Some folks are convinced that if God wants others to know and follow Jesus He’ll take care of it and there is zero responsibility to verbally share the Good News with anyone. Plenty of Jesus’ words as well as other writers in both Testaments refute that.
Some are convinced if they do NOT verbally share the Gospel nearly everyone they meet who does not follow Jesus is going to hell specifically because of their irresponsible choice to be silent. Plenty of scripture and church history says otherwise.
I think regardless of a strong belief in predestination OR free will/choice in the matter, both views are far too absolute and extreme.
Whether or not you care, please know I write this as an evangelist and pastor who in grace has been living out these callings and gifts for most of my lifetime.
I have not only been silent when I should have spoken but at times actually rude and obnoxious when I should have laid back and even simply prayed for the Lord to deal directly with someone or that He would use someone other than myself coupled with His orchestrating events in their life for the person to hear and respond to HIM and His voice.
Now whether individuals have “ears to hear” (to quote Jesus) is not on me or any of us.
“Making the sale” isn’t on us. Hitting the gas hard isn’t an always thing nor is cementing ourselves in “park” and never moving. We need wisdom from the Spirit in each encounter! Yes it’s messy, no, nobody always gets it right.
As Ezekiel chapters 3 and 33 clearly state, we have personal responsibility indeed. At the same time, each individual has for themselves and their own life personal responsibility and each will stand before God to give account for themselves according to scripture.
What to do with all this?
There is a time to speak and time to refrain from speaking. There really is a time to be very direct but in humility, love and kindness not like a bulldozer in top gear. Some wise pundit once said he doubted anyone was ever “argued into the kingdom”!
Being attentive to the Holy Spirit, seeking God’s mind, view, voice in our hearts/heads in a situation is not always simple or easy nor do we always get it correctly either way!
Humility, being loving, kind, gracious and in the practical a servant who may not see the results we wish to see is something maturing followers of Jesus need to reckon with.
When evangelists and evangelism is in our core more a matter of –us– winning than the Spirit Himself winning someone who is lost, then I’d say this Proverb is something to consider:
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And one who is wise gains souls” (Pro. 11.30 -NAS)
There is in the Hebrew a sense that a righteous life lived before others is directly connected to persuading others to believe. Other scripture speaks to this also. One thing is clear, wisdom is certainly needed!
Further in? Here: https://biblehub.com/interlinear/proverbs/11-30.htm
As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn