Everyone reading this has probably at one time or another talked to someone you know and love about Christ. Maybe you’ve even talked to a complete stranger about Him. Likewise, you have also probably been rejected by at least one of those people. This happens, and there are some very important things to keep in mind when you face this situation.
Evangelism: How To Face Rejection
- Do not lose hope for them. Take a moment to read Romans 8:31-39. Paul talks about how nothing can separate us from the love of God. In other words, no one is too lost to find hope and redemption from the Lord. You may not be the straw that will break the spiritual camel’s back, but you’re a straw on it nonetheless. The goal you need to set for yourself isn’t to have everyone you meet accept Christ from you (although that would be amazing), but you need to plan on just planting seeds and letting the Spirit do the work. Pray that the seeds you plant will grow, and that God will put more believers in that person’s path so that they may one day see the truth of God.
- Do not lose your cool. It’s easy to get angry and combative with someone who wants to argue with you. Exercise love, patience, and humility in your argument and always behave positively toward them (1 Corinthians 13). Do not use wording that puts them on the offensive. If you are feeling overwhelmed or having difficulty keeping your anger in check, then you need to avoid this discussion and spend time in prayer and Scripture to calm yourself before you try again.
- Know when to quit talking to someone. Sadly, we can sometimes do more damage to someone if we exercise too much aggression and try to beat an idea into their head. It is important to pay attention and know when to stop. Otherwise, you could potentially drive someone away from you and further away from God. At the point when your words have no effect, continue witnessing with your life and lead by example.
- Do not lose faith in God. Sometimes, we feel challenged when we speak to others about God, or when we are asked questions we can’t answer or don’t know how to answer. These questions can be taxing on your faith in God. Paul was an amazing apostle who was called to go reach the gentiles with the gospel, but he started by taking three years to himself in Arabia, where it is believed that he studied Scripture and prayed in order to prepare himself (Galatians 1:17). Follow his example and find one-on-one time with God and His Word and whenever you evangelize, pray without ceasing as you do it.
- Do not lose faith in yourself. It’s very tempting to quit evangelizing when you run into rejection. Have faith in yourself that you are not a “bad Christian.” Nobody who evangelizes has a 100% success rate, probably not even a 50% success rate. Remember Christ’s words to the apostles in John 15:18-21. The world hated Christ, the only one who ever lived without sin, and we shouldn’t expect any better treatment. It doesn’t make it any less heart-breaking to have someone deny Christ in front of you, but you can’t blame yourself for it.
Evangelizing to others tends to be one of the most difficult aspects of being a Christian, but you can’t be idle and hope that someone else does it for you. It’s a commandment from the Lord to spread the gospel and it’s our love that fuels the passion to reach others.
A recommended resource for helpful apologetics material is either Lee Strobel or Ravi Zacharias’s websites and the materials they produce. Are there any other tips or resources you can think of to help others who are struggling with evangelizing?