The apostle Paul was fighting against the Holy Ghost for many years before the Lord stopped him on the road to Damascus and he finally got saved. The three steps any sinner goes through, like Paul, are resistance, conviction and surrender.
Acts 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
I think there are a lot of religious people in the world today who have been told the gospel but resist much like Paul did. Paul’s resistance did not just stop with a “no thank you.” He went to the point of chasing after Christians with the sole intent of trying to kill as many as he could. He got down right mad that someone would mess up his religion and challenge it. There are many people like that today. They get mad when you witness to them. The defense shields go up. You can talk to them about anything, but you begin to make a serious inquiry about their soul and eternity, they get nervous and mad.
The problem is the Holy Ghost is pricking people. He is saying “you need to get saved”, “you are a sinner on your way to hell.” People don’t want to hear that from Him. As a result, they start to kick against these pricks of conscience. They start to fight just like the apostle Paul. They start to fighting against the Holy Ghost himself. It is hard to kick against these pricks. It is not easy for someone to work against conviction that the Holy Ghost places on the sinners heart. But people still try to do it. They fight and fight just like Paul. And just like Paul, the Lord needs to arrest them or bring them to the point they will surrender.
Just like Paul, the Lord knows what it will take to get you to surrender. The Lord will not force you to get saved, but He loves you enough that He does not want to see you go to hell. He will send pricks and conviction so you won’t. He will bring a Damascus experience in your life to see that you don’t die and go to hell. There is a subtitle mix between the sovereignty of God and the free will of man. The decision is still yours. The Lord could speak to you audibly like He did Paul and you could still choose to reject Him. Surrender in salvation and surrender in living for Him is a freewill choice you will have to make. Will you continue fighting against the Holy Ghost or will you surrender?
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