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Objections to the Gospel, Lesson 04

Answering Objections To The Gospel Free Course, Lesson 04
Trinity Graduate School of Theology, Free Course

Personal Objections

  • “How can you really believe that Jesus is God?”
  • “I used to go to church, but not anymore.”
  • “Yeah, my parents believed that stuff.”

Answering personal objections can be much more involved than answering intellectual objections. A person who has a personal objection likely has put it in place as some type of defense mechanism to protect them self from harm, real or imagined. To further cloud the water, a person might hold on to a personal objection in the form of an intellectual objection. How is one to know the difference?

Thankfully, according to James 1:5, God freely gives wisdom to those who ask for it. So, we can be assured that God will give us the wisdom to recognize personal objections and the best course of action to counter them.

The first thing that is important to keep in mind when encountering a personal objection is that successfully countering the objection may not in fact even lead to a full Gospel presentation. Rather, success may be merely identifying what is causing the objection in the first place.

For example, a conversation with a classmate reveals that he hates Christians and thinks they are deceived and foolish. In this case, would success be convincing him that Christians are not foolish? Not likely. Better yet, success might be finding out why he thinks Christians are foolish. Perhaps he grew up in a cult-like environment, and saw people swindled and deceived all the time. If that forms the basis of his impression, suddenly we can better empathize with his objection, and more effectively target our interaction with him to overcome this objection.

Here are some strategies to overcome personal objections:

1. Take the long view. If someone has an objection based on something that happened to him or her a long time ago, it could take a long time to overcome those feelings of hurt, etc. Of course God can and does work in an instant, but we should be patient and wait on the Lord and not get frustrated if nothing happens right away. It can take time to for someone to change his or her core assumptions.

2. Ask questions. When faced with personal objections, it is appropriate to ask personal questions, within reason of course. Ask about their religious background, and how that has shaped them today. Ask them what they have seen that causes them to think the way they do. People are generally surprised when someone asks them why they think the things they do. It shows that we care about them, rather than just trying to convince them to think like us. There are numerous questions that can be asked and scenarios that may be encountered. The principle here is that good questions help us to know more about the person and their assumptions, allowing us to better target their objection.

3. Empathize. Empathy is the ability to feel what other people feel. When we empathize, it shows the love of Christ to others. A person who has a deeply held objection usually has been hurt or mislead by someone they trust. This makes it hard for them to trust other people, and God. By showing sorrow for what happened, or feeling what they feel, we show people that we really do care. Empathy is a powerful vehicle to establish trust with others. Do not be afraid to apologize for wrongs done to that person by someone else.

4. Remember – don’t argue. Arguing likely caused the objection in the person in the first place. More is less in this situation. We are not to convince, we are to give an answer. We need to trust that God will work in that person’s heart through our answer.

5. Know when to quit. We see this principle in the way Jesus dealt with the Pharisees. Their hearts were so hardened with jealousy and hatred that they were no longer capable of seeing the truth. As a result, Jesus turned to the poor and lowly to receive the kingdom. Likewise, when someone’s heart is hard, no amount of empathy or logic can penetrate. It is a good idea at this point to disengage the conversation and pray in earnest for that person.

6. Pray. Prayer accomplishes much to soften the heart and weaken the objection. It is a powerful weapon that we should never hesitate to use.

In summary, personal objections usually run deeper than do intellectual objections. But if we take to heart Peter’s words of using gentleness and respect, we can do a lot to counter those objections by modeling the character of Christ.

Questions to Consider

Is there anyone in your family who has a deeply held personal objection to the Gospel? Why do they have that objection? How can you begin to counter it?

Write one page telling the story of how you or someone close to you overcame a deeply held personal objection to come to a relationship with Jesus.

