GIVE NOT THAT WHICH IS HOLY UNTO THE DOGS, NEITHER CAST YE YOUR PEARLS BEFORE SWINE, LEST THEY TRAMPLE THEM UNDER THEIR FEET, AND TURN AGAIN AND REND YOU. (Matthew 7: 6)
What is the difference between those that God wishes to hear the gospel and those that he wishes do not hear the words of eternal life?
At which point do people cross the line and stop being those that should hear (if they ever were) and become swine?
There are plenty of people who profess to be Christians that would call me all sorts of things for suggesting this. But the truth is the opinions of these people don't matter if we have the backing of the word of God. The truth is that if we have God's word on our side then these people are wrong - "...let God be true, but every man a liar..." (Romans 3: 4)
...WHOSOEVER SHALL NOT RECEIVE YOU, NOR HEAR YOU, WHEN YE DEPART THENCE, SHAKE OFF THE DUST UNDER YOUR FEET FOR A TESTIMONY AGAINST THEM. VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, IT SHALL BE MORE TOLERABLE FOR SODOM AND GOMORRHA IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT, THAN FOR THAT CITY. (Mark 6: 11)
God is a God of love but he is also a God of judgement. We may not like that, but that's our problem, not God's. The lives of many professing Christians today consist of continually praying that all and sundry would be saved. But I would ask - is this God's will? I mean the texts above make it quite clear that there are many who simply place themselves outside of God's mercy. If God commands us - as he does above - not to attempt to preach to certain ones and to cease from preaching to others - can it then be right or logical for us to pray for the salvation of these people?
I think not.
It is clear in scripture that we are to pray for certain people. It is also clear that there are certain people that we are not to pray for.
...SUPPLICATIONS, PRAYERS, INTERCESSIONS, AND GIVING OF THANKS, BE MADE FOR ALL MEN; FOR KINGS, AND FOR ALL THAT ARE IN AUTHORITY; THAT WE MAY LEAD A QUITE AND PEACEABLE LIFE IN ALL GODLINESS AND HONESTY. (1 Timothy 2: 2)
But what are we to pray for for these people? Well, the reason given for praying for those in authority is, "that we may lead a quite and peaceable life..." My understanding of this is that we are to pray that God would give them wisdom to rule in a right and fair manner. If it means (as many think) that we are to pray for their salvation - then why are we nowhere told to pray for the salvation of any common people? Why only rulers? Especially as 1 Corinthians tells us: "...not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called." If it comes to that why don't we just pray that the whole world would be saved and be done with it. But we know that that is not God's will. Where it says that we are to pray for "all men", I think this means all manner of men.
No. The emphasis is clearly on preaching the word.
My understanding of scripture is that it is God's will that we preach the word in and out of season. But I find neither precept nor example of prayer being used for the conversion sinners.
I think God wants us to leave election to him. He will choose whom he will convert and whom he will condemn. He has in fact already chosen them.
THEREFORE HATH HE MERCY ON WHOM HE WILL HAVE MERCY, AND WHOM HE WILL HE HARDENETH. (Romans 9: 18)
I think the following verse answers the question about why some are not to be preached to (or prayed for).
...BECAUSE IT IS GIVEN UNTO YOU TO KNOW THE MYSTERIES OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, BUT TO THEM IT IS NOT GIVEN. (Matthew 13: 11)