There is more to a person that meets the eye. Before we speak, a person has already had several conversations (internal and external). When we meet a new person ready to share the gospel, we are expecting them to “receive” what we say instantly. We expect them to believe that God loves them and has an amazing future for them. We are disappointed when our words are discounted.
Did we say something wrong?
Should we have stayed silent?
Are we supposed to shake the dust off our feet and move on?
What we must learn are the common hindrances to evangelism. One hindrance is self-defeating prophecies. A self-defeating prophecy involves a person hearing a prophecy and rebelling against it to make it not come true.
God gave man the following instructions in Genesis 2:16-17
And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.”
Before evil was in Earth, before curses entered into the equation, only goodness existed. Since God is good, He forewarns us of pitfalls that will hold us back. God was trying to tell man, “You have a choice. If you choose to do things your way, you will not experience true life.” In this passage, God was promoting life! His platform has not changed.
We see the fruit of Adam and Eve’s decision—they rebelled against God’s plan and experienced the opposite of what He wanted for them (i.e. toil, worry, pain, loneliness, and separation). Jesus gave His life for our sins to restore our relationship back to God. Although we no longer have to live apart from God, some people do not know this. They continue to rebel against what God wants to say about their lives. Thus, they reject us when we try to talk about God.
We must understand that everyone does not see God as “good.”
Some people see God like their natural father.
They only see God as a stern disciplinarian. Or they see God as an “absent” father who has not been with them in the most vulnerable chapters of their lives.
Some people see God as unconcerned.
They think God’s only role is to cause disease, disaster, destruction, and death on the lives of innocent people. They think He just watches and allows things to happen to mankind.
Some people see God as a liar
They “hear” the promises God has for them, but they are disappointed by life. They do not know God reveals promises in His timing. When things do not happen as they want, they tend to stop believing in God.
Based on their perception of God, they reject Him.
When people reject God as Father, reject His love (and discipline), and His word, they do not realize they are experiencing a different Father (Satan). Satan is the one who operates in rejection, pain, suffering, disappointment, etc.
Before we share the Good News, we must seek God for wisdom. Before we engage in another conversation with someone, we must make sure it is spirit-led. People do not need another feel good message or more positivity—they need to experience Truth. When we share God’s truth, people will experience freedom.
As Holy Spirit leads us into what to say and when to say it, those who are meant to hear the message will be more willing to receive it. Are you willing to partner with God to see the lost find redemption and acceptance in Jesus?
God, give us eyes to see and ears to hear what You are saying. When we meet people who do not know You or have wandered away from truth, help us to share You. Help us to know what to say and when as Holy Spirit leads us. Let the end result be lives that are healed and restored to relationship with You.