 

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Answering Objections To The Gospel Free Course, Lesson 04
Trinity Graduate School of Theology, Free Course

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4 Comments on "Objections to the Gospel, Lesson 04"

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  1. Many years ago this two sisters come to our church, and became a regular members of this flock of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. At those days ,the people where more relaxed and to me, the world looked more innocent than in this present days. Even so ,times passed by and those two sisters became dear friends of my. .On occasion we went horse-riding together , barbeques fishing . Yet always in group as a Christian young man and woman.
    Than one day the younger one told me her heartfelt sorrow that she could not shake of . We were at some other sisters place seating on those bin bags that where so popular in those romantic days .Till others were chatting about veggie and frit fresh squished drinks. Yet my dear friend have decided to share a incredibly painful story with me.
    What you think Boris? , she ask me .Why God has allowed this man to reap me?. Her face became a mask. Then she told me how she was praying til this person assaulted her .I did not know how to answer .Yet in my heart I felt sorry for this dear friend. For a second a tears come to my eyes observing her pain which was now more visible .This question knock me off indeed.. Honestly wow, it was a shock question that I could not answer .My shoulders went up and I knew that she was suffering. The scars she had warring was inside in her soul. Yet in my eyes she was a strong personality and yet no one could imagine that this Sister of Christ has injured a wound that has hurt her. We had Preached the word of God in the field many times together ,sharing those precious scriptures even after that day it make me realise that this girl was carrying and kind yet the question , that was inside of her will make her stronger or will destroy her. On one of those preaching tours looked up the scripture and mark it with piece of paper. Than offered a prayer in myself for her for strength and guidance in Christ. When the opportunity showed itself I said to her .You remember you ask me the question that I was not able to answer you .She looked and I knew that next think what I will say will make her or break her.
    Mathew 10:28
    Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

    After this dialog she started to avoided the gatherings. Not gatherings as complete but where in which group I was .Did she blamed me for this? I do not know, even today I wonder if that was a good ide to tell her that quote of Mathew 10:28.Yet down the line have heard from other members of church that she got married and has a beautiful daughter .If you ask me ,I would indeed say yes God has heard the prayer .We all suffer in one way or other but let me tell you Yahweh God das not let you suffer to long. In Christ adding this prayer for all those Sisters trough out the world which has suffered as this sister of my .Yet thinks like this will be non-existent in the New World. The world that Christ is preparing for us all will be pure and Godly .Amen

  2. its another presentation skills av just,read,am so blessed and my knowledge ,increased.i av afriend,Daniel,back then in 1999,he was a sabatharian ,we met and av bn geting along at a christian non denominatinal outreach,years later he will want to convince me of his faith,i still remember the reply i gave him “let us not allow that to cause quarrel b/w us”,he reasoned with me and allow that arguement to passby,i av travelled to various parts of nigeria;portharcourt,akwa ibom,crossriver states and even lived there for years yet we never stopped corresponding by mails,and when i visits lagos,where my parents resides,our brotheehood swells,currently am in lagos city and we are still the best of brothers in faith

  3. Thank god for the free courses.I would like to share these gems with others but most cannot access a computer.I had also to buy one as a matter of agency through a loan from a bank.It may take the hand of God to have our CHURCH MINISTERS to buy computers.These courses are very good.I will use them to teach my mission and evangelism team

  4. Benita Paschel says:

    I think that we all at some point and time in our lives have doubted in our hearts things pertaining the existence of God. When we look around us we see the invisible things that only God can do, rather than man. In addition, God reveals the invisible to us by His Holy Spirit.

    I feel that the problem is not saying that, “THERE IS A GOD SOMEWHERE, it is because we have not seen God (Elohim) face to face.
    When trials come in our lives that we feel are overwhelming, we sometime question God’s existence, I know that I have. But, at the same time, we turn around and say, “Lord, you’re all that I have and I am leaning and depending on you. Please forgive my lack of faith. Help me Lord Jesus.

    Before I became a born-again Christian, I already knew about the Bible and Jesus, but I was living a sinful life. For those who tried to convert me, I always found something wrong with them and did not want to go to church because I felt that the life that they were living was no better than the one I was living. I went to church, because my mom sent me there every Sunday and I loved to sing in the choir. As time progressed and I knew Jesus as my PERSONAL SAVIOR, my total mindset changed. I grew to become very spiritual and often witnessed to those who did not believe.

    I met a wayward person (atheist) who do not believe in the Bible. She said that it was a fairy-tale and that no one can prove God exists nor Jesus. At this point in her life, she still remains where she is, “unbelieving.” She will go to church with anyone who worships Jesus and sit right there and listen to what is being preached. She said that she fully enjoys the message, but will criticize any part of the message that would rebuke the ungodly life that she lives.

    We must worship Jesus in Spirit and in Truth, no matter what or who may come our way to alter what we believe, we must have faith and trust that no matter what we may go through that the Lord has the last say so!

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