As you share Christ with others faithfully, you will occasionally encounter hostility, questions, and resistance. Be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. There is a time to bring an end to a conversation, give the listener something to read, and encourage him to invite Christ into his life when ready.
But don't give up too quickly. Often, a listener's initial resistance really signifies that he wants to know more – his questions could indicate that he's sincerely interested in clarifying some important points. Any initial hostility may be a mask to hide a deep-down cry for help.
Before I address some specific objections you might encounter, look over these guidelines for overcoming normal objections:
- Never argue
- Don't try to reason within the listener's sphere of expertise.
- Remember: God has commissioned you to proclaim – not convert.
- Try to get the listener to read the Four Laws with you to help him see the full context of the gospel.
- Appeal to the listener's intellectual integrity.
- Always leave him with something to read.
If you follow all of these guidelines and you still can't seem to "get through" to the person, you may wish to try some form of what I call the "thirty-day experiment."
The thirty-day experiment is basically an appeal to a person's intellectual integrity – a challenge to them to start with the book of John and read the Bible for one hour a day for thirty days.
Ask them to begin each day's reading with a prayer: God, if you exist, and if Jesus Christ is your revelation to man and He truly died for my sins, I want to know you personally. In most cases, a person will accept the challenge as a matter of intellectual integrity. But as they continue their reading, God may touch their heart in a very special way.
Let me tell you how to deal with specific objections.
- How can a loving God allow pain and suffering in the world?
- It doesn't matter what you believe as long as you're sincere.
- The church is full of hypocrites.
- What about all the people in the world who have never heard of Jesus Christ or the gospel?
Remember, if you have followed the leading of the Holy Spirit to share, but see no immediate results, don't be discouraged. God may have just used you to plant a seed that will grow over time.