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Sunday, November 17, 2013

HOW CAN WE GET THEM TO LISTEN?


HOW CAN WE GET THEM TO LISTEN?
 
One of the most frustrating things we deal with as Christians is the knowledge that we are to evangelize the world, yet, the difficulty we face in getting people to listen and respond to the gospel message. It seems that many people in our society and in the world are not interested in spiritual things but are pursuing money, pleasure and the things this world has to offer.
 
People will not be interested in salvation and a Savior if they are not aware they are lost, yet, most people take offense if we tell them they are lost. People will not be interested in the eternal hope held out in the gospel message when they are focused on filling their immediate hopes with the wealth and prosperity of this world, yet, most people take offense when we try to impress upon them the deceitfulness of wealth and the futility of materialism. 
 
The question is, “How can we get them to listen?” The answer to this question is found in the beginning of the church in Acts 2.  In Acts 2:47, we are told that the early disciples were...enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
 
The daily conversions that the early church experienced were due to the fact that the people of Jerusalem liked what they saw in those who were Christians. What they saw in those first disciples was a love and fellowship, a sharing and caring, a peace and hope that was not common in the world, not even in Judaism. Many people liked what they saw and they wanted to be a part of such fellowship.
 
If we want to be successful in getting people to listen to the gospel message we must convince them that there is a better world view than the one they presently hold. The only way that we can do this is to demonstrate this world view in our lives, both as individuals and as a family of believers. Let’s consider some passages of Scripture which discuss this.
 
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of lifePhilippians 2:14
Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything,   to try to please them,   not to talk back to them, and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive. Titus 2:9-10
Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. I Peter 3:1-2
 
Brothers and sisters, we all have friends and family that we desperately want to bring to Christ and I know it is frustrating, trying to get them to listen to the gospel message. But if we will commit ourselves to living the gospel, to demonstrating in our lives the teachings of Christ and to cultivating the love and fellowship that are to be characteristic of Christ’s disciples, this will make the gospel of Christ attractive. It will cause us to shine like stars in the universe and we will be a shining light to a world lost in darkness. Only when people see the gospel demonstrated in our lives will they be interested in hearing the gospel message.
Wendell Ingram