Q. I know Jesus is my Savior, and long for His return. I see so many of my friends and family who don’t feel the same way, and am sad for them. The situation in my life now is such that I am choosing to lean on Him more than ever. But I got a comment from my cousin that caused me to pause and think. She wrote, “I’d be hesitant to associate myself with another being [Jesus] who says things like that, or refers to his followers as ‘sheep’, or thinks good people who don’t know him should suffer.” I know that Jesus’ love is offered freely to all, and that He doesn’t want us to suffer, but we must choose to follow Him. I’ve made up my mind, and I think she has also, but what can I tell her?
A. Like all unbelievers your cousin thinks Jesus is just another man and rejects the notion that our Creator has the right to hold us accountable for our actions. Unbelievers have a relative standard of behavior that lets them believe some people are good and don’t deserve punishment. But the Bible says no one is good except God alone (Mark 10:18) and that all have sinned and fall short of His glory (Romans 3:23).
I think you’re right about your cousin so rather than try to come up with a good response, your best strategy is to pray that God will open her mind to further discussion about her need for a Savior.