October 16, 2015

Squashing Seven Excuses to Not Evangelize

by Jordan Standridge

All believers have the desire to be faithful ambassadors for Christ. We want to bring the message of salvation to squashed-bugthose around us. But like a deer in headlights we tend to freeze up instead of joyfully sharing the lifesaving news we possess. Like a diabetic rationalizing himself into eating that piece of cheesecake, Christian’s justify their disobedience with some well-crafted excuses. I’d like to help squash some excuses so that when we have the opportunity nothing would come in the way of those around us hearing about the hope that’s only found in Christ.

I’ll do more harm than good

Some seem to think that if they make mistakes, they may end up leading someone further away from Christ. While I do believe that there are “evangelists” out there who do more harm than good, I do not think that the average, gentle Christian can. You do more harm than good not by being unable to answer a hard question but by having a bad attitude while sharing your faith. It is those who are angry, argumentative, disrespectful and who use mean words that end up doing more harm than good. It is impossible to be gentle, loving, and compassionate and end up driving someone further away from the truth. You can even stumble over your words and be a stutterer and lead someone to Christ. Ultimately we know that salvation only comes from the Lord, and we don’t have the ability to bring anyone to spiritual life. We are all born completely dead, spiritually speaking (Eph 2:1-3). “Mostly dead” only exists in the movies. It is impossible to make someone more dead. God cares about how we present the message but it is imperative we remember that we have no power to save or to damn.

I don’t know what to say

If you know enough to get into heaven yourself you know enough to lead someone else there as well. The Gospel is not a complex message. It is the good news that dead sinners can be reconciled to God. God created you to worship Him, yet you worship yourself from birth, God is perfect and requires perfect obedience in order to be with Him (Mat 5:48). Man is sinful (Rom 3:23), this sin earns him eternal damnation (Rom 6:23) and He cannot save himself (Eph 2:9). Comes in Jesus, The God-man (Col 2:9), who was perfect (Heb 4:15), Died on the cross for us (Rom 5:8), Rose from the dead (Rom 4:25). Now men can be given eternal life if they repent (Acts 17:30) – and trust Jesus. It’s a simple message takes 5 minutes to share and can make an eternal impact. When you share your faith tell people the story of how God used this Gospel to change your life. Tell them about your newfound affections for a Savior you used to hate. One helpful idea is to have a Gospel tract on hand, that you can walk someone through and leave with them.

I don’t want to ruin my relationship

Many people are afraid to bring up the Gospel because they don’t want to lose their friend or family member. They are afraid that things will become awkward or that their relationship will be damaged in some way. The damage the Gospel can bring to any earthly relationship pales in comparison to the massive separation between Heaven and Hell that will last for eternity. There is nothing more short-sighted than valuing an earthly relationship to the expense of an eternal one. If you win a non-Christian for Christ you have finally began a relationship with someone that will last for eternity. God is glorified when you value heaven more than earth and will always bless you when you pursue treasure in heaven. You may lose an earthly relationship but the Lord will take your burden and will satisfy you more than any person.

I don’t know how to answer the hard questionswindingroad

1 Corinthians 1:19 tells us that God has chosen the foolish of this world to shame the wise. God doesn’t need you
to know the various reasons why a fish could swallow a human and that human still survive. He also doesn’t need you to know exactly how the layers in the Grand Canyon prove that the flood really happened. Those truths bring joy to the believer’s heart but accomplish nothing in an evangelistic encounter. Instead of getting stuck in rabbit trails always bring it back to the Gospel. Romans 10:17 says that faith comes from hearing and hearing from the word of Christ. In your Gospel presentations open up Scripture, be gentle, patient and passionate and the Lord will do the work of not letting his Word return void (Isaiah 55:11).

It’s the pastor’s job

So maybe you took a spiritual gifts test and came to find that a sumo wrestler would score more points in figure skating than you did on the evangelism portion. You may think that this is a job best left up to the “professionals” but God has made it clear that all in the Church are commanded to share the gospel (2 Cor 5:20). Your Pastor can’t go to work with you. You can’t take him to your classroom. He usually doesn’t live in your neighborhood or attend your family gatherings. You are the only Christian some people will ever talk to. It’s gotta be you. That doesn’t mean that you are called to go out and do street evangelism, or street preaching. It means that you have to be faithful in the circle God has sovereignly placed you in.

I don’t have time

I know a missionary who often says, “All it takes is one verse, five minutes and a little bit of courage”. We waste so much time in our days. We watch hours upon hours of movies, TV shows, or video games. We spend hours wasting time on our phones stalking all of our friends on Facebook. Some of us are genuinely extremely busy but have surrounded ourselves with only believers and have little interaction with unbelievers. We need to rethink our schedule. There is always time to have a Gospel facebook-stalkersconversation. The only thing we can do on earth that we can’t do in heaven is share the Gospel with a hell-bound soul. Your purpose in life is to glorify God and to bring the Gospel to the lost. If your life is so busy that you can’t fulfill your main calling you need to reevaluate your priorities.

I’m scared

It can be daunting to share your faith. The unknown of how people will react can cause people to shut down and never share. Although martyrdom is probably out of the question for now, the thought of being mocked or of being belittled can petrify a believer. Jesus knew this could be the case and He ultimately reminds people that they should not fear those who can only kill the body but rather, the one who can kill the body and then cast the soul into hell (Luke 12:15). On top of that, anyone who believes in the doctrine of hell recognizes the fact that everyone around them is on the verge of spending eternity burning in darkness. Both of these truths trump any fear that I may experience. Okay now that we’re stressed out even more, we should always remember that God has gifted us with the Holy Spirit who is our helper and always empowers us in the moment we need Him (John 14:26).

Ultimately we all long for the day that we are free from sin and with our Savior. Heaven will be a place free from fear, doubt and worry and will be a place full of peace, joy and comfort. The Lord is exalted when we long for heaven and desire that above all else. Nothing displays the fact that you love heaven more than earth than when you open your lips to share the gospel. If you have used one or all of these excuses I challenge you to ask forgiveness to the Lord and like the apostles (Acts 4:23-31) to ask Him to give you the boldness to share in the face of persecution. May we long for the day that Christ says to us, “well done my good and faithful servant”.

 

Jordan Standridge

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Jordan is a pastoral associate at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, VA, where he leads the college ministry. He is also the founder of The Foundry Bible Immersion. You can find his personal blog at surrender.us.
  • Change ” Rose form the dead” to ” Rose from the dead” and delete this comment.

  • “We need to rethink our schedule.” <<– This is pure gold, Jordan.

  • Brian Morgan

    Sadly true brother. I also think of Mark 8:38. We can act like Peter by the fire of the world and actually be ashamed of Christ in moments. My how the flesh is an enemy, isn’t it!?
    Thanks for this.

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  • Linda

    I’d love to hear your answer to “I don’t know any unbelievers”.

    • Jordan Standridge

      Maybe it’s worth it’s own blogpost.

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  • chrisleduc1

    There’s always the unspoken reality behind the vast majority – “I simply don’t want to.” That is almost always the real reason behind all the other “excuses.”

    Consider, when you REALLY want to do something, I mean you feel its your life’s calling, the most important thing to you, then you WILL find a way to overcome all those previous excuses.

    If we could just be honest here, the real reason is simply that I just don’t want to and therefore I make excuses.