The end of an evangelistic talk is usually commendably frank. It doesn’t matter wither this is a friendly over a BBQ, a major service, or the end of a course: we lay out the two ways, and invite people to lay their lives down for Christ. If they do that, we have resources, books, groups.
But what if they don’t? Depart from me you cursed? Well, ultimately, yes – but that’s not our call, and it’s not today. Yet.
Here’s Paul in Thessalonica. Look at the verbs Luke uses
And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women.
Paul engages with those who have questions, issues, doubts. Some were persuaded, but this is a big range of follow up options.
So have a think through the other responses, apart from those already Christians, and those who want to sign up.
- Other than flat rejection and whole hearted acceptance, what other positions are there for non-Christians to articulate?
- What books do you have at the back of church for the person who really does not get the gospel at all?
- What do you have for the different kinds of questions and doubts people have? Are you prepared for the standard six or seven issues to be raised?
- Have you a small group for sceptics and seekers to talk through their issues?
- Do you need a bit of a refresher on your apologetics?
- Why not preach a short series on those questions, and either put them on CD, or print them up as a book to give away? (Check out http://www.lulu.com)