Handling Objections and Rejection
We are responsible for communicating a clear and accurate gospel message and exhibiting a Christlike example. However, unbelievers may be fixed in their rejection of the gospel. Here are some recommendations for how to respond to rejection and objections of unbelievers:
1. Leave when the gospel is mocked and rejected.
When Christ sent the 12 disciples (Matthew 10) and the 70 persons (Luke 10) to proclaim the gospel, He instructed them that they were to leave when the message was rejected (Matthew 10:13-14; Luke 10:10-11). The point was that if unbelievers became fixed in their rejection of the gospel, if it is evident that they don’t wish to repent, then the disciples could focus their efforts elsewhere (Acts 13:51). Like Jesus, arriving at this point may be cause for sorrow (Luke 19:41-44).
2. Do not argue.
Do not tarnish your testimony or the mission field by needless arguing. You have not “failed.” God is still God. He may use your example of meekness and grace to confront a hardened heart. Let the gospel be the offense and not your personality. Leave the results to God. Your responsibility is only to be faithful with a clear and accurate gospel message and a Christlike example.
3. Do not take the rejection personally.
Remember, as unbelievers, they cannot be expected to respond in faith apart from God’s intervention. If you are faithfully communicating the gospel and they reject it, know that they are rejecting Christ and God (Luke 10:16). Be patient and kind and do not abandon the relationship, if at all possible. Be faithful to get the message right and leave the rest to God. Having this understanding will keep you from being discouraged since it isn’t up to you to save someone.
4. Continue to pray for their salvation.
Pray that the Holy Spirit would convict them of sin, righteousness, and judgement by the message (John 16:18) and that God would ultimately save them (Romans 10:1). If you expect to see the person again, then continue to live godly before them and be available to them in the future. Pray for the person as you witness by the testimony of your changed life. You do not know what part in the drawing process that God may use you. Assure them you will continue to keep them in prayer.
5. End with a warning. You might say one or more of the following at the end of your conversation:
“You have made some strong statements against what I showed you from Scripture, and I want you to know that what I showed you is the only way you can be saved and forgiven of your sin…” (Acts 4:12; 13:38).
“Let me leave you with this thought: where will you spend eternity?”
“From what you said it is clear that you are not interested. You have heard the truth and I will continue to pray for your salvation.”