Rarely do people receive salvation the first time they hear the gospel. The Apostle Paul was evangelizing King Agrippa but the king’s response was: ““do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian” (Acts 26:28-29)? Agrippa was delaying a decision. We can understand that this is a major decision that should not be taken lightly.
The road to redemption is a process. That means many people will hear the gospel repeatedly before they make a decision It is often a series of stepping stones that could take a period of several days, months or years. But sooner or later, people hit a crisis in their life or are faced with a major question. That is the value to maintaining a relationship with non-Christians. We can be there when they get serious about spiritual things.
The persistent evangelists assumes that if someone says “no” it only means “no” for now. Therefore we should never give up on someone. Not all fields are “white for harvest”… right now.