Three Lies that Keep us From Sharing the Gospel
Satan is always a liar. Jesus makes that point explicitly clear in John 8:44. Satan doesn’t lie without purpose. He lies to harm us through intimidation, temptation, deception, and more. And he is very active in lying to us as we seek to share the gospel. One reason is that if he can get us to believe his lies, then hundreds or perhaps thousands of people will never hear the good news of the gospel.
Bear in mind that Satan presents those lies as though they are truth. But even if there is an element of truth in them, that truth is misrepresented. He is a master at deception and distortion.
How does he lie to us in our evangelistic efforts? More importantly, how can one refute his intimidating lies? Much could be said here, but I want to share three lies or temptations that stand out.
Lie #1: You will make a fool of yourself. You won’t be able to answer questions and objections.
There is so much wrong about this intimidation tactic, one hardly knows where to begin in answering it.
First, where in the Bible does it say that you need to be able to answer their questions and objections? Dawson Trotman, founder of a ministry called The Navigators, was noted for his comment, “Soul winners are not soul winners because of what they know but because of who they know and how much they want others to know Him.” It is a simple truth that new believers often lead more to Christ than anyone else. They have been so transformed by His grace that they want the world to hear the good news. They are not concerned about what they don’t know. They are concerned about who they do know.
In Acts 5:42 we are told, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.” They wanted everyone to hear the good news of Christ’s death and resurrection. Nowhere is a word said about their ability to answer questions and objections that could be raised. They just wanted everyone to hear the good news that Christ died for them.
Second, if an unbeliever raises a question, you do not know how to answer, it is honoring to God to truthfully respond, “I don’t know.” That truthfulness can deeply impact an unbeliever. You can also respond, “Let me give that some thought and study and I will get back to you.” In fact, that is why as you evangelize you keep developing your skills. You soon discover there is not a multitude of different responses people give. Yet as you learn how to respond to a few basic responses, you develop your skills in talking to the lost.
Third, time spent in evangelism will reveal that most people just have not heard a very clear presentation of the gospel. When you make it your goal to present the gospel clearly, people are often so overwhelmed with what He has done for them, their questions and objections lose their importance.
Lie #2: They are going to be offended and you will lose a good friend.
First, notice how Satan loves to present something as though it is a guarantee. He will never say, “You might lose a friend,” but instead “you will definitely lose a friend.” Experience has proven this is simply not the case. Most often, when the truth of the gospel is presented with gentleness and respect, people are impressed that you would love them enough to say something to them.
Second, suppose you do lose their friendship. Love puts the other person first even if it means the sacrifice of yourself. From an eternal standpoint, which is the most important – their eternal destination or your friendship? Their relationship with you will not obtain them eternal life. A relationship with Christ will result in being in His presence forever. John 1:12 tells us, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”
Third, Satan would rather you not consider a powerful factor: prayer. One thing we are to pray for is a door of opportunity. Colossians 4:3 says, “Meanwhile praying also for us that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains.” As you bathe your opportunities in prayer, God goes ahead of you and prepares people for the truth you would like to share with them. More than one new convert has said, “I have been thinking more about spiritual things. I had no idea that we would be taking about this today, but I am glad we did.” Because God has prepared them, you often gain a better friend instead of losing one. They are overwhelmed that you would care enough for them to speak to them about their salvation.
Lie #3: People are not approachable; you will be wasting your time.
Satan’s lie will never be that “all” people are unapproachable, but if he can get you to believe that most people are that will be good enough. Of course, there are those who are unapproachable, but many people are. There have been occasions where I have approached someone about spiritual things who was not approachable. Do you know what happened? I moved on to find out that the next person was most eager to talk.
In my experience, I have discovered Satan wants us to think that the “normal person” is waiting to cancel you or shut you down. We are led to believe this is the norm in our social media feeds and across news networks. Those media voices may be the loudest at times, but the experiences they are describing are not the norm. The norm is the person who is wondering if the unusual pain he is experiencing could possibly be cancer. It is the person who has gotten word that there will be layoffs at work and wonders if he is on the list of those to be dismissed. It is the person who is confused about why nothing in his life seems to be going in the right direction and just last night his wife hinted at the possibility of divorce.
Confront this lie by talking to as many people as you can. You will discover – to your encouragement – that most people are interested in talking. Some will actually be delighted that you have concern for them at all. One reason for this is that God, who loves the lost more than you, goes ahead of you preparing people for your conversation. Remember, the Great Commission contains the words, “Lo, I am with you always.” As you do the talking, God does the preparing.
When you are confronted with these lies in evangelism, recognize them for what they are, and recognize the liar who is behind them. Then claim the truth of 1 John 4:4, “…He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” Step forth in obedience asking God to use you, and you will be amazed as you observe God preparing people for the life-changing message of Christ that you have for them.
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