“Can you appeal to the conscience if it is seared?”

Definitely. A “seared” conscience is not a “dead” conscience. In Scripture, the conscience is referred to as “weak” (1 Cor. 8:7–12), “good” (1 Tim. 1:5), “pure” (1 Tim. 3:9), “defiled” (Titus 1:15), and “evil” (Heb. 10:22), but it is never called “dead.” In John 8:9 one might think that the accusing, self-righteous Pharisees would have had dead consciences, but when Jesus spoke of their sin, “Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last.” Not one of them escaped the accusatory voice of the conscience. It was Rom. 2:15 in action: “who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them.”

Some may wonder about casting our “pearls before swine” by witnessing to those whose consciences seem seared. When do we stop offering the gospel to the hardened unsaved? Scripture uses the analogy of a pig to the describe someone who makes a profession of faith, but goes back to the world (see 2 Pet. 2:22). The pig, considered an unclean animal, wallows in filth to cool its flesh. If someone’s “conversion” is spurious, it is only a matter of time until he has to go back to the filth of the world to cool his flesh. We often call these people “backsliders,” but they are in reality “false converts,” and most of us would agree that they are the hardest to reach with the true gospel. This is because they usually say they were born again, read the Bible, went to church, witnessed, sang praise songs, etc., but then they “saw the error of being a Christian.” However, we each need to decide for ourselves whether to stop witnessing to such people. If we do stop, that doesn’t mean we give up on them. God forbid. We may stop sharing the gospel because they are contentious, but we should never stop praying for their salvation, until the day death seizes them. Then, and only then, is the battle over.

1 Timothy 4:2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,

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2 Responses to “Can you appeal to the conscience if it is seared?”

  1. Tim says:

    I think you can safely say, “this describes most of the churches”

    All you need to do is open your Bible and ask them if their Beliefs and Doctrines align themselves with the Word Of God.

    You will most definitely get the cold shoulder, be judged or manipulated out of your way of thinking (if it aligns with the Word of God).

    In most churches, you either have to keep your mouth shut or live it out secretly.

  2. This reminds me of what Ezekiel is told in the 33rd chapter. When do we ever truly stop being “watchmen for God’s people?” Cain, speaking from his own nature, said to God about his brother, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Yes, yes we are! I’m not just accountable for my own actions, but if I see someone doing wrong and I do nothing to correct the matter am I just as much in the wrong if not worse? Paul said this to Timothy, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Wow, so every time I’ve been corrected and disciplined, either by my parents, wife or the leaders in my Church, it has been for the benefit and glory of God, not just for my well-being! Had I remained in the “filth” as pigs do to cool off, where would I be now if I chose to not listen to what others said to me? But I thank God for taking that part of my flesh and giving to me a new heart as He said He would (see Ezekiel 11:19 and 36:26).

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