When No Means No- How Should Christians Share The Gospel?
By Brad Hewey
As Christians, we are called to share the gospel. How should we react when someone doesn’t want to listen? Brad shares his thoughts on evangelism.
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Yes Be Yes And No Be No
In Matthews gospel, Jesus tells us to let our “yes be yes”, and our “no be no”. The thought expressed here reminds us that there are many decisions we make that are made with confidence and soundness. But in the barrage of yes’s and no’s we verbalize in the run of a day, there are quite a few maybes. The maybes often apply to decisions of a casual nature; maybe I’ll run to the store later for a few things…or maybe I’ll walk the dog in a bit. If we’re fairly regimented with our decision-making processes, our yes’s and no’s will probably stand their ground.
Probably most of us, as kids, figured out which parent was easier to swing from a no to a yes, or at least to a maybe. Perhaps mom was more inclined to “give in”, with a little power of persuasion, or maybe dads’ “no”, toward a bicycle ride was fairly easy to turn to a “yes”, cause dad himself was fond of bicycles and cycling.
Whatever the case, we might view those attempts to maneuver a favorable answer as the training ground for being a persuasive conversationalist in our adult life. How to change someone’s mind; how to convince someone that our thought, our plan is the better one.
A Visit With An Agenda
Recently two ladies came calling at our door, one with a briefcase, and the other with a binder. They were quick to mention they were not with any religious or political group and asked if they might have just 5 minutes of my time. I was happy to oblige, and invited them in, continuing to putter in the kitchen as they began to converse. They offered up some general compliments about our home and community and then got down to business. They were selling health insurance. Apparently, their particular offering was different, better, and it was imperative that my family and I should have it.
I quickly realized their mission was to “sell me” on an insurance plan. I told them we were fully insured through work and personal policies, and completely happy with our coverages and our agent. They were undaunted and continued to present other aspects of their brand, that perhaps I had missed in the initial spiel. I expressed an appreciation for their enthusiasm but re-iterated my disinterest. I kept it light and said unless what you’re offering is completely free, I’m not interested in switching out my current policy.
At this juncture, respect for the person as opposed to pressing the issue should have prevailed. My “no” was a “no”. I had expressed that 3 times.
The ladies were not allowing my answer to deter, nor were they picking up on my slight sense of aggravation. Having a sales background, I recognized the approach. They believed a little more persuasion, a few more statistics, and a reminder of the potential perils of continuing on without this insurance brand, would win me over…the “no”, becoming a “yes”.
How Should We Share The Gospel?
As Christians, we encounter “no” all the time. Our family, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances that have zero apparent interest in the good news of Christ. We’re all called to evangelize. The Bible tells us to “go ye into all the ends of the earth and preach the gospel”. There are opportunities that present themselves, and we need to go out as well, entering into conversations and dialogues where we might tell others of the good news, that there is deliverance from sin and eternal punishment. But when we find a no to be a firm no, if we’re being sensitive to the spirit, our love for that person and our desire for their eternal state to be heavenly, needs to outweigh our desire to “seal the deal”. We present Christ, but it’s the conviction of the Holy Spirit that works on the heart, soul, and mind of any that are unsaved. It’s only Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit that can turn a No to a Yes.
To evangelize is to present Christ. Proselytizing is the act of trying to persuade Christ. When we, like aggressive salespeople, try and use our powers of persuasion to win someone over, we can inadvertently place more attention on our character flaws, then on the flawless, matchless, perfect character of God.
A “no” can sometimes be a “no”. But when Christ has been presented, and Gods hand is leading, there may be a resounding “YES”, somewhere in the future. We can trust these things to the providence of our GOD…. “who is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
Brad offers up practical, scriptural advice from a perspective borne out of everyday life encounters. As we live and move and have our being…it’s the individual life lessons that most often present the greatest challenges, but can yield the richest blessings. We’ve all, as Christians had those faith-affirming moments, where we’ve had an overwhelming sense of God’s spirit, or his very presence “at a particular but, maybe random time”.
Brad was born and still resides in a small community in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, where he and his wife Karen raised their 3 children. Brad & Karen fellowship at the Greenland Bible Chapel, where Brad serves as an elder.
Brad loves meeting and engaging with people. His background in sales has provided opportunities to travel throughout the US and Canada, networking with people from all walks of life. Brad is a singer/songwriter and has recorded 3 Christian albums. Songs from his “Brighter Day” release, have aired on Christian Radio stations across Canada and two of Brad’s albums are on HopeStreamRadio’s playlist.
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