Should We Keep on Preaching to Those Who Won’t Listen?

noThis is a tough questions to answer. It is one that every evangelist, missionary, and Christian had probably wrestled with at some point in their ministry.

  • How many times to you keep telling the gospel to those who reject it?
  • Is there ever a point where you give up on the resistant?
  • What about God’s instructions to Ezekiel to keep on preaching whether they listen or not?
  • What about Jesus’ instructions to not “cast pearls before swine”?

These are all thoughts that I have dealt with over the years. I am not sure that I have the answer, but here are some things I wrote in my devotions today from reading the book of Ezekiel to get the conversation started.

Ezekiel 3:10-11 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears. 11 And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord God; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.

It is interesting to compare these verses with Jesus’ instruction to the disciples Mark 6:11, “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.”

God told Ezekiel to keep preaching whether they listened or did not listen. Jesus told the disciples to move on if they did not listen. I suppose there are lessons to be learned from both. We need the commitment and courage to keep on preaching regardless of the response like Ezekiel. We should not change our message or give up at the first sign of opposition or even after much opposition.

But we also need to realise that we are not Ezekiel, prophesying to Israel. We are witnesses to Christ and His instructions may be different from Ezekiel. We need to be willing to keep on preaching regardless of the response but we also need to realise that the gospel is too precious to keep giving it to those who do not want it. Instead, we should look for those who are open to it, those who do want it, and focus on them.

I am sure there is much more that could be said. This is really only an introduction to the topic. I would love to hear your thoughts on this issue in the comments section below.

4 thoughts on “Should We Keep on Preaching to Those Who Won’t Listen?

  1. I have a boyfriend who was born Catholic, then became an agnostic when I met him, and then during my time with him, he became a staunch atheist.

    I admit that I believe in Jesus, but I’m not a good Christian. I’ve done a multitude of sins.

    I tried preaching about Jesus to my boyfriend, but he gets angry and he does not wanna hear.

    Do you think the first thing I should do is get right with God first and then by God’s grace, share the gospel?

    1. I would definitely advise you to get right with God first so that you can pray effectively. And then I would mainly suggest you seek to live a Christlike life before your boyfriend, seeking to win him without the word (1 Peter 3:1-7) and praying for God to work and open up his heart.

  2. Me and my wife have spoken to her mother and father about salvation in Christ. Her mother demonstrated a faith before her death so in that we have hope. Her father refused to listen and he calls it ‘life stuff’ but does not want to know. If Jesus is spoken of or a film about Him is on TV he turns to another channel. We want him to come to salvation and pray for him but he’s so closed off. Is his blood on our hands…? He’s so self-opiniated and think’s he’s right so much and completely sold to what he’s told on the TV or in the news papers. We have our bibles and related books all over living room because we live in the same home but he still shows no interest.

    We feel quite helpless and wonder if we should give the whole thing over to God…?
    Kev

    1. Hello, I feel for you and know that can be tough. I think the advice of 1 Peter 3 to wives whose husbands are not believers is helpful in your situation – win them without the word. You’ve given the word, not let your god works and kindness be proof to him. If he rejects the gospel, then there is nothing you can do but love and pray for him and be willing to share as he is interested. Even Christ had people reject Him, so we have to expect that we will be rejected as well.

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