My First Experience – Hampton Harmon

Posted: November 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 One of the first times I ever went on a trip with the sole purpose of engaging in a Gospel conversation was to Wal-Mart. I was just looking for someone to talk to, hoping they would start the conversation first. When that did not happen, I found myself in the juice isle, nervously approaching a middle-aged woman who was shopping alone. Finally mustering the courage to say something, I said, “What’s your favorite kind of juice? Ocean Spray, or Welches?” She looked at me as if I had spoken in another language, and responded “I have three kids, so I choose whatever is cheaper.” Then, thinking I had found an opening to start talking about the Gospel, I said, “I am in ministry, so I’m poor too.” Clearly offended, she wheeled her cart around and half jogged-half stomped in the other direction before I could say anything else. I had been rejected.

     If you choose to evangelize on a regular basis, you will be rejected. That is the simple truth. At least one time, at some point or another, someone will reject what you are proclaiming as a truth without further thought. This fact is why a lot of us decide not to share the Gospel.  We are scared of rejection, and have been trained to avoid it at all cost. I fear rejection more than anything in this world, but that is no excuse for not sharing the Gospel. I will admit, I was humbled after my first Gospel sharing experience, but from that one encounter I learned a lot about rejection and evangelism.

First off, I learned that being prepared is a must. It is our job to learn as much as we can so that we don’t offend people like I did, or make things too awkward to bare, but to be comfortable with sharing. We must school ourselves into a knowledge of God and of His Word, or people will surely stump us even though we have the truth.

The second thing I realized, was that throughout time God chose to work through people to accomplish His will and make himself known and in that choice, is left with imperfect, unqualified people. God used David, who was an adulterer. He used Moses who had a speech impediment. He used Paul, who was a murderer and persecutor of Christians.  He used Peter, who had denied Him three times. There are no perfect people, But He graciously still chooses to use us. Do not ever think that you are inadequate and incapable of effectively sharing the Gospel just because people have or could reject you. God can use you in a mighty way if you prepare yourself.

Finally, the last thing I learned is that the Gospel demands a response. When delivered in it’s entirety, the salvation found in Christ invokes decision. Whether that decision is acceptance or rejection, there must be a response. People who walk by someone sharing the Gospel, or who tell you to go away when you try to talk to them about Jesus, they have made their decision. They have not rejected you, they have rejected Him. We are not called to save anyone, because that is not a power that we have. We are called to introduce people to the One who can save them. In that we must be obedient to His perfect love, which casts out fear, and that includes the fear of rejection.

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