He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. Matthew 11:15; 13:9; 13:43
Not everyone can hear. The verb "to hear" in the text indicates both hearing and understanding. It is important to understand that when you share Christ with the unsaved there are some who hear your words but cannot perceive what you are saying. Of course, there will be some who will reject your witness indicating that they do not want to hear. In fact, you are bothering them greatly and for their own sake, they need to be bothered, primarily by the Holy Spirit of God. Some genuinely do not understand, but the more they hear the gospel, they begin to put the pieces of information together and one day it suddenly dawns on them what is being communicated. In fact, it is estimated that it takes seven contacts where the gospel is shared before the average person understands their need to trust Christ.
So how do we witness to the closed-minded? First: Some things we must not do:
- Judge The Unsaved – God is the judge and we are not. One of our great mistakes is to witness with a judgmental attitude.
- Approach with a "Better Than Thou" attitude.
- Approach with a disdainful and pushy attitude. Our approach will often turn the unsaved off right from the start. Jesus humbled Himself and so must we (Philippians 2:8). As Christians we are to be imitators of Christ (Romans 8:29; Ephesians 5:1) and this is what others should see in us.
- Do not use large theological terminology.
Second: Some things we must do:
- Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39). Psalm 142:4 contains a blunt reminder of how some people really feel: No man cared for my soul. Your motivation for sharing Christ with others is crucial. Every person must be approached with love regardless of their lifestyle and condition.
- Commend them for their good works when they are obvious. Later, as you share God’s wonderful plan of salvation, the sinner must recognize that no one will be saved by their good works. However, their good works reveal that they want to do what is good and right which opens the door for you to share what God has asked us to do to be saved.
- Minister to other needs the unsaved may have. An unsaved woman, who wanted nothing to do with Christians needed copies of some legal papers. A church member told her that the church would be glad to make copies for her. While at the church, it was discovered that she was having tests for some physical problems. Without asking, the pastor immediately place his hand on her shoulder and began to pray for her physical needs. She began coming to the church and ended up trusting Christ as her Savior.
- Recognize the importance of faith. Jesus said: All things are possible to him that believeth (Mark 9:23).
- Be prepared. It sounds overly simple but if you do not know the Word of God, it will hinder your witnessing. You need Holy Spirit wisdom but you also need to recognize that the Holy Spirit is the author of the Word of God. That’s where you will discover His wisdom and become prepared to use it.
- Learn the stories of great conversions of the past. They will make excellent illustrations when witnessing. For example:
Lew Wallace served in the war with Mexico and later served in the Indiana State Senate. In 1864 he rose to the rank of Major General and fought in the Civil War and later became the Governor of New Mexico.
He teamed up with his friend Robert Ingersoll to once and for all prove that Christianity was a myth. While doing his investigation, he discovered fact after fact about the reliability of the Bible and truths concerning Jesus Christ and what He did to secure our salvation. He ended up trusting Christ as His own personal Lord and Savior and later wrote a book that became a well-known movie: Ben-Hur. Today, his statue stands in the capitol building at Washington, representing the State of Indiana.
There are many great stories of famous Christians and how they came to know Christ. Respected people who were faithful Christians cause others to give some thought as to the credibility of Christianity.
George Stiekes held successful pastorates in churches in Michigan and Washington among other places. He currently resides in North Carolina and blogs at Reverent Reflections. We recommend his ministry and republish his material by permission.