Seven Obstacles to Sharing Your Faith, Part 2

While web-surfing one day last month, I ran across an article on christianitytoday.com by Chris Lutes entitled Seven Reasons Not to Share Christ (and why we should go ahead and do it anyway). I thought it would make a good a good blog series.

Lutes writes for his second reason:

2) “I don’t want to make anybody mad”

Maybe you’ve been around Christians who are annoying. The way they act—all smug and self-righteous—can make non-Christians angry. We don’t want that. So we keep quiet. Understandable. But now look at Jesus: People crowded around him. People wanted to know him. People wanted to follow him. Why? He cared about hurting and lost people (Matthew 9:36). He listened carefully and responded to their deepest needs (John 4:1-26). Now, he did occasionally make people mad. He was really good at ticking off religious know-it-alls. He found self-righteous people annoying, too. But it was the message that ticked off people, not the messenger. Sometimes the truth hurts. So, it’s OK if people get a little mad sometimes—as long as it’s the true message of Jesus that upsets them, and not the obnoxious messenger.

Lutes is right about not wanting to be like Christians who are annoying. He’s also correct about non-Christians who get angry when confronted with the Gospel: they are usually angry because of the message, not because of the messenger. When the Holy Spirit uses the Gospel message to bring conviction to the heart of a non-believer, they often get angry, because they don’t like it.

There are several things that can happen when a Christian shares the Gospel with a non-Christian. The first possibility is that they will hear the Gospel, repent of their sin, and receive Christ as Savior. A second possibility is that they will hear the Gospel, but not receive Christ at that time. This is commonly called “planting the seeds” of the Gospel. At some later time, God may use the encounter to lead the person to Christ. The third possibility is that the person will completely reject the Gospel, and maybe get mad at you.

Each of the first two outcomes brings about a very positive result. Either the non-Christian gets saved, or else at least hears the Gospel message. The third possibility, however, seems rather negative. None of us wants to be rejected for sharing the Gospel. However, even this third outcome is ultimately positive. God commands us to share the Gospel. We are not responsible for the non-believer’s response to the Gospel; we are only responsible for sharing the message. We are blessed simply by obeying God’s command to share the Gospel. So, even if the person with whom we have shared the Gospel completely rejects us, we have obeyed our Lord and Savior. Any time we obey God, it’s a positive thing.

So, whatever the outcome, obeying God’s commission to share the Gospel is always good, even when it results in a negative response. One thing to keep in mind is that sharing the Gospel is not so much about making a presentation as much as it’s about having a conversation. Talk to your non-Christian friends and acquaintances. During the conversation, turn the topic to the Gospel. If you sense hostility, it’s OK to change the subject to something else. The more you practice, the more you will learn to rely on the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom about what to say, how to say it, and when to bring the subject up. The more you share your faith, the easier it gets. And, you gain the blessings of obedience to the commission God gives all Christians to share His message with a dying world.

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