What do you say when someone tells you, I’d like to believe in Jesus, but I’m too old to change.”
I begin by asking, “Do you really mean that? Do you really want to believe?” (Some people will say they would like to believe because they think it’s what you want to hear, but they’ll make an excuse when questioned because they really don’t want to believe.) Sometimes a person truly is drawn to Jesus but feels fearful or constrained by circumstances or time of life.
I told one such person, “First of all, you are right, you cannot change yourself. But the changing is not up to you; it is up to God who can strengthen and change you. Remember Abraham. Do you think that your age can stand in God’s way? You just have to be willing.”
The other thing I say is, “In order to see the Kingdom of God, you’ve got to be born again. If you’re born again, you are like a baby with much to learn. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have God as your teacher? He can give you the capacity to understand and remember the things that are important. In our natural lives, we become too old to learn, too old to change, and that’s a signal that we are ready to die. Jesus isn’t about death. He’s about life, and you can be a brand-new person in Him! He will keep you growing. And furthermore, when you grow, you’ll bring forth the Fruit of the Spirit [then I describe that fruit to the person]. Not only that, you’ll grow in your understanding of God, and you’ll find the meaning of growing old, the meaning of life and death and the joy of knowing that you will live forever. God wants to give you the capacity to really begin living an eternal life right now. So you see, you need what Jesus wants to give you even more than a teenager does!”
After I said something to that effect to a person who knew me quite well, she grinned and said, “Well, I think that I could get away with it because they [unbelieving family and friends] would think that I was senile.” That elderly Jewish woman came to faith in Christ when she was well past seventy. She had a wonderful story and walked faithfully with the Lord for many years before she went to her heavenly home.
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