SOME MYTHS OF EVANGELISM
By: Moishe Rosen
A positive attitude in witnessing is very important. Before we ever meet with the person to whom we are going to witness, we must overcome some defeatist myths that may prevent us from being effective communicators of spiritual truth.
1: It takes time for a person to discover the truth of the gospel.
Sometimes it takes a long time for a person to “come to faith,” but usually it does not. Faith is generally realized after a person makes a personal spiritual inventory. This results from the Holy Spirit’s touching a person’s heart. That gospel seed could have been planted long before our encounter with that individual. To help a person past this stumbling block of wanting to take time, we can ask, “What does God want from you?”
2: If the person doesn’t respond to our witness, it must be because we’ve done something wrong or we have been inadequate.
It is not normal for people to want to give their lives to Christ. They want to hold on to the reins as long as they can. Resistance to the gospel is normal, natural and to be expected. Yet sometimes, when we feel as if we’ve failed, we’ve really succeeded in planting a seed that will sprout later.
Most people won’t identify themselves as sinners. This is why we should always mention repentance and a life change. We can say, “You don’t have the power to change. But God, through the Holy Spirit, can help you change. He can help you feel what you need to feel in order to motivate you to do the right things.”
3: It takes a lot of Bible knowledge to be an effective evangelist.
God can use us whenever we are willing to obey. It is amazing how He will direct what we say. In fact, often we find that we know more than the person to whom we are talking. And we end up knowing even more when we are finished. Not only is witnessing an opportunity to tell others about Christ, it is also a learning experience. Start witnessing and it will motivate you to learn more.
4: The person will probably ask questions to which I don’t know the answers. This will prevent me from being a good witness.
No it won’t. Just tell the person that you cannot answer that specific question right now but will get the answer. Make a note of it and get back to him or her later about that point. It is amazing how Christians fear not knowing all of the answers. Yet we seldom do. God is the only one who has all of the answers. In the mean time, tell what you do know.
5: I am not very good with words. It would be easier and more effective if I just prayed for the person.
You should pray. But if you want only to pray, then how do you explain Romans 10:14? How does the Great Commission apply to you? It is not your responsibility to make every word and phrase perfect. It is your responsibility to tell others about Jesus. I have seen a lot done by the most unsuspecting Christians. Some of the most powerful witnesses have been people whom you would never select to be your spokesperson. Yet God did and He does.
6: We can just invite our friends to church. They will hear a sermon on sin there. After all, it is the pastor’s responsibility to be an evangelist.
The pastor may be a good evangelist, but remember, the Great Commission wasn’t “to go into all the world and invite people to church.” The commission was to proclaim. We each have the responsibility of proclaiming. The Bible says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.” Your own testimony is very important to this witness.
7: We should only witness when the Holy Spirit leads us to witness.
He already did lead us to witness. Jesus said, “Go into all the world.” He said, “Go to every creature.” So what are we waiting for–a special revelation? Just believe and obey what Jesus said in the Bible.
8: If God knows who will and will not be saved, and since it is all predestined anyway, we can’t really make a difference.
Some people teach that salvation is predestined, others teach that it is not. But if indeed a person’s salvation is predestined, God not only would have predestined the end, but also would have selected the means by which the salvation of that person would be accomplished. Either way, we believers have the great privilege of being obedient to the Lord and perhaps being part of another person’s eternal destiny.
9: I think that my testimony is rather dull. I know God loves me and has saved me, but nothing too dramatic has happened in my life. Will people really want to have what I have?
You might be surprised, but some people might find that the ordinariness of your life is something that corresponds to their own lives. It may be just what they are looking for. Isn’t Jesus exciting? Doesn’t He answer your prayers? Don’t you love Him? Then can’t you be willing to tell others of your love for the Lord, your answered prayers and how real He is to you?
(The above material appeared in the March 1992 issue of the Jews for Jesus Newsletter.)
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