As a newly born-again Christian, I became involved with the Episcopal church. I was on fire for the Lord and eagerly shared all that I was learning with those in the church. Unfortunately, it all fell on deaf ears, and they eventually hated me.
I started a men’s bible study that was surprisingly well attended. They were eager to start a book study of C.S. Lewis‘ “Mere Christianity” because he was Anglican, like them. That abruptly ended when we encountered this passage:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
They were not about to listen to that nonsense.
Nobody wanted to listen to the words of the bible. They had deaf ears. I was no longer welcome to share my faith. I prayed that God would soften their hearts, but things were becoming much, much worse. Finally, I asked God to guide me. I opened up my bible, randomly, and this is the very first verse my eyes saw.
The Lord himself has scattered them; he will regard them no more; no honor was shown to the priests, no favor to the elders. Lamentations 4:16
It was as if a lightning bolt hit me. I KNEW this was from God. It terrified me. God, himself, has scattered these people. He will regard them no more. Including the priests and the elders.
It was then that I quit the church. My mission was complete. Their hearts were hardened by God himself. This was divine judgment.
Might I be wrong about that? Sure, but we see God rejecting the Jews because of their unbelief and idolatry. Yes, like the Jews, God could save a remnant out of them. Let’s not forget that I was an enemy of His, too. He will have mercy on whom he has mercy. But, as for me, I am convinced that God sent me a clear message.