KATIE WRITES: How do you evangelize to someone who has already rejected you?
I have a friend in high school who has a lot of twisted misconceptions about Christianity. One time I talked to him about it and he shut me down completely. I’m mad at myself for pushing Christianity so hard on him, but I don’t know how to go about talking to him again.
I feel like I’ve blown my one chance to show him the love of Christ. I’m praying for him, but I feel like there’s something else I can do.
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Hey Katie, thank you so much for asking this tough question.
Whether or not what you did was right or a mistake it doesn’t matter right now. God will use it for good if you surrender your actions to Him. Right now I feel the best thing you can do is follow the example of Jesus as well as love this guy with the kind of love found in 1 Corinthians 13. And if he asks why you tell him why: Christ.
Same if he wants you to do something bad: you don’t do it, but tell him why: Christ.
Actions speak louder than words. But words help clarify the actions. 😀
Nice response, Trent Blake!
That last wee sentence is so quotable! 🙂
Always act like Christ would in any and all given circumstances. And remember there is always another chance.
I think just being a friend is a good start! Don’t make him feel like he can’t have a conversation with you without being “preached at”. Being a friend is important! And just your example of being Christ-like in your friendship is showing Christ’s love. If, further down the road in your relationship, you find it appropriate to bring up the Lord in conversation, then do so. But do so gently and slowly! If he rejects you, then there’s really nothing you can to but PRAY for him and continue to love him as a friend!! My grandpa shuts us down ever time we try to talk about God in any form or fashion; even just saying something like, ‘God is good!” or “God is simply amazing!” he shuts it down…My family was moving out of country on mission work and he still shut us down when we tried to talk about it! He kept telling my dad, “I just don’t want to talk about it! Stop bringing it up!” Now that we are gone in the new country, my grandpa won;t even communicate with us. He ignores phone calls and texts. I say all that to say, we have done everything we can! We continue to love my grandpa, but we recognize that we can’t keep “pressuring” him with our beliefs because it mind kill the relationship altogether! so right now, we reach out to him often in the way of texting saying we love and miss him and we call him even though he doesn’t answer; but there comes a time when we just had to accept that he isn’t going to listen. And the only way there will be a change in him is through a miraculous work of the Holy Spirit! So what can we do when there’s nothing else? PRAY! Prayer is our biggest asset when it comes to sharing the Gospel!
So, first: just be a good friend! Then, after a while, try to broach the subject, but if you are continually shut down, just maintain friendship if possible and pray that God will work in his heart! And actions speak louder than words anyway, so you never know what God’s doing in his life just from your example! =) Hope this helps!
Wow, good question, Katie!
First off, don’t stop praying for him! God hears those prayers, even when it may seem like it’s not changing anything.
After that, I think that God uses friendships to soften hearts. Just let Christ shine through you in the way you act (or don’t act) and talk. If your friend refuses to listen about Jesus, then show him Jesus.
God bless you, Katie! Keep serving Him!
I’m kind of in the same boat so I can’t offer a lot of advice, but try dropping hints of the gospel and pointing to Him subtly. Like “isn’t it crazy that God gave so-and-so such great b-ball skills?” or if gossip comes up “well, we all need grace..” Clearly there’s no cure all, but I’ll be praying for you and I hope this helps!
Pray. Let God soften his heart, and so bring the opportunity for you to talk to him.
I don’t know of a solid believer who hasn’t stood in your shoes. God honors even our feeble attempts to bring the Gospel to the lost so don’t be too hard on yourself. We tend to feel so responsible for the spiritual condition of the lost. But Jesus said that He would build the church. Our responsibility is to pray for those that are in our lives that don’t know Him, but, most importantly, be prepared by not only immersing yourself in a His Word, but by strict obedience to it. We are all being watched by others to see if what we profess shows up in our lives. Let your words be few to this young man. Love him in Christ and pray that God by his Holy Spirit will bring conviction to him when He sees how you live.
Blessings to you for your obedience to share Christ.
Matthew 5:13-16 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
I haven’t read the other comments, so someone has probably already said this, but here is my idea 🙂
I really like this band that is called For King and Country. They have a song called The Proof of Your Love. I suggest you listen to it because it is such an awesome song. Here is the general jist of it though:
‘Let my life be the proof, the proof of Your love. Let my love look like You and what You’re made of.’
