Over the past 6 months, I have been sharing the Lord with a couple of friends and family members, but to no avail. I get no response from my messages, not even an acknowledgement that they even received them. However, my father is just starting to respond to some of the messages I have sent and just recently via a phone conversation (we live in different states). This I am encouraged by, however, others have turned away from me, the message. One friend, in particular, who has been a dear friend for years no longer wants to communicate. I have stressed the urgency with all of them. I'm wondering if their turning away from the Lord (the message) is because perhaps I didn't present it "correctly"????? (for lack of a better word). Please, let me stress...in no way is this about me, but rather could I have done a better job in sharing the Good News? That is the question I ask myself. I have never had the priviledge of witnessing to someone who accepted the Lord right then and there or who was at a place of complete surrender. There have been many seeds planted over the years and lots of watering along the way, but never have I had the priviledge of watching the planting come to full fruition. I know witnessing is not about our works, I understand that. And I continue to pray for them with a heavy heart. I hope this makes sense and would very much appreciate it if anyone else has every felt this way. Blessings!
Did I do something wrong?(16 posts) (12 voices)
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You can only share the gospel, then it is up to the other person. I don't think there is a wrong way to share the gospel of salvation, unless it is done in a hateful or harshly judgemental way, which I am quite sure you did not do.
My husband and I have been sharing the gospel with a neighbor for a few years. He was always friendly but rejecting agreeing to disagree. Just a few weeks ago, he became beligeremt and angry with us out of the blue. We had been friends with him and his wife for about 20 years, and we always got along. He now turns his back when we see him outside in the front yard. He even regaled our daughter, who he also seemed to like before, about how my husband caused him to hurt his shoulder by not digging out our car from a snow bank last winter during a blizzard.
All you can do is pray now. Your friend who has become hostile may be under conviction and not liking it at all. Show your love to them and follow up with any who seem to be softening. God's words will not return void. He told us so.
my guess is that it is not the messenger they are turning from nor in the way you present it, it is just that the overall message is pricking their hearts and not replying to you is their way of ignoring it, but even though they appear to ignore it, many times when it seems like the seed has fallen on deaf ears the seed is still taking root although it is hidden to you, and as far as ever seeing it come to full fruition you may not know what became of your efforts until you are heaven , so never despise the seemingly small things you do because you will be rewarded ;)Proverbs 1:7
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction
AtPeace welcome to the family of falsestarts!!! I never was good at starting a conversation about the Lord myself-I just kinda made the talk slowly revolve around from maybe discussing the weather to the winter forecast to the strange weather they are having elsewhere to the kind of events associated with weather which is talked about in the Bible; kinda like slowly made the conversation take a U-turn so that I could get it to go in a gospel direction!
You most likely did not do anything haphazerdly in your presentation of the Good News! I would first always test the waters to see how receptive the other party is to the subject of the Good News; and if they were showing a disfavor for it I would let that be a sign that I most likely ain't getting through-but I guess I could have been wrong to let others stop the word getting out-you know preach the word when it is unfavorable or favorable!
To me, I don't like making people uncomfortable with spiritual subjects! I guess that should not be the road to take-everyone needs to hear the truth of the gospel even if it makes them feel uncomfortable!
So no loss on your part my friend! Even if others do not like your approach or your way of reaching out to them-tough! We are commanded to preach the gospel in season and out of season when the opportunity shows its face!!
I might add that my approached and methods above are in the past and I am no longer shy or inhibited to share the good news with others when I get the chance!!
That's why I will forever be thankful for this RITA Now website! It is our soapbox for proclaiming the Good News and the last days events to the whole internet world!!! Now how good can we have it my friend??
Keep plugging away and be AtPeace!!
Our job is to plant seed. It sounds like you have done that. It's the Holy Spirit's job to draw them in / water the seed / woo them. We can't do this. God must soften their hearts. If we keep pushing on the seed, we just make the ground harder and harder. So plant seed, then pray, pray, pray. I have loved ones who also give me the sad, worried look. Some I believe will rise with us, they're just not watching. Others I pray will come to Christ in the tribulation. There are uncountable numbers who do, according to the Word. But don't beat yourself up that you aren't God. Just be glad that I'm not Him either. We'd all be in a pickle. But it is delightful when people ask questions, isn't it.
