10 reasons why you won’t share the gospel
“I believe you should build a relationship before you share the gospel.” “Who am I to tell someone they’re going to Hell without really knowing them?”
These are some excuses I get when challenging people to share their faith.
Unfortunately, people don’t realize the critical need for our world: laborers (Matthew 9:37-38). Being a laborer means living every day working to bring God glory and others to Him.
Let’s take a look at some other reasons why people won’t share the Good News they claim means so much to them.
1. You falsely believe it will hurt your relationships.
Honestly, there is a small chance the gospel will drive a wedge between your relationships.
After all, Jesus said he came to bring division (Luke 12:51 ESV)—if you enter a gospel conversation with humility and genuine concern for the other person, most will receive it warmly. They may not believe what you believe, but they’ll see your love for them by bringing up an awkward conversation.
If you currently have a significant relationship with that person, why would they not want to hear about the most important thing in your life?
Some people will say, “I’m waiting for the right opportunity.” There is never bad timing to lovingly share about the greatest sacrifice imaginable.
We forget it’s not our relationships with others that are most important. It’s others’ relationships with the Creator. Sometimes our relationships need to take a backseat so our friends can enter into a saving relationship.
2. You think the way you live your life is pointing people to Jesus.
Maybe you live by the quote credited to St. Francis of Assisi,
“Preach the gospel at all times. Use words when necessary.”
Firstly, Francis never said this quote. In fact, he was a great speaker placing high emphasis on the Spirit of God working in and through his sermons. He often would preach up to five times a day in towns and villages around Italy.
Secondly, the reason you’re reading these words is because people used words to express the gospel. Actually, the gospel cannot be shared without words.
Paul tells us in Romans 10:14 (ESV),
“And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”
I thank our Lord for those words I heard clearly presented when I was in high school. You tell me, when was the last time someone came to you dying to hear the mercies of God because you don’t curse or drink alcohol? Preach the gospel. Use words.
3. You don’t know what Scripture actually says.
It’s commanded in the Great Commission to make disciples (Matthew 28:19). Evangelism, or sharing the gospel, is just one process in making disciples.
You CANNOT make disciples without sharing the gospel. You CAN share the gospel without making disciples.
Evangelism is a lifestyle driven by prayer. Read Colossians 4:2-5. Paul urges the believers to pray for opportunities to share the gospel with clarity.
Over and over again scripture points us to share Jesus with others. It is our joy as a believer to get to be the mouthpiece of God while the Spirit changes the heart.
Have you ever wondered why God doesn’t just pluck us up into Heaven when we become believers? It’s so He can get even more glory by using broken people like us to lead others into eternity.
4. You are a part of a church or ministry that gives you a “way out.”
I know you’re a rock star there, because you show up consistently and bring people often, but if the applause you’re hearing isn’t coming from Jesus Himself, you’re missing the point.
God put you in the lives of people to share His Good News with them. Taking someone to church on Sunday or your weekly campus meeting is not the equivalent of evangelism.
I could tell you countless stories of people who sit in church every week that we’ve seen come to know Christ because someone took the time to sit down with them, answer their questions, and invite them to follow Jesus as Lord.
Unfortunately, some churches and para-church ministries provide easy excuses not to share the gospel. Their standard is not high enough.
If a ministry’s only concern is YOUR personal growth, you’re in the wrong ministry. Contrary to popular belief, the Bible is not about you.
5. You don’t truly understand grace.
Let’s be honest. We’ll never fully understand the grace God has shown us. It’s that amazing. Most people equate grace with mercy, but the two are not the same.
Mercy is not getting what you deserve. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve.
Mercy is what draws people to you. Grace motivates them to die for you. Look throughout the scriptures—mercy drew all the disciples to Jesus. Grace led them to give their lives to share the gospel.
Mercy drew the famous missionary Hudson Taylor to begin a relationship with Christ even after he walked away from his Methodist roots. Grace led Taylor to serve 50 years in China and establish China Inland Mission which resulted in over 800 missionaries going to China.
