Daily Spirit & Word 528: Don’t Stop Sharing Jesus.
Sharing Jesus Can Be Difficult Sometimes.
House to House Visiting: From John Wesley’s Journal:
Tues 12th Feb 1774: “I began at the east end of the town to visit the society from house to house. I know no branch of the pastoral office which is of greater importance than this. But it is so grievous to flesh and blood that I can prevail on few, even of our Preachers, to undertake it.”
Good morning my friends, and it’s a glorious one too, warm fuzzy June mornings, I love them. Last night a few of us went out, to share the Lord Jesus. It’s amazing when we go out and engage people in conversation about Jesus, sometimes we’ll get funny incidents or responses. We were standing outside West Norwood Train Station and floods of people were coming out, lots of tracts being accepted and many saying, “No Thanks”… Then it grows quiet until another train comes in and another wave of commuters emerges. They’re returning from a hard day’s work in the City of London, but I’m amazed at the good humour of folks, even when tired.
A smart young man steps out of the station, is offered one of our wallet tracts with the words, “Did you get one of these? It’s a wallet with a message.” He takes it, looks at it and has a puzzled expression on his face. “What did you say it was?” He enquires. I repeat with a little bit more information.. “It a wallet with a message, it’s got some questions inside, like a personality test?” So I ask him, “If you found a wallet full of real money, what would you do with it?” He says, “I’d hand it into the police or into the Station office”. “That’s great and there are a few more questions like that inside, your answers will reveal where you will spend eternity. Have you got time to discover your eternal destiny?” Last night, the young man said, “No” but promised to read the rest of the questions later. But we’ve had many people hand back the tract and say, “I’m not interested in ‘religion'” or things like that. We also had hundreds of people who’ve laughed at the humourous side of the false wallet and asked, “OK, what are the other questions?”.
When you get the odd person who rejects the Gospel, we have to admit that it does hurt, but we must realise that it’s NOT always us they are rejecting, but what we’re out there standing for. It seems that people react strongly sometimes at the mere mention of the name “Jesus” or “Faith”. Jesus said that they will literally “HATE” you because of me. And we actually see a few forms of hatred. However, we must also realise that those who don’t yet know Jesus are;
- they are blind, (blinded by Satan 2 Cor 4:4)
- they are in the darkness, (Isaiah 9:2)
- they are deceived: Colossians 2:8 8 “Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.” Also 2 Tim 3:13.
- they are without hope and helpless: Ephesians 2:11-13 “Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders. You were called “uncircumcised heathens” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts. 12 In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. 13 But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.”
- they are like lost sheep without a shepherd for their souls: Remember Jesus parable of the Lost: the lost coin, the lost sheep and the lost son. When we’re going out to share the Gospel, we’re going on a Mission to Seek and SAVE the Lost Sheep.
So when they are rejecting your attempts to reach them for Jesus or the Gospel or Jesus, they’re not completely aware of what it is they are rejecting: It’s like the blind hatred of someone being brought up to blindly hate; like the children in the Middle East who hate Jews or Muslims or Like Northern Ireland where Catholics or Protestants have hated one another for generations, just as in Scotland, they don’t know why they are required to hate, but they do because the family, their neighbourhood or estate is protestant or catholic. They just do it because they’ve been brought up to do it. So People will blindly hate ‘religion’, declaring: “I’m not interested, because I’m NOT religious”. Quite often we’ll say, “Oh thank the Lord for that, because God hates religion too”, then we’re off into a wonderful spiritual conversation.
When I was young growing up in Edinburgh, and you got chatting with a stranger, if they were at all ‘religious’ they’d ask, “What school did you go to?” Your answer would often reveal your religious background. If you answered wrongly they’d shut down conversation quickly. Blind Hatred.
My friends, don’t be offended when people reject you or the messages you offer, simply because of your ‘religious’ affiliation the Lord Jesus Christ, it’s NOT really you they are rejecting, it’s Him or their misunderstanding about what it means to be a follower of Jesus. You know there’s a battle going on for their souls and Satan doesn’t want to let one of his own cross over into the camp of Jesus Christ. So he’ll use any tactic to keep you from being confident about sharing the Gospel of Jesus.
