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WHY DONT PEOPLE RESPOND WHEN I WITNESS ?? 

(Part 1 of 2) 

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.....

OVERVIEW..CONVERSION IS LIKE A SEED GROWING 

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) 

{3b} "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!"Mat 13:3-9 (TLB) 
 
"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."
Mat 13:18-23 (TLB) 

"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 doesn't 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.

{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. (2 Cor 4:3-5)
 

"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 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 everything over 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 Mat 26:69-75).

Mat 15:8  This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
Mat 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 don't 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.

Rev 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;
Rev 3:15  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 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:
Rev 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.
Rev 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 Cor 3:6  I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
1 Cor 3:7  So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
1 Cor 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 Cor 3:9  For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry (greek= cultivatable farm), ye are God's building.

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

In Christ....brother bob.......<><
 

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God Bless You.....brother bob.......<><

If you have comments or questions, email me at ixtheus@execpc.com 
 
 





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