This may sound strange, for some, but those who think deeply into matters of spirituality will understand. When Jesus was praying, He said specifically He was “not” praying for those in the world. Jeremiah, too was instructed not to pray:
“Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to Me: for I will not hear thee.” Jer 7:16 (KJV)
Yes, perhaps it does sound strange but I have long understood there are those who will not make it. Let me share with you an experience I recently had. In the month of December 2009, God had a request of me, “Would you be willing to go to prison for Me?” I knew what this meant because a similar experience I had in 2002, and “yes”, I was sent to prison. Knowing and trusting and believing God, I answered positively I would. Life was not going well and I didn’t know what to do and asked Him to show me the next step and sure enough, this was it. Within weeks, I found myself headed there again.
Let me make this clear: some of my best days were found behind the wall. First, as a volunteer chaplain for many years, I received such strength, power and encouragement for the almost ten years I served. Those years were only exceeded by the nearly six years having served, this time, as an inmate. But on this last “bid” as those who have been inside refer to it as, God told me something which was strange to me and I was given Ezekiel’s experience as a point of reference. It was, “I want you to remain on your bunk and I will bring to you the ones I want you to speak with.” For the next three years I noticed when I went after someone to share the Word, it was never received; however, those who came to my cube were brought willingly and heard the Word willingly and good times of witness was had.
In short, I learned something valuable. I learned the time is short and having been thrust with many thousands of men during that brief time, time would have been wasted, good counsel and sharing would have been wasted, but God knew who He wanted to exposed to truths which these men would not have gotten elsewhere. What I needed to do was simply, “remain on my bunk”. And, I did.
We have been counseled:
“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Tim 2:3-4 (KJV)
While we may not know who will be saved or not, God does. While it is true Christ died on the cross for all men, there are men who will not accept the gift, so as difficult as it might be to believe, Christ did not die and pay the price for all man’s sin. Some men have chosen to keep their sin. For example, the Muslims believe no man, even God, could pay the price for their sin and they must rid themselves of such. They do not believe Christ died on the cross! Therefore, can they be saved in their current state of belief? The answer is unequivocally, “no”. I mention Islam, but there are many others who have chosen to bear their own sin and prayer is worthless. If Jesus said so and Jeremiah was told so, then we must believe so, and accept, when God is destroying sin, many sinners will have been lost—willingly, on their own part, but not on God’s part.
Let us strive never to be in the “world” where prayer is not effective.
March 15, 2016