Accept Rejection & Keep Going:
Don’t give up because of a few rejections, because the very next person might just possibly be the one that Jesus meant for you to meet that day or night. I’ve often shared about how after a night of witnessing, the best conversation is the last one. It seems that the Lord is testing us and when we just keep going, He rewards us. Bear in mind the experiences of St Paul: Though he was powerful in miracles and teaching, many times he was flogged, beaten, whipped, stoned and put into prison, etc all because people didn’t like his message about Jesus Christ. For them, the Good News, seemed like very bad news indeed, and they reacted violently.
John Wesley and George Whitfield experienced similar reactions to the open-air-preaching. Sometimes recording how things were thrown at them when preaching about Jesus: Eggs, Apples, and even dead Cats,
Thankfully, it’s not very often that people have such violent reactions like that to the Gospel here in the UK, in fact I’ve never had a ‘violent’ reaction in over 25 years of sharing Jesus Christ. I’ve had some people walk-out of church shouting, because I’ve said something they didn’t like to hear. Once someone stood and began shouting because I said that I believed in the six days of Creation. In fact two people walked out that day and have never been back to our church. It’s amazing, because they’ve probably recited the CREED countless hundreds of times without thinking through what they’re saying they believe. However, out on the streets and going door-to-door with the Gospel, I’ve not had any violence, thankfully. So don’t give up when people reject the message of Jesus or the offer of a little tract about Him.
To be honest, sometimes these lovely people are just tired and exhausted from a day’s labour and all they want to do is get home, get something to eat and put their feet up to watch the TV. They’re not wanting to be bothered by anyone or anything. So be extremely grateful when you get one person who gladly takes a tract out of your hands with a polite “thank you”. If they say “No thanks” then make sure the last thing they hear from your lips is a blessing from the Lord. I always say, “OK, may God bless you” or “Have a great night my friend, be blessed by Jesus”.
What shocks me even more than ‘outright rejection’ is when so many people want to chat, stop and listen. Even in modern Britain people are HUNGRY for real Spiritual food. They’ll try anything. It’s like some people and their quest for the next restaurant or pub. They’ll try ‘religions’ like people try on fashions. Why? Because without Christ there is NO satisfaction with life. So I’m often blown-away when people respond enthusiastically to the offer to chat about Jesus. They’re interested in what we have to say and they are open to the true Gospel.
Encouragements Come In Unexpected Ways:
After a brilliant evening of sharing the Gospel, we were returning back to church, walking along West Norwood Road, when a very smartly dressed young lady came walking up quickly behind us, she was about to overtake us when I offered her a tract, saying, “Excuse me, did you get one of these?” She took it, but kept walking, fast. So I walked along beside her. It was difficult, I’d never shared the Gospel at such a pace before, but she kept talking. She stopped after a few minutes at the light to cross the road and said to me. “You know something, I’m not a Christian, but what you are doing is really good, you’re not just handing out leaflets, your actually engaging people in conversation. Keep going, you’re doing good for God” Then she crossed the road and said encouragingly from the other side, “You’ve made me think, I’ll definitely read it when I get home”.
Read the following account from John Wesley’s Journal (Do a google search, you can read them for free online: John Wesley’s Journals).
John Wesley’s Journals: Monday 31st April 1788.
Mon 31 About noon I preached at Stafford to a large and serious congregation and about six in the evening at Lane End Our chapel not being able to contain one third of the congregation they stood at the front of Mr Myat’s house where they could all hear perfectly and though the wind was high and extremely cold none seemed to regard it.
Mr Myat was mentioning a little circumstance which I think worth relating for its oddness. He had two cats with kitten at once. one of which was the mother of the other and kittened three weeks before her. But she would not suffer one of her kittens to suck at all till it was almost starved. The younger cat seeing this took the kitten and suckled it till she kittened herself and afterwards suckled it with her own kittens Who can account for this.
It’s strange, but the younger cat looked after the older cat’s kitten, even when her own kittens had arrived. As Ministers and Christians who love to serve Jesus, we’ll win people to the faith to know the Lord Jesus, we’ll also inherit those that others have won to the Lord, but we must also nurture them with the milk of God’s Word, until such time as they are ready to nurture others themselves.
If you’ve tried to share Jesus Christ and been hurt, put-off or offended by rejection or indifference or even outright hatred, then don’t give up so easily. Keep going for Jesus, because you just don’t know, but the next person you speak with about Him might be the one that He’s been preparing for years. Like a woman who we chatted to on a cold, dark winter’s night under a bridge in London; she was ready for the Saviour of her soul.
Have an awesome day with the Lord Jesus.
Praise Him and BE full of the Holy Spirit.
The JOY of the LORD is your strength.