We stand on the rock of humility.
When we come to heart-led faith from mainstream Christian religion, we have to shed a lot of bad mental habits. This is what Romans 12:2 means, because the mainstream is worldly, clinging to the material and cerebral, and we have to renew the mental processes to defer to our convictions.
One of the biggest mainstream mistakes was associating the word “evangelize” with trying to help non-believers. The root word “evangel” means the gospel message contained in the Four Gospels. The gospel message is not some rational sales pitch; the demands are wholly irrational. That’s because the demands rise above reason and require the driving moral nature of the heart. You cannot genuinely connect to God any other way.
So this whole gospel message is surrendering the authority of reason to some undeniable higher power. And it really doesn’t matter where that person starts; their previous belief or unbelief means little, except in the sense of what they have to overcome. Truly, believers typically have a much harder time unless they were already under conviction from their hearts. Indeed, the false Decision Theology creates a massive fortress of deception in the soul of a great many folks so utterly certain that they are “saved.”
So now we have an image of what the job really is: moral persuasion to abandon the fortress. Your tactics themselves must reflect the moral character of God, that same thing I typically call the moral fabric of Creation, cosmic moral reality, the heart-led awareness and moral discernment. You have to speak to the heart imprisoned inside that fort. You can’t blast holes in the walls as Westerners tend to think of it. The resident of the castle has to surrender voluntarily. We don’t seek to destroy their old life; God by His own hands does however much of that He determines is proper. Creation itself is wired to attack false morality in widely varying ways. These people have built their lives under the stormy skies of God’s wrath. We seek to draw them out to abandon the old life, whether early or late, and live in the land of His blessing.
So when we “preach” to someone about repenting from sin, the primary approach is, “This is not in your best interest.” We are convinced that what they do hinders their full connection to the throbbing heart of God’s love in Creation. And it’s just possible we may be wrong about some things, so we are offering nothing more than our personal experience. There is precious little that even appears like objective truth. God’s truth is never objective; it’s organic and alive because it’s Himself. All we can offer is what God has showed us, while giving Him room to show them something different. We call attention to the light that shines on all Creation, including all people.
And whatever He does in revealing Himself to them is on His own schedule. We give them as long as it takes, and withdraw when God says He has something else for our attention. But in our hearts, we still give them room to catch on later. It’s not our words so much as our commitment that wins their surrender. Don’t talk the gospel; live the gospel.
No sinful habit of life that humans do is sufficient to block eternal life. Nothing. There may be things that threaten your domain in Christ so that you have to open up some distance, but even that may be simple emotional distance. Rarely will God grant you the authority to use physical or political force to keep someone out of your mission. It happens but it’s not the default. And you always trust in God for their response when such forceful action is taken. The focus is not reaching inside their heads to make them think right, but to give them a chance to see what’s right on their own. We trust God to speak to their hearts like He does to ours.
We ourselves have so very far to go; how can we be so unbearably demanding on others?