And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.” Matthew 10:14
As disciples of Christ, all Christians are called to some form of evangelism. Not all are gifted in this area, but when we trust God to equip us, He will. There are many ways to share Christ, and His gospel. One way is to preach, or teach, the Word of God in such a way as to cause a heart change in those who do not yet know the Lord. Another way is to share our testimonies with others. And still yet, one of the most effective ways is to simply show the love of Jesus to those who desperately need Him, and who need love.
There are many other ways, such as writing about the Word, like the authors here at The Bottom Line do. God inspires us with a message, or a word, or with a situation or event. Some people paint with His inspiration guiding their paint brush. Others sing, and glorify His name while touching and softening hearts to receive the Gospel, and thus, Him. But no matter how it is done, evangelism should be high on our list of service given to our Lord. After all, He Himself has commanded us to make disciples.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19-20).
But often when we attempt to share the Gospel, we are shunned. People either walk away, or they get angry with us. It is even more difficult when this happens with our families and friends, and we may see them turn the other way when they see us coming.
I have a relative who tends to walk right up to anyone, and very boldly proclaim Christ. He practically shouts to them about the benefits of knowing Christ at the most inopportune moments, such as at the viewing of a loved one who has passed. I witnessed this myself, and saw the look they both had on their faces. When my relative mentioned this to me, I explained to him that we should respect their wishes to not evangelize to them in this way. The most effective way to find a breakthrough in sharing Jesus with others is to simply show Him and His love. I further explained that it does no good to keep flinging the truth of the Gospel at them, if they are closing their ears to it. We are pushing them farther away from where we want them to be, which defeats the purpose for which we have been called.
We must accept that this lack of interest, or sometimes actual rejection, regarding the gospel is not our fault. It is the enemy doing all he can to prevent conversion from the world’s ways to God’s ways. And we must not wallow in our assumed defeat. Rather, we should push onward, continuing the mission, and not stay where we are either not wanted, or sometimes where we will actually not be tolerated. Better to try again another time, in another way, than to spin our wheels and accomplish nothing for Christ in the process. We always must cover our intended attempts to share Christ in prayer. But when failure is evident, then we must back up and show love, just as Jesus would. We do not speak recrimination, or lecture about the terrors of hell. We simply shake off the dust from our feet, and move on to fertile ground.
Jesus is Our Hope. Because He is, if we will let him lead us and guide us, then those who God intends to receive what we present, and who the Holy Spirit will move to salvation, will indeed be saved. Shaking the dust from our feet when we are not received does not mean we give up, it just means the time is not quite right, and God may have another plan for another day!
Have you had difficulty in sharing your Lord? Have you been mistreated or rebuked? What did you do when that happened to you, and how have you learned to show Christ when the enemy interferes?
We would love to hear your testimony of how you have been received when sharing the good news of Christ! Please go to www.mystoryofgrace.com and post your experiences there for us to read. We look forward to reading your testimony!