Anyway. The song isn’t EXACTLY like what you’re asking, but what I got from it is that show people that you are a Christian from how you live…how you act.
If you don’t follow the crowd, there is no other option than to stand out…and people will notice. They may even approach you.
With this person you are trying to witness to, just be a friend to him for now. Try to weave your beliefs into your conversations with him.
You’re not the one that will be able to convert him, God is. So sometimes, you have to let go and let God work. (Even if it is hard sometimes)
Praying for you!!!
Christy I love that song! I had an awkward experience talking to someone about Christianity, she looked uncomfortable and I gave it up. She transferred to another school the next year and I may never know whether she ended up accepting Christ. What it has taught me though is to wait on God’s timing. I don’t think my heart was prepared for sharing the gospel and when I tried to decide His timing it didn’t work well. But I also don’t know where I fit into God’s plan for her salvation. I can only hope that she will remember the example I set not my stumbling conversation. Although it just occurred to me I should look her up on Facebook… Anyway, you never know what part you have to play, and realistically, we never save a single person, God is the one who paid the price, who created them, and who prepares their hearts to accept Him. Trust Him, your friend may still come to you one day out of the blue looking for Truth. God bless you Katie!
Wow, Hannah, that is so true. Two years ago, I took a class on how to evangelize, and while we were practicing with the other “students”, it was very difficult to get the right words out and to know what to say when they challenged us. But when we actually went out to talk to peiple , I could feel God’s presence and the words flowed out of me. It was an amazing experience. And I know this is a very cliche thing to say, but you never know what kind of seed you planted in her life. 🙂
If he won’t let you speak it, live it. You can argue with words but you can’t deny what you see. 🙂
“If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.” Matthew 10:14
Hey Daniel! I see this is your first comment, welcome to the Reb! =)
Also, I wanted to ask – in this verse, Jesus is talking to the disciples he sent out to witness to specific cities. To you believe it applies to anyone and everyone? If so, do you think we should just quit witnessing after one try? Not trying to attack, merely trying to see your POV. =)
True! Relentless pursuit of the lost is the number one priority.
I think the point being made in this verse is not to waste time trying to be heard by people who’s hearts are hardened beyond giving you the time of day; a concept which can be applied to any quantity of individuals.
Sometimes continued arguing or debate can harden their hearts even more, as people tend to stand more firmly with the side they’re defending, in this case, rejection of God.
At the end of the day, turning to God is their decision, and while we can influence that decision to a degree, only God can soften their hearts. There does come a point when it’s time to back off and let the Holy Spirit do His work.
Another reference for this is Matthew 13, the parable of the sower- It’s frustrating, but some people may not have “good soil” at this point, and we can’t change people’s hearts, it’s up to them and God.
Yeah that’s true. When you’ve done all you can do, then it’s God decision whether or not to save them. All you can do from the on is pray. And that is the best thing you can do in the first place, because prayer is power.
Welcome to the Reb bro! You’ll never regret joining.
@disqus_koAyCTiPag:disqus @GuitarwithArms:disqus I think this does apply in some situations. Don’t waste your pearls on pigs, so to speak. But at the same time, we should never stop praying and loving, and speaking in non-aggressive ways (ie ‘well, God did this, I praise God for this,’ etc) when you can.
Like everyone’s already said, keep being an example of Jesus. And keep praying, sometimes that is just all you can do but it’s so effective and important!
First, you may want to checkout the comments on another evangelism question: http://therebelution.com/blog/2015/08/how-can-i-be-bold/#.VdqUKjZRFMs.
Second, as everyone else has already stated, live. Living is the best witnessing you could possibly do next to speaking. Actions speak louder than words. Practice what you preach. Be a friend. Never shove God down their throats. That never works.
Lastly, pray. When all is said and done, pray. If there is nothing more you can possibly do then pray.
Show him love, and if you get the chance, apologise sincerely for pushing it too hard.
Also, if you get another chance to share with him, remember that it isn’t you doing the work, it’s God. Take the step in obedience and leave the results to God. We aren’t out to force conversion, we’re out to converse. God does the convicting and converting. God isn’t limited by your mistakes, and He will work through this.
