It is easier for an ant to remove a penny set in concrete than to change the mind and heart of a fool, proud, or merely religious person.
Though you talk to him for hours. Pleading for him to leave his religious practices and traditions. Show him the foolishness of his ways, the historical pagan background of what he has put his faith in, or how scripture does not line up with his belief.
He will remain firm in his own understanding. Because he is convinced of a lie, he loves it and does not want to leave it. Besides, it is all he knows and it is what those he looked up to have taught him to be true.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. Proverbs 14:12 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart. To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. Proverbs 21:2-3
The proud religious man’s mouth works overtime. His mind puffs him up but his ears and eyes have been shut. You may try to open his eyes by showing him the truth and his ears by discussing the Word logically with him. But his mouth will run away with foolish ideas and the understanding of his own heart.
For hours you can try to debate and discuss, but you will end up right back where you started. A fool does not know he is a fool and those who are deceived do not know it either. Neither will they believe it if you point out this fact. Unless the Lord changes the heart and mind, there will be no change.
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. A fool’s lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating. A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul. Proverbs 18:2,6-7 When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent. Proverbs 10:19
The proud man sets his foot on his lofty hill of doctrine and intellect. He is right and blameless in all he says and does. I have heard it said that they will live and die upon that hill he stands. Not knowing it’s a pile of manure and stinks to high heaven.
For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” 1 Corinthians 3:19-20
Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool. Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way. When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the LORD. Proverbs 19:1-3
Did you see that? After his folly brings him to ruin, “His heart rages against the Lord.” Even when they fall and are ruined they will not take responsibility for their words and actions. They will even blame God for the disaster.
The doctrine created in the minds of men is not what God intended, neither did He command it, nor did it come into His mind to approve of them. For they serve themselves, idols, the way that seems right in their own hearts and minds, and are in fact the doctrine of demons. It is only what God commands and declares that should be followed.
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 1 Timothy 4:1
They set up their abominations in the house that is called by my name, to defile it. They built the high places of Baal in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, though I did not command them, nor did it enter into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin. Jeremiah 32:34-35
The only thing that will reach such men and women is through the presentation of God’s Law. Because it brings the knowledge of sin and guilt to the hearts of man. Along with the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the moving of the Holy Spirit. Pray for them that God will break the hard heart if it is His will. God is the only one who can change their mind, open their eyes that they may see, and their ears that they may hear and repent.
Again, sharing the Gospel along with His Law to turn up the hard soil of their hearts. It is the two most powerful tools that the Lord has given us to bring them a conviction of sins. The Law acts like a mirror showing them that they are a lawbreaker of God’s Commandment and the Gospel tells them how to be forgiven. Pray that God will soften their hearts and perhaps save them from the destructive road they are traveling on. That their lost soul may be changed by the Holy Spirit and saved.
“I do not believe that any man can preach the gospel who does not preach the Law. Lower the Law and you dim the light by which man perceives his guilt; this is a very serious loss to the sinner rather than a gain; for it lessens the likelihood of his conviction and conversion.
I say you have deprived the gospel of its ablest auxiliary [its most powerful weapon] when you have set aside the Law. You have taken away from it the schoolmaster that is to bring men to Christ. They will never accept grace till they tremble before a just and holy Law.
Therefore, the Law serves a most necessary purpose, and it must not be removed from its place. The Law cuts into the core of evil, it reveals the seat of the malady and informs us that the leprosy lies deep within. They must be slain by the Law before they can be made alive by the gospel.” Charles Spurgeon