I did stir up controversy once on a friends page when she had made a rather evangelical post. I commented "What then must I do to be saved?" hoping to draw her out further in her witness. Unfortunately one of her "friends" took this as a sarcastic insult to her "holier-than-thou" attitude and started ripping on her. I apologised for the outcome and explained my intent, and she was less one undesirable friend. As I said, just be glad I'm not Him. On the other hand, I think you're doing just fine. The hearts of most of the world have grown hard. That's to be expected, I guess, with the fullness of the Gentiles approaching. God's intent in the 70th week is still redemption. Some people just have to see for themselves.For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Gal 3:27
No, you're doing everything right. Christ told us outright that the world will hate you because it first hated Him. He also said He did not come to bring peace, but a sword. Men will be enemies in their own household.
It is easier to witness to strangers than friends and family. Probably because the friends/family know you so well and that wall of "respect" isn't there so much, as it would be for a stranger. They have certain insights into your life that a stranger would not have. "Oh, you're a Christian now, eh? I know what you used to be like... You used to be so much fun to hang out with and now you're a wet blanket." OR "You think you're so much better than me." Thoughts like that will plague friends and family.
Also, people will reject the Gospel because they don't like to be told the things they love to do is wrong. They also don't want to be told they're sinners when they're "good" people, and they've idolized and twisted God Almighty into a God they want to worship - a God who wouldn't send people to Hell if they're "good". A "safer, friendlier" God than the God of Scripture.
Then you'll have others who are like Thomas -- "If I can't SEE Him or TOUCH Him, or emphatically PROVE Him through science, He doesn't exist."
Don't be discouraged. I was discouraged myself, but God told me that His Word does not return to Him void. Keep scattering those seeds. It's up to the Holy Spirit to water them and cultivate them. Also, when the Word of God is continued to be preached to a hardened heart, if the person is not ready to surrender to Christ, it could harden their hearts further.
This is why it is SO VERY IMPORTANT to live the Gospel with your LIFE and not just your words. If they see how you live and love like Christ, perhaps that's all the witness they will need to convert.
And if we're Raptured before they convert, they can still become Trib saints if they remember all you taught them now. Don't give up hope, and keep praying! I'll send up a prayer for you and yours as well. :)
~~BeckaWhom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. ~~Psalm 73:25-26 (ESV)
The most hated person and His message on earth was Jesus Christ ~~ the blinded heart just can't see the Light in the their midst ~~ truly it is the Holy Spirit convicting ~~
It's a paradox, huh, that our Lord insists on using weakened, fallen vessels to get His message out ~~ He loves to do it that way among His saved ~~ more reason, He gets all the honor and exalted praises ~~
I remember hearing how J. Vernon McGee lived next door to a 7th Day Adventist, and attempted to witness to this soul many times, not knowing the outcome ~~ same thing with John MacArthur next to a neighbor unsaved ~~~
turns out living true faith is probably more powerful in God's children as much as preaching the good news, eh , . resting in the Spirit in the Lord Who is the Alpha & Omega announcing He shall lose none ~~ til we're Face to face with our Powerful God ~“For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.” — Isaiah 54:5
This is you sharing in the sufferings of Christ. When people are accustomed to living in the dark sometimes they become "institutionalized" to the enslavement of it. The light seems too bright to handle or they have learned to love the darkness. Either way, the most gentle person I have ever seen deliver the gospel effectively is......the Holy Spirit himself, as He is the revealer and not ourselves. We plant seeds and water, but it is God that gives the increase. And I don't think it is necessarily your approach, as even a BAD approach, the Lord can use. Look at Harold Camping and how even THAT caused people to consider the Lord. (not saying your approach was anything similar to his, just using it as an example).
I can definitely identify with what you are going through and it does feel lonely, for sure. My best friend of 15 years doesnt hardly talk to me at all and is in a hurry to get off the phone, blowing me off so as not to hear anything about the Lord. And ironically, we met in church, of all things.
Chin up, atpeace. We can sympathize with you here, indeed. I chuckle to think of someone I have talked to about the Lord turn around and "run me down" behind my back to another person, only to inadvertantly cause the person they are talking to to consider the Lord. How's that for turning the tables on the enemy?
Thank you all for your words of encouragement and wisdom. Becka, I had tears streaming down my face when I read your post. That's me! I felt heavily burdened today, for some reason, thinking that perhaps they would have responded to the Good News if they had heard it from someone more articulate, seasoned and (more) passionate. Yes! I am finding that it is easier to witness to strangers. I cannot stress enough how grateful I am for this website. God Bless!
Atpeace, take heart that what you're saying is ok. Here's a scripture to hang onto:
“When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” Luke 12:11-12
But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Matthew 10:19-20.
