Why Don't People Respond
When I Witness ??

by Brother Bob

PART 1 - Understanding the person we are witnessing to

One of the most frustrating aspects of the Christian experience is meeting someone that needs Christ, but seems to be oblivious to Him. One tries witnessing but the person just doesn't respond. Sometimes you'd just like to shake them and shout in their face "Dont you realize you're going to hell??? You need Christ, and you need Him now!! That's why your life is so messed up!!" Well there are things we need to know from the scripture which will help us to witness and to have patience while the salvation process takes its course.....


This parable is a picture of somebody being witnessed to, and the various possibilities of their response, depending on the degree of preparation of their heart (THE GROUND):

Matthew 13:3-9 (TLB)
3 "A farmer was sowing grain in his fields. 4 As he scattered the seed across the ground, some fell beside a path, and the birds came and ate it.

5 And some fell on rocky soil where there was little depth of earth; the plants sprang up quickly enough in the shallow soil, 6 but the hot sun soon scorched them and they withered and died, for they had so little root.

7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns choked out the tender blades.

8 But some fell on good soil and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as he had planted. 9 If you have ears, listen!"

Matthew 13:18-23 (TLB)
18 "Now here is the explanation of the story I told about the farmer planting grain: 19 The hard path where some of the seeds fell represents the heart of a person who hears the Good News about the Kingdom and doesn't understand it; then Satan comes and snatches away the seeds from his heart.

20 The shallow, rocky soil represents the heart of a man who hears the message and receives it with real joy, 21 but he doesn't have much depth in his life, and the seeds don't root very deeply, and after a while when trouble comes, or persecution begins because of his beliefs, his enthusiasm fades, and he drops out.

22 The ground covered with thistles represents a man who hears the message, but the cares of this life and his longing for money choke out God's Word, and he does less and less for God.

23 The good ground represents the heart of a man who listens to the message and understands it and goes out and brings thirty, sixty, or even a hundred others into the Kingdom."

"By the hardened path"--Spiritual deadness and blindness
With no preparation from God, the Word does not penetrate the person's heart, and Satan can easily distract the person and the Word has no beneficial effect on them, and doesnt remain in the person's thinking. We all start out this way, spiritually dead and separated from God, our hearts hardened from the continual bombardment of worldly thoughts and ideas.

2 Corinthians 4:3-5
3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world (satan) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.

"Stoney places"- Intellectual assent
In the second case, a little more preparation has taken place, and the person may be intellectually convinced that the Gospel is true, but no real conversion has yet taken place. They may feel that the claims of Christ are true, but they are not ready to leave their old sinful pleasures behind and commit themselves fully to Christ. There may also be too many convincing worldly arguments and reasons for them to completely give over all to God. So then, when faced with the possible danger arising from persecution, the person drops their intellectual assent and behaves like an unbeliever again.. Sort of like Peter, at the time he denied the Lord 3 times (see Matthew 26:69-75).

Matthew 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

"Among thorns"- Worldliness
In the third case, the Word has taken root and started to grow, gradually increasing and living... but then worldliness takes over in this person's life, and the riches and pleasures of this life become more important and more attractive than living a life for Christ. Whether a person can be really saved and live like this, I dont know - it is up to the Lord to discern this as He reads the person's heart. The person becomes silent and retreats into the obscurity of a non-evangelizing lifestyle, and outwardly may look like an unsaved person.

Psalm 17:13 Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword:

Psalm 17:14 From men which are thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes.

Psalm 17:15 As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.

Revelation 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

Revelation 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

Revelation 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Revelation 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

"Good ground" -A contrite and willing heart
The fourth case is the desired outcome, where the plant is growing and then producing fruit of its own, meaning Christian character, utilization of spiritual gifts, and advancement of the Gospel through personal testimony to others... as Paul says,

1 Corinthians 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

1 Corinthians 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

1 Corinthians 3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry (greek= cultivatable farm), ye are God's building.

PART 2 - Our part as evangelizers - what we should do

According to Jesus in the verses we considered in Part 1, each person we meet has a different level of spiritual preparedness at the time we seek to witness to them. It is, therefore, up to us to pray for the wisdom to ascertain where they are, and do the correct thing to help move them along to greater spiritual growth. Here are some things we can do as our part of this process:

1) Pray for the person's salvation: According to scripture, no person can believe in Christ unless God draws them first. It is then up to us as intercessors, to pray that God would open up their heart and remove the blindness from their eyes. This is a spiritual activity which God does in answer to prayer, or as a result of His own purposes.

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day...

Psalm 65:4 Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.

Job 42:7-8 (KJV) 7 And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. 8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.

1 Samuel 12:23-24 23 Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: 24 Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart; for consider how great things he hath done for you.

Colossians 1:9 9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

2) Pray that Satan would be bound: One of the things you need to pray for is that God would bind Satan for you. Bind Satan from blinding this person and keeping them from receiving the Light of the Gospel. According to Job chapter 1, Satan is always under the control and limitation of God the Father. He cannot do any harm unless God has first allowed it (this is called God's permissive will)

Job 1:8-12 (KJV) 8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

Matthew 12:28-29 28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. 29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.

Isaiah 55:8-11 (KJV) 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

3) Allow Christ to live His life through you as a silent testimony

2 Corinthians 2:14-16 (KJV) 14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and {makes obvious} the {fragrance} of his knowledge by us in every place. 15 For we are unto God a sweet fragrance of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: 16 To the one we are the fragrance of death unto death; and to the other the fragrance of life unto life.

And who is sufficient for these things?

1 Peter 3:1-4 (KJV) 1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the behavior of the wives; 2 While they behold your innocent behavior coupled with fear. 3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of (elaborate braiding of) the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

1 John 1:8-9 (KJV) 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

4) Be an unashamed public witness to Christ: Read your Bible in a public place - you may find that you don't even have to say a word! Just sit at a table in the lunchroom or library or wherever and unashamedly study the Word. People will come up to you and want to know what you are doing and why... and there is your entrance to witness!

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

1 Peter 3:15-17 (KJV) 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good behavior in Christ. 17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

Study and learn the scriptures. Be ready to answer the questioners as Christ would, using appropriate Bible verses.

Colossians 4:5-6 (KJV) 5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time {that your life be not wasted}. 6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Please note: The Holy Spirit cannot bring scriptures back to your memory if they are not in your memory in the first place. Be willing to memorize scripture so God can use it later at the appropriate time.

Practise hospitality and kindness and real concern for their well being. Not only to your Christian brothers and sisters, but also to them which need the Gospel, as a demonstration of the love of God to them. Invite them out to lunch, you pay, not expecting anything in return, then sit back and listen to their life story and problems. And offer them the help which the Savior brings.

Titus 1:7-9 (KJV) 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to shameful greediness; 8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, self-controlled; 9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers (contentious critics).

Romans 12:9-19 (KJV) 9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; 11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. 14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. 17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Don't be pushy. Use patience and faith in God's Working.

Psalm 37:7-11 (KJV) 7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. 9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. 10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. 11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

Psalm 51:10-13 (KJV) 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

Know how to explain the plan of salvation to a person. Be willing to give your own personal testimony. Very good explanations of the plan of salvation may be found at the following web sites. Learn the basics, and be able to explain them to an unsaved person.

Be prepared and willing to disciple the new convert to Christian growth. Recognize that repentance and accepting Christ is only the first step in the Christian life. Your job is to help bring that person to maturity in Christ.

2 Timothy 2:1-2 (KJV) 1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

Ephesians 4:11-15 (KJV) 11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

May your life and ministry be blessed as you serve Him......

In Christ...brother bob...<><

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