Presentation on theme: " Negative Responses “I’m undecided.” This could be because they are unsure of their need and, therefore, the importance of the message we are sharing."— Presentation transcript:
Negative Responses “I’m undecided.” This could be because they are unsure of their need and, therefore, the importance of the message we are sharing with them. Some are undecided because they are apathetic and indifferent. Others are not convinced they are in any danger. They’re not aware of the danger of indifference to God, let alone their rebellion against him personally.
We must remember however, that Jesus said “he is who not with me is against me”(Matt. 12:30; Luke 11:23). If people tell us that they can’t make up their mind, we can’t force them to, but at the same time we must not comfort them in their indecision, as if God recognizes the validity of a kind of spiritual in-between state. In humanity’s rebellion against God, there is no neutrality. They should know that even if they don’t think they’re making up their minds about Christ, they are still making up their minds. They can’t help it. They will either live as if Christ is Lord or as if he’s not.
Negative Responses “I want to wait.” This could be someone who doesn’t want to close the door on the Christian faith just yet. It could also be a person who doesn’t want to repent of his sins just yet. They may not be self-consciously undecided but they want freedom from making a decision. For whatever reason, they want more time.
As with the “undecided,” we should respect the “wait.” We can’t force someone to make a decision. We can’t force them to make up their mind. But we can be clear about the danger of waiting. Waiting is a negative response, even if couched in the most polite, ambivalent hesitation. “Wait” is another form of “no.” That doesn’t mean that it can never become a yes, but it isn’t one yet. Both ‘no” and “wait” can, by God’s grace, be turned into a “yes” to the gospel but until that time, both are “no” answers.
If you sense that they are not really attracted to the gospel, be clear and then drop it. Continue to pray for them. Make sure they understand what you are saying, but realize that you have indeed evangelized. You have witness. You have shared the gospel. You have been faithful. (1 Cor. 3:6) Sin is a powerful enemy, and while it appears ugly once we have given it up, it was once attractive, even beguiling to us. Therefore if we sense that someone is becoming attracted to the gospel, be patient.
Negative Responses “No, never.” While this response certainly informs us of how strongly the person feels, it doesn’t tell us with unfailing accuracy what will end up happening. According to the Bible, non-Christians are spiritually blind. Their eyes are not open to spiritual truths. They are dead to the things of God. Their own statements on spiritual things may be sincere, but they’re not necessarily accurate.
Of course, those who adamantly reject the gospel must still be treated with respect. We don’t need to make an appeal to them every time we see them. Such appeals may simply drive them away. To friends like this we should continue to be faithful, knowing that the very strength of their response may indicate a strength God will someday convert and use for his own ends. As with other negative responses, this one, too, is best met with continued prayer, and we can continue to live around the “no, nevers” in such a way as to demonstrate the great truths of the gospel.
Positive Responses What should be done when someone accepts the news you’ve given and professes repentance and faith? The Bible is clear that they are to be brought into the fellowship of the local church, baptized, given family privileges and responsibilities, and admitted to the Lord’s Table. Throughout it all, the new Christian should continue to be taught what it means to follow Jesus. Evangelism should find its fulfillment in discipleship. The good news is not merely about the commuting of an eternal sentence but about the commencing of an eternal relationship. Truly trusting Christ will always show itself by following Him.
Positive Responses What should be done when someone accepts the news you’ve given and professes repentance and faith? However, some “yeses” are false ones. Sometimes people say that they have become a Christian when they haven’t. Because of this, Christians have often been exhorted to be patient in their offering of assurance and in their counting of converts. “There are so many stony ground hearers, who receive the Word with joy, that I have determined to suspend my judgment till I know the tree by its fruits. I cannot believe they are converts until I see fruit brought back; it will never do a sincere soul any harm.” ~George Whitefield