Top 10 Reasons Not To Share The Gospel
by Dan Adler
A really harsh reality is that most of us Christians, never, ever actually share the Gospel with anyone - ever. Yet a foundational part of our belief system is the Great Commission that Jesus gave to us, telling us to "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel, making disciples of all nations...." That commission wasn't for a few hired Christian professionals - you know, pastors, missionaries, "evangelists". No, it was for all of us. Yet most of us never do that. I've been one of those. Sure, I've shared the Gospel from the stage a lot and I've shared the Gospel one on one with a few people over the years, but overall, I just haven't done it much - and it's bothered me - but I haven't been able to seem to change my behavior.
So why don't we share the Gospel more? Here are what I think are the top 10 reasons:
- Fear - We're afraid of rejection, humiliation, being labeled or misunderstood and afraid we'll do it wrong - or maybe they'll actually get mad and harm us... So our fear keeps us silenced.
- Bad Associations - Think "Jehovah's Witnesses" and "Mormons"... they've probably been to most of our doors at least once. Most of us don't like that too much and we don't want to be them. Therefore, we do nothing while they lure people into false teaching.
- Pride - Sharing the Gospel is just too potentially humiliating and we don't want to be embarrassed. We'd like to stay in the category of "cool Christian" who blends in really well with culture and everyone really likes.
- Comfort - Sharing our faith is way out of our comfort zone and could mess with our comfy life and schedule. Our Christianity is the brand that makes your life and family and finances all easier and better. Evangelizing messes with that picture. Many of us just rationalize that it's not our personality or our gift to do this. While it is true that some are truly extra gifted as evangelists, this tends to be a cop-out that gets us out of sharing our faith. What we're really saying is that this makes us uncomfortable. But the truth is, I don't know of one, even "gifted" evangelist, who doesn't feel uncomfortable every time they take a risk to share the Gospel.
- Doubt - I'm afraid this is a biggy for many of us. I'm thinking that maybe, at the core, we don't fully believe what we say we believe - you know things like: "Jesus is the only Way", "People are lost and doomed to hell without Christ", "We can't earn our way to heaven by being a good person". I'm thinking that many of us, while liking a lot of the teachings of Jesus and Christianity, don't really feel comfortable with these ideas and buy more into the culture's "Live and let live" and "everyone does what is right in their own eyes" mentality. "Evangelism" is equated with the culture's dirty word "proselytizing" now. The culture says "how dare we impose our beliefs on someone else's equally valid opposing beliefs". Many of us doubt what the Bible teaches and so we are silenced and just embrace the teachings that make us comfortable. But Jesus never gives us that option. We don't get to pick and choose His teachings that make us comfortable and ignore the rest. We follow Him or we don't. And when we do choose to really believe and follow, that's when we begin to see the life and power of the Holy Spirit at work in us.
- Lack of Love - We just don't really care that much about other people's lives - and especially their eternal destinies. We're busy, have our own problems and are pretty apathetic about the world around us except where it affects us. The kind of love, the John 3:16 "God so loved the world.." kind of love that a perfect God has for sinful humanity, doesn't pump through our veins and so, it's just not on our mind much...
- A lack of being filled with the Holy Spirit - I'm not talking about Pentecostalism, speaking in tongues, etc. I'm talking about the abiding in the Spirit that fills our lives with the heart of the God and the fruits of the Spirit. When the prophets of the Old Testament were given a message from God, even when they didn't want to speak it and tried to keep it in, they just couldn't hold it back. Perhaps we have been so lazy in our pursuit of God that the voice and the power of the Holy Spirit is mostly silenced and suppressed. And so we remain silent and deaf to the voice and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
- Sin - Some of us may just feel too unworthy to represent Christ because of our past or present sins and failures - for fear of being called out as a hypocrite. The grace of God hasn't gotten in deep enough for us to know that in Christ we can start each day anew and go out in confidence because of His righteousness - not ours. Others are so bound up in unrepentant carnality and sin that they are shackled and blinded to the realities of God and so are rendered ineffective.
- Lack of Training - I think this is a huge one. Very few churches these days ever help equip Christians to share their faith. Many people, in their hearts, really want to, but just feel ill-equipped. We may hear sermons about the need to reach the lost and agree, and yet walk away just feeling guilty and paralyzed from lack of practical training. Churches program for worship services, youth meetings, picnics, retreats, recovery meetings and all kinds of great stuff, but almost never for equipping and providing opportunities for the average Christian to learn to share the Gospel. Therefore, most Christians feel undiscipled and ill-equipped to share the Gospel with non-Christians - and therefore don't.
- Social Justice trumps evangelism - I think that as the culture has become more hostile toward "proselytizing", churches have shied away from evangelism more and more. I recently heard that most missionaries are no longer able to be supported financially by churches because there is so little emphasis on missions coming out of churches anymore. So many missionaries have to work extra jobs to pay their own way to the mission field. This, I believe, is reflective of the general "me" focused emphasis that much of our church resources, preaching and teaching has become about. And then there is the popular emphasis on "social justice" - which is very important and Biblically is a fruit of the Gospel - but has now replaced the Gospel in many situations. It's way more likable and trendy to "feed the hungry" than it is to talk about sin, death, judgement, the cross, one way to salvation, the need for repentance and mercy through Christ alone. But social justice isn't the Gospel. It's a by-product of it. We can feed and clothe needy people and fix our institutional racism and economic inequities and those people will still be lost without Christ. This is a very seductive deception and I believe that it has led many away from sharing the Gospel as we should.
I don't know if any of these 10 resonate with you. But some sure do with me. And I have to say that this is part of the reason why we are so excited about Revive Twin Cities. Already, there have been 8 training weekends that provided people with training, encouragement, tools, a plan and great opportunities to share the Gospel with strangers. Those weekends have fired up so many Christians and have already led many, many lost people out of darkness into the Light of Jesus! Sandy and I experienced two of those weekends and we were so blessed and impacted!
Now, next week, July 21-27, is this really crazy, massive outreach effort. For seven days, with the North High School football field in North Minneapolis as the home base, thousands of Christians will be equipped and sent out to share their faith all over the Twin Cities. YOU CAN STILL BE A PART OF THIS! You don't have to participate every day or even all day in one day. You can come when you can. Each day, there will be prayer from 7 AM to 8 AM. Then they will feed everyone a great breakfast from 8 AM to 9 AM, then there will be some practical instruction and training - including maps of where the groups of 3 to 4 people will go - and then you will be sent out at 9:30 AM to seek the Holy Spirit's leading as to who to share the Gospel with. Then we'll come back at 11:30 and share testimonies, get a great lunch at noon, go out and share the Gospel again from 2:30 to 5 PM, get a great supper at 5:30 and then have worship and more encouraging teaching at 7 PM. WOW! This is going to be a monumental week in the Twin Cities for the Kingdom of God! WILL YOU BE A PART OF IT?! DON'T MISS OUT ON THIS BECAUSE OF SOME OF THOSE 10 REASONS LISTED ABOVE! This will impact you and your church - not to mention those that you touch with the Gospel. I hope you will choose to step out in this exciting way and see God at work in your life and in the Church of the Twin Cities!
If you are coming, for any part of the week, in order for them to plan food and supplies, please go to www.revivetwincities.org and sign up. If you are a worship leader or a worship team member and would like to join with the up to 120 worship leaders that will join together in humble unity and simple worship leading each evening, please also sign up on that site and then show up at 6:30 PM at the stage on the nights you plan to participate.
God is answering many of our prayers and I don't want to miss out - DO YOU?!