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Sharing The Gospel With Indifferent Hearers

by | Dec 7, 2016 | Missions Articles

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is the third in a five-part series about the characteristics of unbelief.

One of the most surprising kinds of unbelief takes the form of indifference. Those who have this attitude don’t know if Jesus is who He claimed to be and say they don’t care either way.

The parable of the wedding feast provides a useful illustration of this mindset. It tells the story of a king (who represents God the Father) holding a celebration for his son (who represents Jesus) and sending his servants (who represent evangelists) to call those invited (who represent the unconverted). In the parable, some of those called “paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business.”1 The fact that they didn’t so much as pay attention shows their lack of concern about such a prestigious event.

Surveys suggest this category of unbeliever might make up at least a plurality of them in the United States. Nearly 90 percent of “nones” — those who are not affiliated with a religious dogma — are not proactively “looking for a religion that is right for them.”2 I have spoken to many people who have said they are not a Christian and have never concerned themselves with the question of who Jesus is. They say they don’t plan to. I ask them if they are concerned about eternity at all and they say No.

I am often discouraged after conversations with indifferent non-believers. I ask myself, Is there any hope for such people? The answer is unquestionably Yes.

The Holy Spirit is able to take a vague notion and turn it into an all-consuming fascination. The Spirit can stoke the curiosity of a non-believer until they become obsessed with knowing whether the Gospel is true. Once that process begins, the person would literally need to suppress divine revelation through proactive resistance.

Whenever I’m nearing the end of a conversation with an indifferent person, I ask them if they will receive prayer and a Gospel tract if I haven’t given them one already. That’s because I have faith that the Spirit of God will awaken the spiritual consciousness of even the most indifferent person. When that happens, I want them to have a resource of clear biblical answers to the question of who Jesus is.

1. Matthew 22:5
2. “‘Nones’ on the Rise,” Pew Research Center Religion & Public Life, October 9, 2012

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