Presenting the Gospel to other teens is never easy. But what happens when you present the Gospel to people who have had a past mired with negative input from Christians who have not been good stewards representing the teachings of Jesus Christ? They become visibly upset, thatís what.
It is time to consider undoing some of the damage others may have done by taking to heart that some people have had unconstructive labels, accusations, and downright rude comments tossed at them as a result of their lack of faith. These people do not need more of the same from others who are genuinely concerned about their eternal soul.
When you encounter a person who considers Christianity a touchy subject, outright ask them, in a calm and loving way, who or what has angered them so about your faith. You just might be surprised at the answer.
I have talked to people who didnít like Christianity because they didnít understand why a pastor stopped them from taking communion or they thought the different Bible translations made the Bible inaccurate. Amazingly, these people were pushed away from faith by people of faith who failed to offer more details as they were requested. After I filled in some blanks, my friends were much more receptive to the Gospel. But I admit I had to present the Gospel as if I were walking on eggshells, knowing that my failure to explain things as thoroughly as I could might send them back into their Christianity-is-not-for-me cave.
People who have run across self-righteous Christians who are quick to belittle those outside their faith have created a wall that is not easily dismantled. In order to break down such firm barriers, presenters of Godís word must be patient, understanding, and extremely cautious. Pushing too hard can cause a person to not even allow a glimpse of the message of hope to enter their thoughts.
Gentle questions, followed by a listening ear can be a great icebreaker. Once again, try to find out a little bit about why your friend finds Christianity a sore topic. Believe it or not, some people are hoping to run into someone with few legitimate answers.
I have found that most of my friends who were hostile toward the Bible and its teachings had misconceptions about what is found between the covers of my favorite book. I donít always have the answer they might seek, but I can usually find someone who does. It may take me a few days to find the answer that is needed, yet I find that the person with the question is genuinely happy someone is taking the time to address his query.
The next step is to occasionally ask the person if they have any more questions about the Bible or what Jesus did for the world. Sometimes I just eliminate the words ďChristianityĒ or ďreligionĒ and just focus on whatever Bible topic my friend would like to discuss. I usually end up talking about the age of the planet, dinosaurs, evolution, or the flood before I even get the chance to talk about sin, forgiveness, and the Son of God. But if thatís what it takes to try and bring someone into the family of Christ, Iím happy to oblige.
Teenagers are just as curious and concerned with life, death, and the afterlife as anyone else. They are also just as skeptical about a faith followed and proselytized by imperfect humans destined to make mistakes as they attempt to live out that faith.
We cannot accept that people who have found our faith less than desirable are lost forever to the Word. We were all lost and destined for the second death at one time, and the message of salvation eventually invaded our hearts, minds, and souls because of the works of those before us. Millions of men and women have given their lives to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ among the unreceptive masses. Surely we can speak to our friends about this faith of ours; even friends that require we walk forth on eggshells.
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