Speaking to Unbelievers

no christ sign

Commentary By:  Gordon King

The end of last week, Friday and Saturday, I was feeling a heaviness in my heart, and feeling convicted of not being able to rightly stand for my faith, and for not being able to lovingly shine God’s light with unbelievers.

I have received many comments from unbelievers who attack and denigrate Christianity and religion as a whole.  Sometimes they attack me with inappropriate words and comments.  At the time of my responses to them, I actually felt like I was being loving, kind, yet standing firm in my beliefs.

Until the end of last week!  I began to feel as though I was not approaching these individuals with salt and light.  As if I was becoming maybe a bit too defensive in my answers to them.  I don’t think that I am alone in this, I believe that probably most of us have the same problem, at least I know that I do!

So, Saturday night I prayed to the Lord to help me in this, to tell me just how I should approach these unbelievers.  I asked Him to show me His ways, and how He wants me to respond.

Well, as it goes, at church yesterday morning, the sermon just happened to be about “conversations”.  Conversations with unbelievers!  The passages quoted by the pastor answered my questions to the Tee!

Colossians 4:6

Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”

As the pastor explained this passage to the congregation, it made so much sense!  We are to love each other, even our enemies.  We should approach everyone out of love, not hatred, revenge, spite, or anger.  We should speak to them with grace, the same grace that God shows us.  And although they may not deserve it, neither do we!

We need to speak with salt, that is to speak out of love and kindness, understanding, and compassion.

When we speak, it is not to offend, place blame, or to argue!

Other verses explain this even further!

Colossians 4:2-5

“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.  Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.”

God often opens doors for us, opportunities to advance, to get blessed, to bless, to learn, to teach, and to speak to the unsaved.  As the pastor said, we should not just speak out to unbelievers about the gospel or Christ, we should pray and ask the Lord to open a door for us first, and at times He will do this without us even asking.

Most unbelievers do not want to hear about God or Christianity.  They are not yet ready to hear the truth of God.  This is why we must wait upon the Lord to first soften their hearts and open their eyes.

What should we speak to unbelievers?  Well, we don’t always have to speak about the gospel, or even mention the name of Christ.  God will lead us and give us the words to speak.  Some times it’s just about planting a seed.  Other times it’s about loving, understanding, and compassion.  Sometimes we just need to sit and listen.  By doing these things then we are letting Christ shine through us, showing His love, His grace, and His forgiveness!

We should be wise towards the unsaved, we should allow God to work in the hearts of the unbelievers!  Most of the time I guess that I am impatient towards the unbelievers.  I want them to know the truth, I want them to understand my words and to believe!  I want them to accept Christ as I have!

It’s not easy being a Christian, and it’s even more difficult spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ!  Speaking to unbelievers can be very difficult and frustrating.  At times we are drawn into arguments, and we may say things which we regret later on.  We may chase away unbelievers from the gospel, instead of drawing them nearer to the truth!

I always believed that I was to go out and try to make people believe in Jesus Christ.  However, I think that many times I have gone about it the wrong way!  Not that I have beaten people up or tried to shove the “Good News” down their throat, but maybe I wasn’t far from it!

As believers in Jesus Christ, we need to just slow down and be patient.  Listen to the unsaved, hear what they have to say.  Show them understanding, compassion, love, and kindness!  This doesn’t mean not to stand up for your faith, absolutely not, but we are to do so in a way which does not violate the laws and principles of our God.

Love is the answer, loving kindness, mercy, grace, and forgiveness!

We can’t make anyone believe in Jesus Christ!  We can only show them the ways of God and hopefully lead them to salvation.  We can plant a seed, it’s up to God to make it grow!

Good Lord in heaven, forgive me of my sins, and for not showing unbelievers the love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness the way that you have done to me!  Give me a heart of God, teach me your ways, and give me the words to speak to the lost.  Open my eyes and give me compassion for the lost, for those in pain, and suffering in the world.  Give me the ability to understand, to show them love, mercy, and grace.  Give me the ability to love you more!  In Jesus name I pray, Amen

God bless my friends!  Until next time…Maranatha!

12 thoughts on “Speaking to Unbelievers

  1. Gordon you are such a blessing!! God has been teaching me to watch my words and make sure I’m not negative. The end times are a very heavy topic for some as well as the state of our country. Sometimes I have let it affect me in an unloving way towards others where I get too pushy even when I know they are not receiving what I am sharing with them. There is a scripture that says to shake the dust off of your sandles and move on. Jesus’s life is a prime example of handling rejection with a humble and loving spirit.
    I do have a testamony though! Yesterday I took six people to get baptized. It was such a wonderful day and a big blessing for me. Everyday we pick up our cross and fight the good fight. Praise God that he loves us enough to correct us. May we daily become more loving and Christ like:) Amen!

  2. Thanks for your kind words Rebecca!

    I get the feeling that many believers come off the wrong way to the unsaved, this is a common thing, and it’s also a difficult thing to overcome!

