, "How are you always right?!" I would just say, "Well, I know better than to do those things. It's not respectful to throw parties when my folks are away. It's not healthy for me to get drunk."

By the time we were in college, I had invited her to college group, which was a church thing I'd go to. I met my now husband at this group. I invited her to come and felt that it would be great. She declined a few times, but later on she got lonely enough, bored enough, and then asked me, "Hey, do they still have that college group again tonight?" I said, "Yeah! It's at x time!" She came that night.

Soon she started attending services and then doing their fundamentals courses. I was happy for her and then her mom started coming.

I had my hopes up so high and then Satan played some wild cards. I couldn't come to college group and my friend offered to pick me up, but I wanted to chill with my husband who couldn't go because he was doing homework and I apologized to her. She got all mad and said she was going. Each time I would try to talk to her after that, she said, "Oh, I can't talk to you right now. I have to write this paper for my fundamentals class."

She also told me about how she bashed someone in the grocery store who was quick to judge about her and she flat out used the part in scripture out of context, the "do not judge lest you also be judged" to rip him apart and she got in an argument with the person...and told me about it and was so proud of herself. I told her that's not the way we treat others and tried to tell her there's more to that bible verse than just, "Don't judge me!" There is a time to judge and a time not to, but we must be careful how we do so.

She also kept going to get the attention of boys, which was totally the wrong motive.

She pretty much used Christianity as her way of making herself feel more superior. It wasn't long after that she fell off the map and wouldn't talk to me anymore. Oddly, after going to church, hm? It seems that she moved for school and ended up married, but I don't know much after that.
Keep praying for her and for her mom.
 

Seasoned by Grace

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Redeemed78

The Christian life can be beyond hard and painful at times, when there is someone we want to come to the lord so badly.
Expectations can be a heartbreaker, unless you know that It's God who does the drawing them to Him, and converting them. We're just the ones who share Christ, and we have to understand that many who we talk to will never accept Him, and we have to accept that as part of the reality of sharing Christ with non-believers.

I have a ministry God gave me to walk my neighborhood several times a day, to get to know my neighbors, and maybe share someday about Christ, but it takes time and commitment, and determination, and patience.
You may be the only one praying for your friend and that's pretty special.
 

choir loft

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I've been praying for my "friend" Colton for over six months. In that time I shared a little with him nothing pushy just little seeds. Yesterday I asked him if I could prove God is real and the Bible is true would he be willing to change his mind and believe and he said" Yes. If I saw god float down and fist bump me, or died and walked through heaven/hell, or someone dug up enough wood planks to suggest Noah's ark, I'd at least believe those respective parts.". I feel like my prayers were for nothing and was a waste of time. I cast my pearls before swine. I really just want to leave him to his own fate and stop praying for him already. He doesn't want to change.

Too many convoluted answers and statements to adequately answer this question.

I like the one posted early in the thread by Hopeful.

You can stop praying for your friend when he or she is dead.

Unless of course you're bored with the effort and you really aren't a friend in the first place.

that's me, hollering from the choir loft...
 

choir loft

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When they have obviously blasphemed the Holy Spirit. There are people in today's world saying Jesus is evil. There is no reason to say Jesus himself is evil. If everyone could walk like Christ, we could achieve heaven on 🌏

We are NOT ALLOWED TO JUDGE the spiritual condition of another person.

Jesus refused to judge another person. With His dying breath on the cross He refused to judge those who had tortured and humilitated and executed Him. (Luke 23:34)

Jesus refused to allow His disciples to judge others. (Luke 9)

Does this mean there is no justice in the world? Absolutely not.

SINNERS JUDGE THEMSELVES unworthy of grace to be saved. (Acts 13:46)
Their own SIN will find them out. (Numbers 32:23b)

Therefore it is time for all of us to humbly seek the Lord of Hosts and REPENT of our own SIN so as to obtain forgiveness and salvation from the Lord of Grace.

