When it comes to evangelism, Christians have convinced themselves of a reality that doesn’t exist. We seem to be employing the well-known saying, “If you say something enough times, then it must be true.” Over the years we have developed a lists of ‘truths’ justifying our lack of evangelism. Yet, if we were to be humble and examine ourselves in the mirror of God’s Word (see James 1) we would have to admit that most of those reasons are more about our uncomfortableness to share than others’ unwillingness to listen.
Periodically, I find it fruitful to examine one or more of those reasonings in order to expose them as the myths they really are. Over time, I intend to do the same thing here, dissecting some of our most well-used excuses in order to show the untruth in them. The first such excuse for us to examine is “people aren’t interested.”
What We Say
Rejection hurts, especially when it is something that you take so personal, like faith in Jesus Christ. One rejection to the gospel can feel like ten, especially when acceptance of it may be rare. As a result, we tend to conclude that (collectively) people are not interested in God, Christ, or salvation. Those words roll off of our lips frequently when confronted by our lack of evangelization of those we come in contact with.
What We Signify
While we may believe the statement, “People are not interested in the gospel” to be true, to not share the message of reconciliation between man and God has deeper implications. Such a lack of reaction indicates a low view of God. Certainly a God who is omni (omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent) can work in all circumstances, even if a legitimate lack of interest exists. After all, this is the Lord’s work through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and not our own.
What We See
We live in a culture that is hostile, and many times antagonistic, towards Christianity. This cultural response can lead us to the conclusion that people have no interest in spiritual things. However, we must be careful not to judge an individual response based upon a societal one. The reality is that when we build relationships with individuals or families, we will often learn they are interested to some degree. They have needs and wants. They are compelled to think there must be something or someone greater than them. In getting to know them an opportunity arises to show how Jesus Christ can fulfill them.
For those of us without the gift of evangelism, the circumstances around it can be very uncomfortable. Most of us can relate to that. Yet, our calling as believers is to share a truth that illuminates life. A truthful assessment should convict of us of that responsibility while convincing us to reject the idea that people aren’t interested. You’re different than most and people often want to know why. They are indeed interested.
By: Robert E. Zink (Missionary to Argentina)