DON’T FORCE A CHANGE | let them decide!

When I was very younger, I usually utilized all my strength and logic to persuade people that God exists and that Jesus is God’s way of saving us. Occasionally, it would even result in arguments, fights and so on. I was very bold when it comes to trying to convince people about what I believe. Then, I thought we have to squeeze it down people’s throat and I thought we must get them convinced.

However, as I grew, certain things became very apparent to me and I learned that I was very wrong with my technique. In John 12:37-50, we see that Jesus didn’t just teach the people, He performed amazing miracles, He opened the eyes of the blind, He raised the dead, He made the lame to walk but despite all the amazing signs, the Bible documented that most of the people didn’t believe in Him.

Wait a minute let’s evaluate this a bit. These people encountered the glorious power of God in a way they have never experienced it before. Jesus wasn’t just a good orator, it wasn’t just about having a commanding tone when communicating, He also exhibited various signs and wonders… Such signs that they had never seen before but most of these people never believed in Him. It wasn’t few, those who never believed were the majority but they all witnessed this power!

Nonetheless, in the list of those who believed in Him, some wouldn’t affirm it because of pride and fear! I want to say just a few things that would be pertinent even as we embark on soul winning in our everyday activities. The result is good but your focus as a Christian shouldn’t be on getting results by all means but on obediently focusing on what you have been tasked with. Nothing more, nothing less! Some would believe you but never want to identify with you, some would believe but get sacred of losing friends and some would believe but never be humble enough to accept that your preaching touched them!

Despite the signs, people didn’t believe in Him and this means that sign isn’t just enough, we also shouldn’t force or pressure people into believing what we preach. Jesus never asked us to force anyone to believe in Him, He never asked us to pressure ourselves into doing so well on the podium and He did acknowledge that some people would reject us and our message despite the signs we performed.

In Mark 6:11, Jesus said:

“But if any place refuses to welcome you or listen to you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.”

This demonstrates that truly, people can reject our preaching even when we carry the presence of God. It is terrible to think that the crowd indicates someone carries the presence of God, it is terrible to think that emotional experiences mean that God is here! Even ungodly comedians and artists do have crowd, even cultists do have a crowd! When people reject our message, we shouldn’t pressure them! You have made your deposit and they might respond after someone makes another deposit and even when they don’t respond at all, you’ve done your part.

What usually deters you from telling people about Jesus? Is it because you pray sometimes for the sick and it seems like it isn’t working for you? Is it because you are nervous that many people don’t respond to your message?

Well, Jesus also experienced what you are scared for. We have always erroneously thought that proof is in working miracles at the wave of hands but the proof of the gospel is actually in our love walk and not inevitably in miracles. As great as miracles are, it is in the fruit of the Spirit at work in us that the gospel is proven. The change which the gospel makes in us is the proof of the gospel as God’s power unto salvation. I guess when Paul who was Saul was victimizing the church, he must have heard of the miracles happening but it never got him to believe until he had a personal encounter.

God has a way of doing things and we can’t even know the direction He is going to take the next minute. When we preach the gospel, we are sowing seeds and it may not be enough! It may take the watering of another person to assure someone and it may also take an encounter with God to change that person. Instead of shoving the gospel down people’s throat, relate it to them and pray for them in your closet!

You don’t keep arguing with people or judging them publicly till your “grace gospel” lacks its merit! Many people demerit the gospel with the way they force it on people and with the way they coat it in judgmental undertone! Jesus did miracles but most people didn’t believe in Him.

Our task is simple, our task is to preach the gospel and not to debate with atheists or fight over if Jesus is real or not, our task is to preach the gospel and not to engage in a verbal fight with Muslims, our task is to just communicate Jesus with people and also show Him forth! If we come across people who don’t want us to tell them about Jesus, we should not force them. Not everyone will believe our message, not everyone will be convinced even with all the miracles!

God can do so many amazing things through you and people would still not believe your message. You may host crusades and get only a few persons to respond to the salvation prayers, it doesn’t mean God’s power is not resident in you, it doesn’t mean God isn’t using you and you shouldn’t be dissuaded in any way. We have goals when we preach the gospel but sometimes it is not a must that these expectations should be met.

On some occasions, many people have responded to my teachings but on other occasions, nobody responds even when it is strong in my spirit that many people there aren’t born again yet! It is not our job to respond to every argument raised by people, it is not our job to respond to every anti-Christian but what God has called us through Jesus to do is to be His collaborators! The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:19

For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.”

Do you see that? God is reconciling the world to Himself through Christ and the duty He has given us isn’t to force people into this union. He gave to us a wonderful message of reconciliation, that’s all! The Bible says that this message is God’s power unto salvation. Jesus is the one who saves, what you do is to give the good news to people so that they have the opportunity to make a choice for their lives.

You can’t be responsible for people’s decisions, you aren’t responsible for preaching to people and they didn’t respond to the calling of total surrender to Jesus! But one thing Jesus has made you responsible for is to witness Him to people and not to force or fight them into believing what you just preached. Your duty isn’t to make people decide but to give them the good news about Jesus. When you listen to the news, they aren’t convincing you to believe, they are just broadcasting what happened to you and you believe at your own discretion.

Our duty is to reach out to people but their duty is to believe. The Bible says in John 3:16 that “whosoever believes should not perish…” You can’t manipulate people into believing something, they only believe if they want to or if they are convinced and it is the duty of the Holy Spirit to convict people and not your duty.

Why are you scared of talking about Jesus on your social media walls? Maybe because you have friends who know your past, friends who know your weakness and you are scared they will never believe you? Maybe, it is also because everyone is becoming antagonistic towards Christianity and you get scared to be attacked too? You may not be able to stop certain things but you can be able to simply talk about Jesus and leave the rest of the job for the Holy Spirit to do as He pleases!

Why are you not talking about Jesus to your office colleagues or on the bus and other places? It may be because you are scared that people will laugh at you and say you believe in a myth! We live in an age where many people will look at you as an idiot if you profess your belief in Jesus. But, while they can abuse you, you can remain faithful to what you have been called to do whether people are responding or not.

What we were asked to do is to reach out to people and this is what we should be committed to! Reaching out to people doesn’t mean coming to the office and “speaking in tongues” here and there, it doesn’t mean disrupting normal activities of a place in the name of Jesus, it doesn’t mean putting loudspeakers in people’s windows and disturbing them every morning with “that enemy must die by fire!” It means reaching out to people individually, sharing with them the good news about Jesus with a sense and tone of love, kindness and acceptance! This is your job description which doesn’t include arguing with them on why their religion isn’t good or answering every question that is deceitfully asked just to sway you off your feet!

Next time, don’t feel discouraged because of the ugly responses you got after you shared Jesus with people, just still go-ahead to keep doing your own part.

Blessings.

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