The moment has arrived! God has opened the door for you to present the Gospel to that person in your life that you have fervently been praying for. You follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit and pour your heart out sharing the love of Jesus and the sacrifice that he made for the entire world. The conversation exchange seems peaceful and cordial and gives you the impression that all aspects of the Gospel are clear and understood.

Then after sharing the Gospel, you take the next step, move to the question of commitment, and ask if the person would like to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. During those next few seconds of waiting with great anticipation to hear their decision, you pray within yourself for God to give the increase. And then it comes.

To your surprise and dismay, you hear their response of a resounding …“NO.” The impending victory that seemed so certain has suddenly been turned into feelings of disappointment and failure. You playback in your mind everything that you shared. You are so confident that you presented the Gospel in full context and answered all questions. What you have just experienced is a rejection of the Gospel.

Rejection of the Gospel can be difficult. I remember as a new Christian being a part of an evangelism ministry that shared the Gospel door to door in local communities not far from a church I once attended. When we returned back from sharing in a community, I was often asked, “How many did you catch for the kingdom?” or “How many did you lead to Christ?” I was always discouraged if I came back with no spiritual notches in my belt. I found myself sometimes trying to win people to Christ in my own strength. Later, when I began to grow in my faith and trained other Christians to share the Gospel, I discovered that a myth was somehow being communicated about evangelism. What I discovered was that many Christians are apprehensive about evangelism because they believe that conversion must occur every time they share the Gospel. As a result, when they share the Gospel and do not lead anyone to Christ, they feel rejected and are discouraged from sharing Christ again.

When did the importance of planting and watering seeds become so insignificant? God is glorified when we plant and water seeds. This is what he calls us to do and it is all he has given us the power to do. In evangelism, we are only responsible for sharing the correct information about what it truly means to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This is how seeds are planted and watered. Only God can make the seeds that have been planted and watered grow (1 Corinthians 3:6). Coming to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ is a supernatural and spiritual event. Only the divine power of God can bring a person to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. In our frail human strength, we cannot make a person accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We must consider that a Christian may be one of many other Christians sharing Christ in an unsaved person’s life.

Be encouraged even if the Gospel is rejected by a loved one and you’re concerned about their eternal destiny. Remember, God is concerned about them too. If you’ve experienced rejection, you have not failed because you were being obedient to God’s call to share the Gospel. What you have said will not be forgotten. Isaiah 55:11(NKJV) says, “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Also, don’t force the Gospel on them, which might push them away from you. Instead, add this person to your prayer list. If they are regularly accessible to you, let them know that you still care very much about them and that you will be available if they have questions about anything that was presented to them.

I often reflect on the rejection and suffering that the Apostle Paul experienced. In 2 Corinthians 11: 23-27(NLT) he says,

“…(I’ve) been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not. I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.”

Yet in Romans 8:18(NLT), he says, “What we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.” This puts it all into perspective. The harsh reality is that when the Gospel is shared, even in deep, genuine love and immense burden for the lost, it will be rejected by many (1 Corinthians 1:18). Some, like Paul, will suffer great persecution for the sake of the Gospel. But still, we must press on and be obedient to Christ’s command (Matthew 28:18-20).

At the end of the day when sharing the Gospel, we are only responsible for being obedient in sharing the correct data about what it truly means to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Even if we get a “talk-to-the-hand” response, God will do the rest and will deal with people’s hearts. There will be occasions when you will plant or water a seed, and there will be occasions where you witness God giving the increase. In either instance, you are being used by God and glorifying him by communicating the greatest news ever.

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