In our prior two lessons, we've established the need
for personal evangelism and the fact that it is a God-given obligation
for each Christian to teach the gospel to others. However, in spite of the need and obligation, Christians will still make excuses
. They might think they're giving reasons
as to why they can't teach the gospel to the lost, but really their reasons are nothing more than lame excuses--at least as far as the Lord is concerned.
Let's consider some common excuses that Christians give for not doing personal evangelism:
- Excuse #1 - "I just can't do it...I don't know how."
Have you tried to learn? You learned how to read and write, to add and subtract, to drive a car, change a tire, cook a meal, etc. Don't you think you could learn to do personal evangelism if you really wanted to? We need to have a positive attitude - "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:13). You can talk to people about Christ, about the gospel, about their souls. You can learn to do it, if you want to!
- Excuse #2 - "I just don't have the time."
Really? Don't you have the time for TV, golfing, fishing, ball games, and all the other things you really want to do? The question is: Do you really want to save souls? If so, then you'll make time to talk to others about the gospel. If you want to be the kind of Christian God wants you to be, then you will "seek first the kingdom of God" (Matt. 6:33). You'll seek first its growth; you'll seek opportunities to teach the lost!
- Excuse #3 - "I'm afraid I'll say the wrong thing...I'm afraid I'll hurt someone's feelings...I'm afraid I'll cause someone to be lost."
This excuse really doesn't make any sense because without the gospel people are lost already! They can't become any more lost than they are already! You must try to take them the saving message! Remember what the one-talent man said to his master - "I was afraid" (Matt. 25:25)? That didn't go over too well. His master said he was a wicked and lazy servant. If you let fear stop you from talking to others about their souls and the plan of salvation, then on the Day of Judgment God is sure to call you wicked and lazy!
There are many other excuses people give, but that's all they are--excuses. If you really desire to do something, you will put forth the effort and make the necessary sacrifices. If your heart is really in it, you'll give it your best effort. God isn't going to put up with excuses on Judgment Day. Our excuses aren't going to help the lost find the truth. Our excuses aren't going to help the lost get to heaven. Our excuses aren't going to help us get to heaven either! Let's be blunt: Christians are commanded to take the gospel to the lost, and if you are a Christian and not evangelizing to the best of your ability then you are disobeying God! In other words, you are sinning. Friends, I'm preaching to myself as I preach to you! Let us give God our best efforts at saving the lost, not our best excuses! It won't be easy, we may have to get out of our "comfort zone," and we may have to leave some trivial things undone, but genuine love for the Lord and mankind demands nothing less. There is a big world out there in need of God's truth. Are you going to make a difference? Are you going to give God your best effort at personal evangelism?