These verses talk about when you are brought before courts, rulers, etc, and I believe they also pertain to people you're witnessing to. Don't worry, the Holy Spirit will guide what you say.
God Bless and Love,
Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
I used to do this-- until all my "friends" DEMANDED I stop or our "friendships" would be over. (note-- I stopped, but the friendships stopped too as far as I was concerned--- reject my God, reject me too!)
Anyway, I asked one of the most vocal of the one's who demanded I stop and his words were that every time he read one, bad stuff happened (spiritual attacks), nighmares of demons coming for ihm, and that any time he read about being saved, he felt like he was being burned from the inside out. Literally TOO PAINFUL to read.
Satan has a TIGHT hold on many people and they aren't willing to fight it. Even when told how to get away from that bond, they refuse. Free will.
He would rather reject God and be "comfortable" here on earth. He knows the consequences and is OK with it. Free will.
In my recent experience I found that sometimes we may not be the ones God wants to use for the people we are praying for. I had someone in my family who had been on my heart for over 20 years. I was able to occasionally plant seeds and pray, but coudn't really talk with this person. Then just recently I was priviledged to see the Lord working through a series of events that ended up with someone else being the one to lead them to the Lord. It was awesome to watch the Lord work. He used someone else to do what I couldn't have under the circumstances. I know he used the seeds I planted, and when I started to pray in earnest because of the lateness of the hour, things really started to happen. I on the other hand had the priviledge to lead someone else to Lord that I barely new only last year. I was ready to pack it in and go home. I was focused on the rapture happening at any moment, but God wasn't done yet! So don't give up. He is using the seeds you plant, but He does things His way, and in His timing. :)
I have re-read all of your posts and, again, I so much appreciate the encouragement and wisdom. Thank you all for creating a "safe" environment to share. Perhaps my heart was so heavy (for the lost) because it is just about midnight. I just got back from my Bible study at church tonight and the message was on Matthew 25:14. Talk about timing!!!!! The parable of the talents - and it's what we do with what God has given us. We are to be caretakers of our talents. Works are important, in the sense of showing our faith by our works. Everything God asks us to do, He will provide and this was a good reminder for me today. And after we are raptured, our works will be presented at the Bema Seat, the judgment seat of Christ. There are five Crowns to be received based on our works. The crown that stuck out for me tonight was the Crown of Rejoicing (the soul winners Crown). How sweet it will be when we hear, "Well done thou good and faithful servant." No doubt, this message really spoke to me tonight. I also thought of you all tonight and your words of wisdom. Blessings.
I was reminded of two things. A prophet is without honor in his own home. And a surgeon should never operate on family members.
@atpeace. Im glad that you have found some peace on this matter. Definately can identify with your post, as a matter of fact I responded to it AND somehow hit a button and *Poof* it disappeared. Dont you hate it when that happens! (lol)
Here's some scripture that I found encouraging especially as it relates to sowing the seeds of the Gospel. This one helped me understand that I did my part by planting and maybe someone else will water. >>>> The Holy Spirit.<<<<<
1 Corinthians 3:6-9 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
Galatians 6:9-10 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. <<<<Helped encourage me to continue to pray for my family even when I was weak and weary and felt rejected.
Sometimes we just have to stay on our knees in private prayer
James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. <<<<Helped me understand that my weeping in prayer sometimes literally watered the seed spiritually because my spirit was still working through grieving and keeping me connected and compassionate to my brethren's spiritual needs. (Does that make sense to you?)
1 John 5:14-16 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. <<<<<<< Backed up how important my prayer petition is in relation to my brethren's overcoming.
Having said all that I learned to just do my part, plant the seed and wait for the Harvest of the Lord to be fulfilled. Has a plant ever thanked you for watering it? (lol)
Anywho... I couldnt said it better then any of these wonderful people here on RITA.
You guys are really doing the good work that the Lord appoints his children to do. I wonder if we could have a little RITA ceremony? I wonder if we could ask Daddy to make us some Class of RITA pins for our robes.Exodus 3:14 i am who I AM... I AM (Yaweh)sent me and you.
I just wanted to let you know that last night I was talking with a dear Christian friend. She opened up to me, telling me about her disappointment and sadness that her unsaved husband and son still show no interest in receiving God's gift of Salvation and, "Why do they not hear me?" Not only were your posts a blessing to me, they are now a blessing to my friend as well. Interesting how the Holy Spirit works. God Bless.
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