“Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.” (Jer. 20:9)
Why not? Because he had a heart for those that were lost, that would not listen, whom he knew would suffer greatly if they did not obey the message that the Lord had sent him to give? In part yes, but only in a small part, Jeremiah continued because of the love of the Lord God, of his great desire to be obedient to the will of the Lord, to accomplish the task that had been placed before him. “Therefore thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them; but they will not answer thee.” (Jer. 7:27)
He already knew what was going to happen, the Lord had made that quite clear to him, yet as we all do, we hold a glimmer of hope that the Lord will be merciful.
Nearly every person that I have ever witnessed to is going to die in their sins, of this I have no doubt, for the Word of God is clear, “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matt. 7:14) It still bothers me, but not as much as it used to, I do not try to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders, but the yoke of Christ. You must remember this, nearly all those that Jesus Christ spoke to when He walked this earth died in their sins as well.
We are to give the message of the grace of God that is offered through Jesus Christ, that is the task, the commandment placed upon us, how they react to the message is inconsequential to us, save for the small part of hope that we hold onto. The proof is self-evident, for many will pray for those they love and cherish, for their family members, sometimes for many years, but rarely will they stop to take the time to give as much fervency to the stranger they meet on the street. We are selfish and care for our own, but not our neighbor.
To do the will of God for His glory is what you have been given life for, it is His will that determines who will enter into the eternity of His presence, and who will suffer the fires of torment forever. “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matt. 22:14) It is God that chooses, not us.
We are caught in a conundrum, so to speak, those of us who spend many hours each day attempting to reach people for the Lord, who spend countless hours reproving and correcting in love and patience those who are indeed saved by His grace but cannot yet see clearly, and many times in our lives we repeat the words of Jeremiah, and His Word begins to burn in our hearts again. The fool is the man who orders his life as if there were no God, the blind are those that have been deceived by Satan, the lost are who we are searching for, and all those others must be sifted through as we do so.
We must be able to apply Matthew 7:6, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you,” or their eternal loss will haunt us all the days of our lives. The man who is continually filled with sorrow, frustration and even pain is useful to the Lord, in the sense that any man can be of value to the Almighty, for he has learned to cast all his cares upon Him.
It has been said of all the great preachers that the recidivism rate among those they offered the Words of God to was well over ninety percent. That is of little concern to them, we plant seeds, we water when we are able and blessed to do so, but it is God alone who gives the harvest. Whether you are on fire at this moment or have decided to stop speaking in His name, you know full well that most of them will not heed the call, and those that are your brothers and sisters in Christ will not hear your reproofs and corrections, rest assured, this is how it has always been. “And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” (Luke 16:31) “I wish I would have” is heard in both heaven and hell, do not let those words pass your lips.