Heretics Hard to Convert


The conversion of an inventor of false doctrine has never yet been heard of; for a sin such as this is too great, because it blasphemes God’s Word and sins against the Holy Ghost. This is why God lets inventors of false doctrine become hardened. Accordingly, the word of Is. 6:9 is fulfilled: With seeing eyes you shall not see, and with hearing ears you shall not hear; for the heart of this people is hardened.

Christ converted no high priest; but their disciples were converted, men such as Nicodemus, Joseph, Paul, and the like. The prophets of old converted no false prophet. Neither could Paul convert any false prophet; but he gave the direction: After a person has been admonished twice or three times, he is to be avoided and let go, as a perverted one (Titus 3:10). Thus even the holy doctors have never yet converted a master of heresy, not because none of them ever sufficiently combated their error and refuted it with the truth but because their heart was obsessed with their own notion. They fared like a man who looks through a colored glass. Put before such a man whatever color than that of the glass. The fault is not that the right color is not put before him but that his glass is colored differently, as the word of Is. 6:9 puts it: You will see, he says, and yet you will not see it. This means: It will be put before your eyes sufficiently and clearly, so that you may see it; and others will actually see it, but you will not see it. What else could it mean? This is the reason why one cannot convert such people (says John 12:40). The truth presented to them does not do it. God must remove the colored glass. This is something we cannot do.


Martin Luther



What Luther Says, p. 644

Compiled By Ewald M. Plass



One thought on “Heretics Hard to Convert

  1. An excellent little piece which serves to remind us that God’s Word is complete and comprehensive for those who have been given ears to hear. It underlines the fact that His Will is Sovereign and that those who continue to oppose the truth, by preferring to cling to the desperate hopelessness of their own free will, do so because God chose it to be so. It serves as a warning, contemplating this brings humility, it magnifies our perception of God’s might, and it provides comfort to His people in the knowledge that all will be good for those whom He has enabled to see all the wonderous colours of His Grace.

    Liked by 2 people

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