Forgiveness is NOT automatic. We have to ASK for it. (Deut 4:29, Matt 7:7 & James 4:2b)

that's me, hollering from the choir loft...
 
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Seasoned by Grace

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We are NOT ALLOWED TO JUDGE the spiritual condition of another person.

1 Corinthians 5:12-13​

12 For what business of mine is it to judge outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the evil person from among yourselves.​

What Paul is saying here, is that the obviously evil person should not only be judged (Out of love, in hopes they will repent), but they should be removed from the church if they don't repent.​

The Bible is clear about God’s desire for us to reflect His holiness (1 Peter 1:15), and it is clear about the need for church discipline to deal with sin in the church. Since one of the jobs of the church is to demonstrate the goodness and holiness of God, a church with a member who persists in sin must take steps to address the state of that person’s soul as well as protect the church body from being corrupted by unchallenged sin in its membership.​

Jesus gave us an outline to follow when we must confront another professing Christian: “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector” (Matthew 18:15–17). So the first step in handling sin in the church is for someone with knowledge of the situation, often the pastor or an elder, to confront that person in love, expressing concern and explaining the spiritual ramifications if the sin continues.​

If the sinning member refuses to repent, a second step must be taken. The one who originally confronted the person needs to take along other godly people and visit the sinning member again. The presence of others may serve to induce the sinner to repent; if not, there are witnesses to all that is said and done, preventing any false claims or denials later. This interview needs to include Scripture-based reproof and opportunities for restoration. Verses such as 1 John 3:3–10, 5:18, Luke 14:25–27, Matthew 7:16–23, and Ephesians 5:3 may be helpful at this time.​

If, after the second step, the church member still refuses to repent of the sin, Jesus says to “tell it to the church” (Matthew 18:17), an action that would bring even more pressure to bear. If that fails, then the offending member is to be removed from the church and considered an unbeliever (cf. 1 Corinthians 5:9–13). This process shows the seriousness of sin in the church and the need to strive for reconciliation. The steps that Jesus outlines to protect the purity and reputation of the church should not be sidestepped or ignored.​

 

choir loft

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1 Corinthians 5:12-13​

12 For what business of mine is it to judge outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the evil person from among yourselves.​

What Paul is saying here, is that the obviously evil person should not only be judged (Out of love, in hopes they will repent), but they should be removed from the church if they don't repent.​

The Bible is clear about God’s desire for us to reflect His holiness (1 Peter 1:15), and it is clear about the need for church discipline to deal with sin in the church. Since one of the jobs of the church is to demonstrate the goodness and holiness of God, a church with a member who persists in sin must take steps to address the state of that person’s soul as well as protect the church body from being corrupted by unchallenged sin in its membership.​

Jesus gave us an outline to follow when we must confront another professing Christian: “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector” (Matthew 18:15–17). So the first step in handling sin in the church is for someone with knowledge of the situation, often the pastor or an elder, to confront that person in love, expressing concern and explaining the spiritual ramifications if the sin continues.​

If the sinning member refuses to repent, a second step must be taken. The one who originally confronted the person needs to take along other godly people and visit the sinning member again. The presence of others may serve to induce the sinner to repent; if not, there are witnesses to all that is said and done, preventing any false claims or denials later. This interview needs to include Scripture-based reproof and opportunities for restoration. Verses such as 1 John 3:3–10, 5:18, Luke 14:25–27, Matthew 7:16–23, and Ephesians 5:3 may be helpful at this time.​

If, after the second step, the church member still refuses to repent of the sin, Jesus says to “tell it to the church” (Matthew 18:17), an action that would bring even more pressure to bear. If that fails, then the offending member is to be removed from the church and considered an unbeliever (cf. 1 Corinthians 5:9–13). This process shows the seriousness of sin in the church and the need to strive for reconciliation. The steps that Jesus outlines to protect the purity and reputation of the church should not be sidestepped or ignored.​


I'm aware of the procedure you quote regarding JUDGING members of the church. Unfortunately it's only an argument, a statement of an illusory goal and and object of fantasy. Why? Because it in no way is exercised by the church - not a little and not at all.