    I always thought that I should be more forceful in my approach in sharing Christ. Now I believe that I was wrong, I don’t know why I saw it that way, I guess that I felt like I needed to for some reason or another. I think that was part of the problem, how I “feel”. We shouldn’t always do things based on our feelings, but on the leading of the Holy Spirit!

    I know that one of the reasons is natural for a fallen world, and that is to “react” instead of “act”. When we feel threatened or intimidated, then we often respond defensively towards others. This is something that Jesus was trying to teach us, not to “react”, but to “act” with wisdom, love, kindness, and mercy! He told us if we are persecuted for His name sake, then to count is as all joy, not always an easy thing to do!

    It’s a learning process for all of us Rebecca, myself included, especially myself!

    That is so awesome that you took six people to get baptized! How great is that! Keep up the good work for the Lord sister!

    God bless Rebecca, and Amen to your prayer!

  3. Amen, In Jesus’ name I also pray with you.
    Very inspiring words Gordon. Amen!
    Although difficult at times. Showing by example (the Spirit of God in you) is what Jesus would do.
    It’s best to agree to disagree and walk away then continue in anger or worse. You have planted the seed that’s what is required of us. God bless.

  4. Hi Gordon, appreciate your article. I have been seeing a lot of reports coming out of the refugee crisis about muslims converting to Christianity because Jesus came to them personally in dreams and visions. In other words according to them, they had a personal apparition or appearance of Jesus who spoke to them directly and gave them the gospel. Your article about how to speak to unbelievers brought to my attention about how I am speaking to brothers about this subject of dreams and visions because this is a hot topic that if you are not on the acceptance side of dreams and visions then the words can get pretty heated. Every Christian brother I am speaking to about this agree that these people are being personally visited by Jesus and they have their own second or third hand testimony about how Christ appeared to someone in the deep dark jungles of South America I have been on mission trip to muslims and as prep to that mission was shown a dvd movie reenactment of the dreams / visions of a muslim and how Jesus appeared and spoke to them. Personally I place a huge question mark ? over all this because I cannot find one conversion in the new testament by dreams and visions, Where is the sufficiency of scriptures if you open the dreams and visions door? Nor can I find Christ or Paul acclaiming the gospel to go forth by dreams and visions. The Roman Catholics claim to see appearances of Virgin Mary all over the world and nothing would ever convenience them otherwise and this is total error. Sometimes I regret openly expressing my opinion about this subject because of the flack of words that I am hit with.

  5. Thanks for your comment Anonymous!

    I have heard about Muslims having dreams and visions of Jesus Christ as God. Can we prove that they really have? No. Yet we have their testimony of salvation as proof.

    There are many instances in the bible of God speaking to believers and unbelievers through dreams and visions. Two of which I can think of off hand where they saw Jesus as God, Joseph husband of Mary, and the apostle John in the book of Revelation. God gave dreams to King Nebuchadnezzar although He did not believe, and they were interpreted by Daniel. Joseph, the son of Jacob, had many dreams from God, and he also had the gift of interpreting dreams!

    The Prophet Joel told us that in the last days there will be dreams and visions taking place.

    Acts 2:16-17
    “But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

    17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
    That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
    Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
    Your young men shall see visions,
    Your old men shall dream dreams.’ ”

    So can God reveal Himself to unbelievers in visions and dreams? Of course He can, He is God, He can do anything!

    I myself have had many dreams and visions from The Lord. I even had a vision of God standing in front of me with open arms! I had another vision of sorts, where I actually smelled God’s presence! Can I prove this to anyone? No. Does this mean that it didn’t happen? No! My testimony is proof enough. Who’s to tell me that I didn’t have these dreams and visions?

    Study the scriptures and they tell you that God does indeed speak to many of us through visions and dreams!

    It takes faith to believe, without it what can you do? With faith you can do all things! What we can do and what The Lord does for us depends upon our level of faith.

    Don’t forget about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, words of wisdom, words of knowledge, and the gift of prophecy. How does one get prophecy? Many through dreams and visions!

    Holy scripture gives us much evidence regarding God speaking to us through dreams and visions.

    God does many things in many ways, most of which we do not understand, they are a mystery to us, but this does not mean they are not true.

    God uses many people in many different ways to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, there is more than one way to do this. The closer we get to His return, the more miracles we will see, and the more God will reveal Himself to the unsaved. I believe this with all of my heart.

    Ask The Lord to give you understanding and clarity in this matter, He will!

    God bless Anonymous!

  6. Hi Gordon, thanks for your detail reply, to my comments about dreams and visions and particularly how you have confirmed to me how sensitive a topic this is among brothers. I’m sorry that I left it unsigned, that was a mistake on my behalf, This is Ethin,

    I see the strong convictions of Roman Catholics who say they see appearances of virgin mary and they are just as convenienced that it is real as any convenienced person that they see Jesus in visions.
    The reason that I have a huge ? mark over the specific conversion of muslims and others through dreams and visions is that 1. Nowhere in the bible does Christ or the Apostle Paul advocate for conversions through dreams and visions. 2. There is no new testament church conversions through dreams and visions. 3. Jesus presented himself to his disciples alive…..not in dreams and visions…….. speaking the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God Acts 1:3.
    4. The Gospel which is the power of God unto salvation is always given in verbal or written form, never in dreams and visions.

