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Evangelism – How To Overcome Resistance To The Gospel

Breaking through walls of resistance will require time and creativity in this school of evangelism.

I had a friend whom I was trying to reach out to and encourage in the ways of God.

Now it’s one thing when someone comes to you and is hungry, begging to be taught more about the kingdom of God. It’s another thing when you’re trying to reach someone who is surrounded by walls and has seeming little desire to grow and learn. It’s a little bit like trying to spoon feed honey to a hibernating bear. You know that if the bear knew what you are trying to feed it, the bear would be quite pleased. The hard part is making the bear aware of what it’s missing.

Time passed and I felt like I made very little headway in breaking down the walls and going deeper with my friend. Until one day I made a grand discovery that changed everything.

I discovered he likes to read.

It’s important that you understand where my friend was coming from. He came from a generation and tribe of people who were never educated in schools. Few of his peers knew the difference between A and B. He was an exception because he had grown up in a setting where schooling was available and he stuck with it at least long enough to learn to read.

This was the golden key that gave me access into his life. I redeemed this opportunity by buying him books that had the potential to challenge him and broaden his views on what it meant to be a follower of Jesus.

When working with any individual, it will always be very helpful if you can find something that is of special interest to them. This can become your point of access into their life. They may be closed to hearing the gospel presented in a traditional matter, but if you can find another point of interest through which you can eventually present Christ, you are well on your way to success.

Jesus gave us a skillful demonstration of this with the woman at the well in John chapter 4. A casual discourse about a basic human need for water:

4:7. “There cometh a women of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, ‘Give me to drink.’”

soon turned into an intense discussion that later resulted in an entire city coming to know the Lord.

4:10. “Jesus answered and said unto her, ‘If thou knewest the gift of God and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.’”
4:39. “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him…”

Whether your looking for ways to interact with someone for the first time or trying to find ways to go deeper in an existing relationship, all of your relationship building should be done with a purpose. That is, to allow the life of God in you to flow across the relationship bridge and produce fruit in the life of that other person.

Just a word of caution.

Never substitute presenting the gospel in a clear and  compelling manner with simply relating to someone in a particular area of interest.

Spending time with someone does not eliminate the need to open your mouth with the testimony of Christ neither does it guarantee that an individual won’t be offended. Above all, be very sensitive to promptings of the Spirit on this matter.

God bless you,