I once heard an old preacher declare, "God is able to pluck His own geese."

When was the last time you, or any reader, presided over or witnessed a religious trial in which a member was excised from the congregation? Scripture references notwithstanding it simply doesn't happen. I've been around a long time and I've never even heard a rumor of such a thing happening. Church congregations today are too apathetic to try it and church leaders are too enamored of donation$ to consider it.

This isn't to say that all you've written isn't true and good. It is, but it simply isn't done - not today anyway. Let's get real, shall we? Let's take the mask of tinsel thin scholarship off and talk about real matters and certain issues. Let's stop quoting scripture that has no meaning except to promote an argument on the internet. What is, or isn't, being done in church - for real.

If anyone is ejected from the church it's those who uphold morality decency and behavior consistent with saving grace in their lives.

Our communities are littered with what I call spiritual refugees - people who've left church because the church has left Christ and who are looking for a venue where the Name of God and God's LAW is honored in deed as well as word. I know because for a while I was one of them. Everywhere I went, every new venue I tried, I met people I'd known from other churches who had left because of some vile thing (*) or some out of focus teaching that was being perpetrated as gospel. It would be comical if it wasn't so tragic.

Superficial Christians who attend church today promote sexual aberrations, humanistic music and occult traditions. (Romans 1:32) Their attendance encourages American social upheaval and spiritual decline rather than dedication to Christ. Most of those who love Christ have either left or are about to leave the church.

When those who dilute the gospel suddenly realize there's nothing left in our churches to encourage attendance, they too will leave. At that point, the doors will be closed for the last time and the property will be repurposed for some other task. I've seen this happen in my own community. Quite soon, you will too.

According to PEW and Gallup polls, regular attendance measured as one Sunday a month, fell to 50% of 1948 levels in 2010. Projections of the trend suggest attendance will fall to 10% by 2050. Something is very wrong with our churches because nobody with an aberrant behavior or ideology is being asked to leave. Only the just are leaving.

The words of the Bible are frequently thrown in the faces of Christians today, "judge not that you be not judged." A true and worthy retort is the passage I quoted from the book of Acts, "SINNERS judge themselves unworthy of grace to be saved."

It is the SINNER who condemns himself or herself to the Second Death.

No trial is needed because He who sits on the Great White Throne will pronounce the sentence each SINNER has already demanded.

that's me, hollering from the choir loft...

(*) I once reported instances of heavy petting, kissing and groping of same sex persons DURING WORSHIP SERVICES to the church pastor. I was told that I was a loose cannon and that I might be more comfortable elsewhere. No trial, no scripture, no considered review by members - just raw eviction because I reported the behavior.
 
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WIP

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When was the last time you, or any reader, presided over or witnessed a religious trial in which a member was excised from the congregation?
Here's a list of people excommunicated from the Catholic church in this, the 21st century.

But you're right. In the Protestant churches it happens very rarely, although not totally unheard of. In addition to the reasons you mentioned for this, I also believe it is because of the many denominations that exist along with their many varied progressive or liberal views and the lack of a central governing body or even bodies. Rather than push until one is excommunicated, people just leave and find another denomination that will "tickle their ears" as Paul put it (see 2 Timothy 4:3).