    Based on my personal experience with muslim evangelism that is; directly presenting the Gospel to muslims which are many, and new testament scriptural sufficiency, I am placing conversions by dreams and visions in the false christs and false conversions classification because of extra-biblical and non-biblical revelations.

    How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? Romans 10:14 no dreams and visions here.

    How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
    Isaiah 52:7 no dreams and visions here

    Actually, I have been observing the subject and phenomenon of dreams and visions now for about 60 years. I remember at age 7 watching Oral Roberts on black and white tv preaching that God gave him a dreams and visions of the people writing out $1,000 dollar checks to send in to his ministry. Nearly had my dad convenienced because if Oral had dreams and visions it had to be real.

    All of the Popes in my lifetime have had dreams and visions of either Christ or virgin mary or whatever it was he needed control of the masses for.

    Television evangelists Jimmy and Tammy Fay Bakker had dreams and visions of the mammoth Heritage USA Christian club. They claim the visions were directly from God until it was found out that Bakker kept $3.4 million for himself and paid $279,000 to silence Jessica Hahn for sexual improprieties from Bakker. It was all dreams and visions from the Lord for about 15 years until the fraud was found out.

    Benny Hinn claime having dreams and visions of children being resurrected from the dead if the parents would just believe in faith and send him a large amount of money for an anointing cloth. no resurrections yet!

    So Gordon, after 60 years of observation and much study of God’s Word I completely reject the notion of validity of muslim and others conversions through dreams and visions.

    Thank you for encouraging me to have faith and believe, I do have faith and do believe, although I always need strength and greater faith. I have accurate biblical understanding and perfect clarity on the subject.

    With love in Christ, Ethin

  7. Hello Ethin, hope all is well with you and your family brother!

    It’s often difficult to communicate a persons beliefs and tone through written communication. I hope that you have not taken what I said the wrong way. I was not insinuating that you did not have understanding or clarity of the truth Ethin. By the other comment that you left, it sounded like you were uncertain of what to believe and searching for answers, that is why I wrote what I did. I am sorry if I have offended you.

    You know, it’s very unfortunate and a great shame that so many who have called themselves “Christians”, have used the name of God to benefit financially for themselves! Yet, it is so and will continue to be that way, that’s just how it is. They give Christianity a bad name, just as the Westboro Baptist church has done as well!

    It’s a good thing Ethin that fellow believers can come together and seek out the truth my friend! Through love, kindness, and forgiveness. We all see things from a different angle, from another perspective, as we all have lived through different experiences in our lives. God has made each of us unique and individual.

    Some of us see things that others don’t, this is true for all of us. We learn, we grow, and we become more mature believers in our faith. And we will not agree on every issue either, and that’s ok!

    Take care brother Ethin! God bless my friend!

  8. Gordon, You are a gracious brother in the Lord, I am blessed to call you friend and receive your insights, views and wisdom, we move on.

  9. Thank you Ethin, that is kind of you to say! It’s always enlightening to speak with you regarding scripture. I take no offense whatsoever in any communication which we have had in the past my friend. We may agree on some issues and not on others, and like I said, that’s ok! This is how we learn and grow as believers in Jesus Christ, Amen!

    May the good Lord lead us all, and guide us in these very trying times!

  10. Oh Gordon, this post resonated with me so much and I had to smile! I also have had feelings of frustration that no matter how hard I have tried to witness, preach and explain the Gospel it appeared to fall on deaf ears or brought out hostile responses. I sought the Lord before and after.. ..why am I not seeing results? and of lately …I give up Lord!…. I can’t do it! if they are to be saved God YOU must do it! I am willing for you to use me to give me the right words to speak to each person, ,to open up the opportunities and give me your authority and anointing but of myself I know I can do no good thing… I just get in the way! I give up! I surrender this to you now! The teaching that followed really spoke to me and gave me enlightenment ( it was a real light bulb moment…what am I doing wrong Lord?) answer… ‘ unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies it remains alone but when it falls and dies it brings forth a bountiful harvest ‘. I took this to mean I actually had to come to this place of letting go, give up, surrender my own abilities, efforts, know I can do no good thing of myself… He must do it through me! He first had to bring me to this place through much striving and failing, so much frustration and often feeling ashamed in retrospect of of my less than Christ like responses to unbelievers who have not responded as desired to my ‘CLANGING CYMBAL’ like attempts to get them saved!

    God Bless …. You are in my prayers.

  11. Thanks Christine!

    Wouldn’t it be nice if once being saved then we automatically knew what to say and how to act? Yet it isn’t so. We must search the scriptures and study God’s word, His instruction manual on how we should live. It’s a learning process, part of our sanctification I believe, in order to make us whole and more righteous.

    As you said, we must surrender to God and let Him take control. So many times I have failed to do so, and I always end up surrendering to Him afterwards. Even now, I find myself at times trying to do it on my own, when I know that I must let Him work through me!

    God bless sister!

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