I once had the opportunity to witness to someone on a river rafting trip that I took. When I tried to share of the hope we can have in Jesus, they simply didn’t want it. They didn’t want the relationship now nor the promise of eternal life with Him, because they wanted to have guiltless sin now and wanted to “fade into nothingness” when they die. It made my heart hurt for them because personally the thought of “fading into nothingness” would scare the tar out of me! I know that my purpose was to simply “plant a seed” so to speak and leave their future in God’s hands, but I can’t help but wonder if I said the right things. I didn’t know what to say to them when I realized what they wanted. How can I respond to someone who doesn’t want anything more than this life’s worldly pleasures?
I could understand how you feel. I have also found myself in a similiar place, where I just could not undersatnd why some people doesn’t seem to care about having a relationship with Jesus.
Be rest assured that there’s no amount of right words anyone of us could use to get another person to make a decision to follow Jesus, if the Holy Spirit is not drawing them to do so.
The best thing to do in such situation is to take their names to God in prayer.
Ask Him to show them mercy and save them just like He showed you mercy and saved you.
Thank you so much for your response and wise counsel! I will continue to pray that God gets ahold of their lives and redeems them as He did me. Thanks again!
Hey Adelaide! This is a frustrating situation because you care about this person’s eternity. I have often heard “How badly must you hate someone to wish separation from Christ on them”. I certainly see your heart ache.
Unfortunately, not all people want God and many will reject Him. Christ tells us this in scripture. Ravi himself has said in some of his talks that no matter how much evidence is produced some people still choose not to believe.
Such is the free will of man. Ravi is a thousand times the speaker I am and yet he couldn’t convince people that the Holy Spirit hadn’t turned to God. In fact, Jesus, being the greatest teacher that ever walked this earth couldn’t convince everyone either. Pray that this person’s heart is softened to the gospel and that you or someone else will be able to speak to that softened heart.
Thank you for your wise advice. It truly does make my heart ache for them, but, as you suggested, i will continue to pray that God will work on their heart and draw them to himself.
This is a great question! Seems like he wants to believe what he wants to but not because it is true. We might need to work both on the will and reason. Prayer is what will change the heart as others have mentioned. Perhaps you can explore answers to some questions along these lines prayerfully-
- If everybody lived by that motto of pursuing guiltless sin, would it still be pleasurable to live in this world? Has he put some limits on sin where some may not?
- Can we truly enjoy freedom without boundaries?
- If it is possible that God existed, how is it loving to not hold people morally accountable ?
- Would he be open to considering reading some material?
- In times of trials, who would he trust for help? Based on what?
@SeanO has explored this type of question in much detail previously and below is a link to those discussions if you have not seen them
Hope this heps!
@aokuespert I think @Lakshmismehta suggested some amazing questions. The only thing I would add is that you might, if the Spirit leads, give a very direct invitation to come to Jesus when sin inevitably fails him. “Sin is a cruel master. It will promise you many things, but in the end it will leave you empty and thirsty and broken. Following Jesus is not easy, but He keeps His promises and He is true, even when all else fails you. When sin leaves you in the dark, consider coming into the light.”
Hello, Lakshmi! (Lovely name btw!)
Thank you for your response! The questions list you’ve provided as well as referring me to SeanO’s discussions is VERY helpful and encouraging. I will continue to be in prayer for them as you suggest.
Thank you so much for your response and wise advice. I am afraid that this person I’ve been speaking about has cut all ties and connections with me recently as a result of me trying to reconnect. I will be in prayer though that God puts someone in his path who will share this with him and hopefully provide that path to security and hope in Jesus!
Dear Brother aokuespert,
This is a tough one . Something like this can never be done in just one encounter . Evangelism to non believers can be frustrating and I’ve found in my years preaching and teaching, that usually when someone says what he told you, it’s a cry out for the exact opposite.
I am not sure if you will ever see this man or woman ever again, But when it’s quick like that, a couple of choices would be to ask him if they can talk about this further or meet up for coffee one day. If they are willing to do so building a relationship and learning who this person is and what their background is would be essential. Sometimes people were hurt by a church. You’ll never know their background until you build the relationship.
I read a book onetime called Love Them Until They Ask Why. It was an amazing book about a Muslim woman who ultimately came to Christ because Christians showed her so much love. Shoving God /Jesus down people’s throats on the 1st visit is never effective or efficient , so it’s challenging.
When I encounter something like this I whisper in my head and ask the Holy Spirit to be with me. If it’s a one time meeting like somebody answered in one of the previous responses the only thing that you can do is pray for them.
The fact that you care about others salvation is so great.
In Christ’s Love