  • Bp. Rómulo Antonio Braschi on August 5, 2002 for having "attempted to confer priestly ordination on several Catholic women," the Danube Seven.
  • The Community of the Lady of All Nations for heretical teachings and beliefs after a six-year investigation. The declaration was announced by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on September 12, 2007.
  • Fr. Dale Fushek (also laicized by Pope Benedict XVI in February 2010) and Fr. Mark Dippre. Former Priests were issued a Decree of Excommunication by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted for operating "an opposing ecclesial community" in direct disobedience to orders to refrain from public ministry.
  • Fr. Marek Bozek (since laicized by Pope Benedict XVI), and the lay parish board members of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in St. Louis, Missouri in December 2005 were declared guilty of the ecclesiastical crime of schism by then-Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke. Their excommunication was ratified by the Vatican in May 2008. Four of the parish board members have since reconciled with the Church.
  • Both the doctors and the mother of the nine-year-old victim in the 2009 Brazilian girl abortion case were said by Archbishop José Cardoso Sobrinho of Olinda and Recife to have incurred an automatic excommunication. The victim had an abortion after being raped and impregnated by her stepfather. The National Conference of Bishops of Brazil contradicted Sobrinho's statement: it declared that, in accordance with canon law, the girl's mother was not in fact excommunicated and that there were no grounds for stating that any of the doctors involved were in fact excommunicated. Disagreement with the Archbishop's view of the supposed excommunication was expressed also by other bishops.
  • Sr. Margaret McBride, a nun, for allowing an abortion. McBride later reconciled with the Church and is no longer living in a state of excommunication.
  • In October 2012, the newspapers El Observador and El País reported that all the Catholics who promoted the abortion law in Uruguay were excommunicated. The newspaper Urgente24, in spite of a headline stating that what it called the "abortionist lawmakers" were excommunicated, explained in the body of the article that automatic excommunication applied only to someone who directly carried out an abortion. The bishops website also explained that excommunication would automatically apply, under Canon Law 1398, only to anyone carrying out an abortion, and not to lawmakers.
  • Fr. Roy Bourgeois (also laicized and dismissed from the Maryknoll Fathers) for participating in the attempted ordination of a woman.
  • Fr. Robert Marrone on March 6, 2013 by Bishop Richard Gerard Lennon of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland in Cleveland, Ohio for violating the terms of his leave of absence. Marrone set up a worshipping community (the Community of St. Peter's) in a vacant warehouse that is not a Catholic church building and is outside of the authority of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland after St. Peter's Parish in Cleveland was closed (it has since been reopened), in defiance of the bishop.
  • Fr. Simon Lokodo, The Minister for Ethics and Integrity in Uganda, was excommunicated from the Catholic Church by Pope Benedict XVI when he entered politics in violation of Canon Law 285.3
  • Fr. Roberto Francisco Daniel, known by local community as "Father Beto", by Bishop Caetano Ferrari, from Bauru, Brazil. Daniel was excommunicated because he refused a direct order from his bishop to apologize for or retract his statement that love was possible between people of the same sex. The priest also said a married person who chose to have an affair, heterosexual or otherwise, would not be unfaithful as long as that person's spouse allowed it.
  • Fr Greg Reynolds of Melbourne, Australia was excommunicated in 2013 for continuing to celebrate Mass when not permitted, advocating the attempted ordination of women, and promoting same-sex marriage.
  • Fr. Jose Mercau in 2014 as part of the Catholic Church sexual abuse cases scandal.
  • In February 2018 Fr Ezinwanne Igbo, a Nigerian priest working on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia, incurred an automatic excommunication for breaking the seal of the confessional.
  • On Christmas Eve, 2019, three hermits named Father Stephen de Kerdrel, Sister Colette Roberts and Brother Damon Kelly living in Scotland were excommunicated after accusing Pope Francis of heresy in an online statement.
  • In July 2020, Tomislav Vlašić, a former director of the alleged seers of Our Lady in Medjugorje was excommunicated for holding himself out as a priest and simulating sacraments, after continuing to preach after being laicized for teaching false doctrine, manipulating consciences, disobeying ecclesiastical authority, and of committing acts of sexual misconduct.
  • In August 2020, Fr. Jeremy Leatherby, a priest of the Diocese of Sacramento, incurred an automatic excommunication for schism after refusing to recognize the legitimacy of Pope Francis, most notably substituting his name with that of his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI and omitting the name of Bishop Jaime Soto during the Eucharistic Prayer while offering Mass. Bishop Soto announced the excommunication on August 7.
 

