Share the Gospel, Whether They Listen or Not

Posted on December 30, 2020


By David Ettinger

A Vivid Remembrance
It was 1998, a busy Friday night in the sports department of the El Paso Times, but in the midst of it came an unexpected 15-minute lull. I used that down time to share the Gospel with a fellow editor.

He listened politely, then responded. “David, I appreciate what you told me, but I just don’t agree with it. I don’t believe in what you believe in.”

I, appreciating his civility, replied likewise: “Thank you for listening, but I have to add something. One day you will stand before God in judgment, and He will say, ‘On November 15, 1998, David Ettinger shared the Gospel of My Son with you, and you rejected it. I’m sorry, but you must now face the consequences of that decision.’”

He nodded courteously, and we both resumed our work.

Yes, I was saddened my associate’s response, but I had no regrets. The Lord gave me an opportunity, and I took it. It was as if the Lord were telling me: “David, I have an assignment for you. Do it, and leave the rest to Me.”

Ezekiel’s Example
The lesson of that exchange was clear: Take every opportunity God gives you to share the Gospel – as difficult as the circumstances or audience may be – and let God do the rest.

Such is the message of Ezekiel Chapter 2. The prophet had been deported to Babylon as part of his nation’s exile, and he lived among his fellow Hebrews. However, being out of their homeland was no excuse for their persistent rejection of God.

The Lord instructed Ezekiel: “Son of man, I am sending you to the sons of Israel, to a rebellious people who have rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have revolted against Me to this very day” (v. 3). Does this describe your loved ones and friends?

The Lord continued: “So I am sending you to those who are impudent and obstinate children, and you shall say to them, ‘This is what the Lord God says’” (v. 4). In other words, regardless of the spiritual state of the people, you are to speak to them in the name of God.

The Lord knew how the Hebrews would respond to Ezekiel, and informed him beforehand: “And as for you, son of man, you are not to fear them nor fear their words, though thistles and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions; you are not to fear their words nor be dismayed at their presence, since they are a rebellious house” (v. 6). Though you may receive hatred and wrath in return for sharing the truth, you are to forge on.

The Lord commanded Ezekiel: “But you shall speak My words to them whether they listen or not …” (v. 7). The same applies to you: Share the Gospel. Will those you share with listen and turn to God? Some may. Will those you share with reject your words, thereby rejecting God? Most of the time, yes.

In Season and Out
But it makes no difference; God wants you to tell the unsaved about how Jesus Christ came to Earth and died on a Roman cross to save sinners from eternal damnation. You are to tell unbelievers that all people are destined to eternal suffering because of sin, but that Jesus came to rescue them if they confess Him as Lord (Romans 10:9).

The apostle Paul put it this way – “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2). Always be ready to share the Gospel to whom God sends you.

You are to speak “to them whether they listen or not” because the Lord has a reason for them to hear the Gospel – regardless of their response. This is a hard assignment, but the world is hard and its citizens even harder.

May God give you the love, fortitude, and boldness to share the gracious Gospel of a loving Savior with those who are “stubborn and obstinate” (Ezekiel 3:7). After all, weren’t many of us the same way?