I’ve had a similar problem with one of my friends- with slight differences. Her family left the Mormon church when she was about ten, and now she doesn’t know what to believe. When I talk to her about Jesus, she’ll smile and nod and say, “well, I’m glad that works for you.”- which makes me want to scream and say, “No, Eleanor, this is the only thing that works for anyone, not just me!”
I came to the conclusion that that was not the way to convince her of Christ’s love.
I prayed a lot about it, and I still pray for her, but I came to the realization that I do not have the responsibility to convert her to a deciple of Christ. That’s not something that I am capable of. I slowly realized that maybe, just maybe, that’s not my job in her life. Perhaps my task is to show her Christ’s love, to plant a seed that may someday grow. Maybe that seed that I plant is going to sprout under someone else’s showing her Jesus.
If that didn’t make sense, what I’m trying to say is this: Sometimes our role in someone’s journey to Jesus isn’t to be the one who is there when they decide to give their life to Him. In many, many cases, our job is to be an influence on those people. Most of the people we invest in spiritually we won’t ever get to see the end results until we are in heaven.
So: don’t give up. Pray for him- I still pray for my friend! But don’t have the guilt hanging over you that you haven’t convinced him that Jesus is the most wonderful thing in the world. Keep showing him love, but remember that perhaps being the person there with him when he converts isn’t your role. Maybe you are called to be the person who plants the seed.
The answer is to be quiet, be quiet, be quiet. Pushing something on someone who is not interested will get you no where. In fact you can push them away and destroy your chance of ever making an impact in their life.
I met a guy when I was in Europe, at one point in one of our conversations I mentioned something to do with Christ. I could tell that he instantly shut down and with drew. I dropped the topic, we hung out together in a group of friends, had fun and parted as great friends. One year later he messaged me begging me to pray for him as he was in a critical time in his life and had finally faced the realization for his need of a higher power in his life.
You see we all have times and seasons. Your friend may not be ready to hear the gospel but by building a friendship and loving and respecting them and not forcing anything on them you build a path of respect and care and one day when they face that great need in their hearts, they will come to you to hear the gospel. And remember that all the time they will be watching you, I have one friend that compares me constantly in his mind. And I know without a doubt that God is speaking to him. I feel as though I am in the middle of a test and I never know what the next question will be until it’s said and done. I pray every day begging God that I will honour Him most importantly, and honour my friend so that he will see Jesus.
Jesus never ever forced himself on anyone. It’s soooo important for us as Christians’ to realize this and live this. Do not force and try to coerce someone into believing what you believe, it will turn them away as it is just words which have no meaning to them. Pray for them and wait until the time is right. Your very life will be a witness of the love and patience of God for the world.
My heart aches as I read your story. Mine is similar, friend opposes the gospel and ‘wins arguments’, but I know he’s still watching me. Two things I’ve discovered, first, the points that come up as arguments are really distractions from the main point of Jesus Christ; creation, bible accuracy, abortion, gay marriage, etc.. Nothing but Jesus actually matters and this other stuff is from man made Christianity, not the Church of Christ. Second, my heart longs to see my friend’s spiritual eyes opened, but God keeps turning my head upward toward His face and away from my friend. What He intends, for me, during this season is to grow closer to Him, that is all. I’ve even told my friend that his questions and statements about spiritual things drive me closer to the Cross and that I’m so grateful for that. I pray for him every day through tears, and I’m slowly grasping my doubt shining brightly through those tears. I’m anxious for his current and future peace. I’m afraid I’m not enough to help him (psst, I’m not! only the Holy Spirit can do this work). I somehow think he’s big enough to resist God. So much doubt. This is what God wants to work on in me. My friend is being used as an instrument in my life, by the God he rejects. Praying that we will learn everything He has for us both in this season, Katie.
Thank you for all who prayed for me and this good friend of mine. Just for an update, he and I are doing much better. I decided that it would be best to apologize to him for pushing Christianity on him so hard. He forgave me and we hugged:) Please continue to pray that my life will be a constant reflection of Christ and that He will open my friends eyes to the work of Jesus. Thank you all! Your prayers are tremendously felt:)