Seasoned by Grace

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choir loft
I totally agree with you!!
More and more believers are posting the same thoughts as yours, on this and other forums, as God opens their eyes to see the truth.
I have posted the same thoughts several times. Not always received very well, but it needs to be said to protect the truth that others are looking for.
God says we are to be "Apologists," - those who stand for the truth and contend for the truth, and defend the truth.

It's been nearly two years since the Holy Spirit lead me out of my last church I attended for 6 years.
I looked and looked, for over a year, to find a doctrinally correct church, and found nothing.
I even tried 5 different men's off-campus bible studies, and I ran into all kinds of off-kilter beliefs and teachings, totally out of sync with scripture.
So now I come here, and one other forum, and connect with like-minded believers, not because they left their church as I did, but we connect because we are committed to God's one and only doctrine of truth, and speak our minds about it here, to maybe be used to open the eyes of others.

God bless you as you seek out God's truth, and grow in the Lord.
Seasoned by Grace
 

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Never give up their are people who I pray daily they find G-d know it's hard but know that when you get to heaven G-d will ask you what you did he did everything to get you in heaven do the same for him you say he doesn't change okay let things continue it's natural way but never give up so you see there will be one day chance to change it all. Pray to him and he will make it possible wait until your heaven and you see him outside the cities of babylon yo will cry because you know you could do more.
 

DavidT

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Don't stop praying if you want. But there may be a situation that God lets you know it's in His hands, and to let it go.

I helped someone in an in-depth Bible teaching who asked, went through the Scripture line upon line with them, and they understood, as I asked questions that would reveal whether they understood it or not. But a couple of weeks later I just threw out a 'hint' about what we covered, and it was like the study never ever took place. It was like God had wiped their memory of it.

That was more of a lesson for me, than for the person. We can only plant seeds of God's Truth, but only He can make them grow. That is why we should also pray for those we are trying to help in understanding God's Word.
 

choir loft

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Here's a list of people excommunicated from the Catholic church in this, the 21st century.

But you're right. In the Protestant churches it happens very rarely, although not totally unheard of. In addition to the reasons you mentioned for this, I also believe it is because of the many denominations that exist along with their many varied progressive or liberal views and the lack of a central governing body or even bodies. Rather than push until one is excommunicated, people just leave and find another denomination that will "tickle their ears" as Paul put it (see 2 Timothy 4:3).
Your list of excommunicated persons from the RCC is interesting.

Many of my ancestors were Catholic. Some were Lutheran. Others just shuffled off this planet without any affiliation. I grew up in the Episcopal church, which is about as confused and agnostic as one can be in the Protestant scheme of things. During my time in the military I got saved in a Pentecostal church far from home and my home port. As time went on, following the 1968 global paradigm change in spirituality and politics, I wandered from church to church - each one becoming worse than the others. Eventually I ended up in a Messianic Synagogue - Beth El-Shalom (house of God's peace). (*)

I noticed that RCC charges levied against those who were judged had to do with violations of RCC doctrine and/or breaks with authority. They weren't violations of Biblical principles as much as breaks in the chain of command. As a veteran of military service I understand the importance of a chain of command. If you don't want to play in their sand box, then you need to go elsewhere. Instead, the accused stayed where they were and threw dirt at each other.

The same is true for protestant churches as you have observed also. In that group there is little or no reaction to breaks with authority or Biblical principle. Some of the spiritual refugees I've met in my area are also fleeing the RCC, although for different reasons that those who've left Protestant churches.

Are the root causes of these changes due to changing political views and false Biblical interpretations? Certainly these matters play an important part in the schisms and secularization we see today. Personally I think there is another, possibly more severe, reason for it.

Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. - Luke 21:24b

On June 7, 1967 elements of the Israel Defense Force entered the city of Jerusalem. The city had not been administered by sovereign Jews since 70 AD when it fell to the Roman general Titus. It was a time of celebration for the State of Israel and Jews worldwide. The times of the gentiles had been fulfilled.

