Continuing my series on why we don’t witness, there is a second fear that I believe prevents us from sharing our faith. Closely tied to the fear of failure (which I talked about here and here) is our fear of rejection.
Many of us do not witness because we are afraid of rejection.
What does that mean? It means, first of all, that we’re afraid that the people we witness to will reject the Gospel. Second of all, it means that we’re afraid that the people we witness to will reject us.
This first point is the one that is closely tied to our fear of failure. It assumes that we play a part in convincing people to trust Christ. But, as we have already covered, to understand our need for Christ and trust Him is not primarily a matter of the intellect and is not something that people can convince other people of. We are not required to abandon reason, but this conviction that leads us to faith and repentance is primarily a matter of the heart and is brought to us by the Holy Spirit.
Fear that they’ll reject the Gospel denies the power of the Holy Spirit. When we don’t witness because we’re afraid they’ll reject the Gospel, we assume that we know more about connecting God’s truth to men’s hearts than the Holy Spirit does. If we trust, as we should, that the power of the Holy Spirit to convict men of their need for Christ is immeasurably greater than our own, then we should be able to trust the results to Him.
God never promised that success in witnessing would be immediate or without exception. Christ actually said that multitudes would reject Him.
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14, NKJV).
And Paul told how some people needed to have someone reach out to them with the Gospel multiple times before trusting Christ.
“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” (I Corinthians 3:6-7, NKJV).
These seem to have come to Christ after initially rejecting Him, because God continued to work within them.
Some people will reject the Gospel. Some people will reject the Gospel initially, only to trust Christ at a later date when convicted by the Holy Spirit. We don’t know who will respond. But if we believe at all in the power of the Gospel (Romans 1:16), we must believe that some will respond. And we cannot afford not to tell them simply because we fear that they’ll reject it.
So, what if they reject us? They won’t. Christ made it clear that their rejection wasn’t because they dislike us, because they think we’re strange, or because we’re not cool or flashy enough. It’s because they reject Him.
“He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me” (Luke 10:16, NKJV).
So, in summary:
- What if they reject us? They don’t. They reject Christ.
- What if they reject Christ? You don’t know that they will. And even if they do, you don’t know that they always will.
Just like our fear of failure, our fear of rejection should not keep us from witnessing. Pray about it, prepare for it, do it, and trust God for the results.