Who wouldn’t mind telling a friend that they won an undeserved prize? What doctor wouldn’t want to tell their patient that the test came back negative (which is positive…that still confuses me)? And who wouldn’t be honored by a call to proclaim good news from the highest authority in all the land?
So why is it that when we have all received the greatest news in all the world, the gospel which reconciles sinners from God, we don’t share it? Why would we claim to know the cure to the worst disease in all the world, the disease which kills 10 out of 10 people, we have the cure for and yet we don’t share it?
I’ll give you what I think are the top 14 reasons why we don’t evangelize and give you Biblical references on how to overcome those reasons/excuses and confront these reasons head on. We have been commanded to go forth and been given a message, not of our own, but declared by God. Let us be faithful in proclaiming that message.
1) Fear – Fear of man, being called narrow-minded, intolerant, judging, hate speech. It is scary that someone may think you are stupid, an idiot, uneducated, hateful. (1 Corinthians 2:1-5 – Paul came to the Corinthians in much fear and trembling, but the gospel does not rest on your confidence but on God’s power)
2) Too Busy – Everything I do is time-sensitive and everything other people are doing is time-sensitive. And when I finally get to relax and others are relaxing, I don’t want to interrupt. (2 Timothy 4:2 – Be ready at all times and slow down to look for opportunities)
3) Hurt Relationships – Could cause problems with my family, my co-workers, my friends. I am trying to build friendships to share the gospel, so I don’t want to hurt that relationship in sharing the gospel. (Matthew 10:34-36 – The gospel may hurt relationships, but if you truly love those people around you, you will share the good news with them)
4) Don’t Know Any Non-Christians – I just don’t know anyone outside of church and my kid’s school. (Matthew 28:19 – One word…Go)
5) They Don’t Care – Other people are just not interested in hearing the gospel. Or they have already heard it like a million times. (1 Corinthians 4:7 – You are right…they don’t care, but at one time, you didn’t either)
6) I Don’t Care (Apathy) – I mean the people aren’t going to die today, they’ll have plenty more times to hear the gospel. (Matthew 9:36 – Have compassion on the lost since we do not know how much more time or chances they will have)
7) Cost – How do you share the gospel without getting someone to hate you? No one likes to be hated. (2 Corinthians 2:15-16 – The gospel will be a pleasing aroma to those who are being saved and an aroma that brings death to those who do not believe – it is a reality we live with)
8) It’s Not My Job – Those pastors and those missionaries are pretty good at sharing the gospel, plus he gets paid for it. (Matthew 28:18-20 – If you want the promise of “surely I am with you always,” then obey the command of “Go.” It’s your job)
9) Not Clear on the Message – It’s not that they don’t believe the gospel or that they are not saved, they just can’t articulate it. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4 – Find out what the Biblical gospel is and what it is not, and preach the right message – both bad news and good news)
10) Misconceptions – I’ve never really seen what Biblical evangelism really looks like? In order to evangelize I need an altar call and someone to play “Come as you are” 14 times. (Acts 4:12 – Don’t look to modern methods of evangelism but the Biblical method of evangelism)
11) Not Equipped – I’m just don’t know my Bible well enough and I can’t answer all the tough questions that people may pose to me. (2 Timothy 2:15 – Get to work)
12) It Won’t Work (Results) – What if someone just walks away and doesn’t trust in Christ? What happens if every person I talk to doesn’t change? There are so many people that give their numbers of people saved and I just can’t compete with that. (Matthew 28:17, Romans 1:16 – The results are not up to you. There is no “closing the deal” and no boasting of how many you have saved. You save no one and it is not your job to save. It is your job to be faithful to share the gospel irrespective of the results)
13) I Live the Gospel – “A guy just the other day came up to me and said, I’ve been watching the way you mow your lawn. There is something different and magnificent about the way that you trim your hedges. Please tell me, what must I do to be saved!” (Romans 10:14-17 – The gospel is not a way of life, it is a message to be proclaimed and heard)
14) God Is Sovereign – If God is sovereign over salvation, He’ll do it on His own. (Mark 4:3 – You are totally right – God is Sovereign and salvation is a monergistic work of God. But He uses men and women to accomplish His means of saving sinners. God’s sovereignty does not negative the sinner’s need to repent and believe. Our job is to sow the seeds.)
In order to overcome our reasons for not evangelizing:
Pray, Plan, Know the Gospel, Accept Our Job, Be Faithful, Take Risks, Prepare, Look for Opportunities, Love Others, Consider Christ