On the other hand, did the prophecy of Jesus foretell the decline of the church?

Less than a year later, in 1968, a global paradigm shift ravaged the entire planet. Google 1968 to learn the events that threatened to turn the world upside down. In the late 1960's through the early 1970's the last great Holy Spirit revival spread across the land. It was called 'the Jesus Movement' and there has not been one since. Spiritual leaders throughout the land almost uniformly opposed the Holy Spirit and the revival He inspired.

I know of this because I was engaged in leadership of a major denomination at the time. I knew the whispers and rage behind the scenes of which our congregations were unaware.


From that time forward, the American church began a period of decline that seems to be increasing as the years go by. Statistical organizations such as PEW and Gallup have stated attendance has fallen to 50% of 1948 levels and project the decline to reach 10% by the year 2050. TV evangelists of the 1980's such as Jimmie Baker, who by his own admission never read the Bible until he was locked up in prison for real estate fraud, didn't help much to reverse the trend. (Baker is back on TV these days, still selling soap and rubbish.) There are lots of small examples for the erosion of the church, but in my estimation its due to prophecy of the Times - the End Times.

Isaiah 1:26 speaks of a time of restoration, quite possibly beyond the 2nd temple period, when God will execute a restoration of all things as they once were. Many sermons and books have been delivered which mention this period of restoration. Are we witnessing such a time? Are we truly in the End Times?

Consider if you will the restoration of Israel and its people to their ancient lands.
Consider the unusual revival of pagan religions worldwide. Missionaries have privately admitted many wild tales.
Consider the decline of the church into the rubbish heaps from which it grew. (Most now embrace humanistic music, occult traditions and denial of basic doctrines. Those who truly seek TRUTH are fleeing from this tossed salad of wickedness and SIN.)

"These are the days of Elijah
Declaring the word of the Lord, yeah
And these are the days of Your servant, Moses
Righteousness being restored

These are the days of great trials
Of famine and darkness and sword
Still we are the voice in the desert crying
Prepare ye the way of the Lord!

Say, behold He comes, riding on the clouds
Shining like the sun, at the trumpet's call
Lift your voice, (it's) the year of Jubilee
Out of Zion's hill, salvation comes"


song and lyrics by Paul Wilbur

The above song is played and sung by many congregations in Messianic Jewish synagogues. I have personally met Mr. Wilbur, whose home is in Jacksonville, Fl. He's a Godly man who loves Jesus intensely.

So do many who read these pages, but we are all of us struggling with a cultural revolution that threatens everything we once knew to be true. Where shall we go to learn Truth and worship Jesus Christ in spirit? We shall each of us have to find our own way - God willing.

that's me, hollering from the choir loft...

(*) Most people are unaware that modern Judaism is a works oriented religion. While many Jews profess the Name of God and Trust Him dearly, others hold strictly to a Tradition that allows them to be atheist in philosophy. 'Go figure' some say. Others don't realize the spectrum of Jewish belief. I attend a group that acknowledges Jesus Christ as God and savior who died on the cross and arose from the grave.
 
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stovebolts

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I've been praying for my "friend" Colton for over six months. In that time I shared a little with him nothing pushy just little seeds. Yesterday I asked him if I could prove God is real and the Bible is true would he be willing to change his mind and believe and he said" Yes. If I saw god float down and fist bump me, or died and walked through heaven/hell, or someone dug up enough wood planks to suggest Noah's ark, I'd at least believe those respective parts.". I feel like my prayers were for nothing and was a waste of time. I cast my pearls before swine. I really just want to leave him to his own fate and stop praying for him already. He doesn't want to change.
I’ve got a good friend that I worked on and prayed for going on 20 years now. I’ve watched him go from Athiest to agnostic, to sympathetic to Christians all the way to believing in God. It took 20 years, so don’t give up and continue to pray.

Love always hopes. Don’t loose your love.
Love is patient, don’t loose your patience.
Love is long suffering…. Use this to draw nearer to Gods.
 
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