What is a Christian’s greatest fear?
I was in the 5th grade when I decided to begin pursuing the opposite sex, armed with only vague things I had seen from my parents, siblings and TV. I fell head over heels for a young lady (to remain unnamed) and tried to do anything to gain her attention. After months of impressing her (i.e. multiple home-runs in kickball, touching the bottom of the basketball net, and other rather silly things), it came! A note with her handwriting on it (much better than mine), the smell of her perfume, I treasured it but did not dare to open such a gift. On the bus ride home I presented the note to my co-conspirators and they marveled in the work that we had accomplished, and then my big brother noticed. He knew of my love interest and from behind me he began to mock me aloud letting everyone on the bus know who the note was from. I was absolutely devastated and simultaneously angry. I decided to stand up for my honor and started a fight with my brother in which he took the note read it out loud and to my further embarrassment laughed with everyone when it was discovered that her feelings were not the same for me. It was a horrible day, I was publicly humiliated, rejected and thought I would never recover.
I share that story for multiple reasons, hopefully you laughed at the sillieness and I wanted you to see a clear example (one of many) of rejection in my life. When I ask fellow believers about how and when they share their faith I constantly hear people scared to be humiliated, rejected and will never recover from it.
What is a Christians greatest fear?
Rejection, primarily when it comes to evangelism.
The moment has arrived, God has opened to the door for you to present the Gospel to that person in your life that you have fervently been praying for. You follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit and pour your heart out sharing the love of Jesus and the sacrifice that he made for the entire world. The conversation exchange seems peaceful, cordial and gives you the impression that all aspects of the Gospel are clear and understood. Then after sharing the Gospel you take the next step, move to the question of commitment and ask if the person if they would like to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. During those next few seconds of waiting with great anticipation to hear their decision, you pray within yourself for God to give the increase. And then it comes. To your surprise and dismay, you hear their response of a resounding …“NO”. The impending victory that seemed so certain has suddenly been turned into feelings of disappointment and failure. You play back in your mind everything that you shared. You are so confident that you presented the Gospel in full context and answered all questions.
Rejection of the Gospel can be difficult. I remember while in school being a part of an evangelism outreach that shared the Gospel door to door in the local community. When we returned back from sharing in a community I was often asked, “how many did you catch for the kingdom?” or “how many did you lead to Christ?” I was always discouraged if I came back with no spiritual notches in my belt. I found myself sometimes trying to win people to Christ in my own strength. What I have discovered was that many Christians are apprehensive about evangelism because they believe that a conversion must occur every time they share the Gospel. As a result, when they share Gospel and do not lead someone to Christ, they feel rejection and are discouraged from sharing Christ again.
When did the importance of planting and watering seeds become so insignificant?
God is glorified when we plant and water seeds. This is what he calls us to do and it is all he has given us the power to do. In evangelism, we are only responsible for sharing the correct information about what it truly means to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This is how seeds are planted and watered. Only God can make the seeds that have been planted and watered grow. Coming to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ is a supernatural and spiritual event. Only the divine power of God can bring a person to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. In our frail human strength, we cannot make a person accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We must consider that a Christian may be one of many other Christians sharing Christ in an unsaved person’s life. Be encouraged, even if the Gospel is rejected by a loved one and you’re concerned about their eternal destiny. Remember, God is concerned about them too. If you’ve experienced rejection you have not failed because you were being obedient to God’s call to share the Gospel.
Also, don’t force the Gospel on them, which might push them away from you. Instead, add this person to your prayer list. If they are accessible to you, let them know that you still care very much about them and that you will be available if they have questions about anything that was presented to them.
At the end of the day, when sharing the Gospel we are only responsible for being obedient in sharing the correct data about what it truly means to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. God will do the rest and will deal with people’s hearts. There will be occasions when you will plant or water a seed and there will be occasions where you witness God giving the increase. In either instance, you are being used by God and glorifying him by communicating the greatest news ever.