The apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 5:10, 11, wrote, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men ..." The word "persuade" means "to convince" (Strong), "to bring about a change of mind by the influence of reason or moral considerations" (Vine), and "to seek to win one" (Thayer).
The apostles of Christ dedicated themselves to persuading the lost to obey the gospel of Christ. In Corinth and Ephesus, Paul reasoned and disputed in the synagogues and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. Acts 18:4; 19:8, 26. Persuasion is a reasonable plea for conviction and action based on truth. In persuading Felix, Paul "reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come." Acts 24:25.
Our persuasion must come from the Lord! Romans 14:14. This can be accomplished only by His Holy Word. In Rome, Paul expounded upon and testified of the kingdom of God, persuading the people out of the law and the prophets. 28:23, 24. When false teachers led the Galatians away from God, Paul wrote, "Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump." Galatians 5:7-9. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17.
Our persuasion must be in the promises of God. Abraham, who became the father of many nations, believed in hope against all hope. He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief but was strong in faith and was fully persuaded that, what God had promised, he was able to perform! Romans 4:16-22. He, Isaac, and Jacob saw the fulfillment of God's promises afar off. They were persuaded of them and embraced them. They looked for the city that has foundations and the country that is heavenly! Hebrews 11:8-16.
Many are persuaded to do evil. The chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude to save Barabbas and to destroy Jesus. Matthew 27:20. Wicked Jews from Antioch and Iconium persuaded the people of Lystra to stone Paul. They dragged him out of the city, thinking he was dead. He was not dead, however, and continued his great and effective work of persuading lost men and women to be reconciled to God. We must not follow a multitude to do evil. Exodus 23:2.
Some people will not be persuaded of the truth. Why? They will not hear and obey the Word of God. When the lost rich man pleaded with Abraham to send Lazarus to his father's house to testify to his five lost brothers, Abraham said, "They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they will not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." Luke 16:19-31. Today, we have the perfect law of liberty in Christ. Will you be a hearer and a doer of it? James 1:25
In order for us to please God, we must come to Him, fully persuaded in our own minds. Hebrews 11:6, Romans 14:5. Paul followed in this example, and so must we. "For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." 2 Timothy 11:12. "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38, 39.
Dear reader, of what are you persuaded? It is not enough to be almost persuaded. When Agrippa said, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian," Paul replied, "I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds." Acts 26:27-30. We persuade you to be a Christian, and we persuade you, as a Christian, to continue in the grace of God. 13:43. -Editor
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