Mercy is what drew you to Jesus. Understanding grace will lead you to share the gospel despite what others may think.
6. You don’t understand true humility.
Oswald Chambers said,
“The things that sound humble before God may sound the opposite before men.”
It’s humbling to put yourself out there and initiate a conversation with someone about his or her eternity. They could laugh at you, dislike you, or you might be labeled as that guy pushing his beliefs on everyone. That’s the opposite of what God thinks.
By sharing the gospel with someone, you’re essentially saying, “I don’t care what you think of me. I care what you think of Jesus.” We must lay down our own lives and reputations for the glory of the Father!
7. You think you might mess it up.
This brings us back to how much pride we have. We really cannot mess up sharing the gospel if we’re walking in the Spirit.
We give ourselves too much credit thinking it’s our awesome presentation that saves someone’s soul, when in reality it’s the Holy Spirit. I remember teaching a friend to share his faith for the first time and we found someone who would listen to us.
My friend was incoherent in his presentation even referring to Moses, Noah’s Ark, the red sea, the bronze serpent on a staff, and angels. I thought, “I need to jump in here and save this!” but it was clear as day when I heard the Spirit say, “You keep your mouth shut.” So I did.
My friend babbled on and on and finally out of nowhere said to our listener, “I know that’s a lot, but what do you think of Jesus and do you want to put your faith in Him?”
I was ready to get laughed out of there. The guy looked at us and said, “Yes, this is exactly what I need.”
God is so powerful He can make even the least articulate sound like Paul, Peter, or John when they step out in faith.
8. You don’t know the will of God.
Most every believer has asked, “What is God’s will for me?” And, most of the time they’re thinking of a career path, potential spouse, school, etc. The question shouldn’t be, “What is God’s will for me?” It should be “What is God’s will?”
That’s clearly spelled out in the Bible. We are called to make disciples (Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20) and love God while loving others (Great Commandment, Matthew 22:37-38).
An illustration would be someone sitting along the bank of a river. The river represents God’s will. It’s flowing and moving. Most people are sitting on the bank hoping some of God’s will splash on them or a small stream will jut off the main flow to where they are. The fact is God’s will is going to happen with or without us. We should stand up and dive into the river and let it take us wherever it goes. God has a will. Dive into it and enjoy the ride.
9. You’ve never seen that first smile after someone gives his or her life to Jesus.
If the Lord blesses you by allowing you to lead someone into a relationship with Him, you’ll never forget that feeling. It’s a high like no other to know God has used you to change someone’s eternity.
When you share the gospel with someone for the first time and you listen to their prayer of repentance and acceptance of Christ, it’s the surest you’ll ever be of God’s will.
Can you remember when you first tasted the mercies and grace of God? How good it was?! Imagine sitting on the other side of the table seeing someone turn from sin, doubt, and worthlessness to hope, assurance, and worthiness in Christ. When you see them smile and cry or cry and smile—when they look up at you, you’ll be hooked forever.
10. You feel it’s unspiritual because someone challenged you to share your faith.
“If it’s predictable or pushy, it’s not led by God,” I’ve heard many say.
Some feel having a plan or strategy for sharing the gospel is putting too much emphasis on man’s work in evangelism and less on the Holy Spirit, yet the Apostle Paul had a strategy.
He would enter a new town and immediately preach Christ’s life, death, burial, and resurrection in the Jewish synagogue. Those in the synagogue would have some understanding of Old Testament prophecies about the Christ so it was a perfect place to start. Many of the Jews were offended, but many of them also believed!
In the same way, most people around you have some understanding of Jesus, but they are not trusting in His name for their eternity. Some might be offended, but some others will give their lives to Christ!
Paul would take those who believed and begin a church by training them in discipleship. You can take those who believe and launch spiritual movements all around you.
Now that you’ve identified a few reasons (maybe we should say excuses) why you won’t share the gospel, what do you need now? Maybe you need to get in the Word of God to see the biblical basis for evangelism. Maybe you need training in how to share your faith. Grab someone for accountability and take that step of faith. You won’t regret it.