In a world of "whatever works for you," many Christians who have boldly shared their faith faced different kinds of rejection of persecution. One of the more common rejections faced is the idea that Christians are "forcing their convictions" on other people.
Have you ever experienced that kind of rejection, with people telling you to leave them alone? Or been put off sharing your testimony because you fear that kind of response? If you have, I want to encourage you.
When pushing convictions matter
Truth be told, the Bible did tell us to strive hard to be at peace with everybody (see Romans 12:18). While that means not harboring any ill-will towards another person, whether it is a fellow believer or not, it does not mean we should be apathetic and indifferent towards them (see 1 Samuel 12:23) or sharing our testimony with them.
But does that mean we should force our convictions on others? Before I answer that, let me establish a few things first.
We all know that those who aren't in Christ are doomed to eternal death.
All who are trusting in Christ for their salvation know that salvation comes by no other name and no other way (see Acts 4:12; John 14:6). All who believe in Christ know that they are saved, and all who do not believe are already condemned to death (see John 3:16-18; Mark 16:16) . Harsh? Well, the Bible is plain black-and-white in this issue. So think about it: it's worse if we don't share the life-saving truth with them, even if we share it imperfectly.
We all know that as Christ-followers, we are commanded by Christ Jesus to preach the Gospel to all men.
All who have believed in Christ have a sacred duty to spread - and defend - the truth of the Good News of Christ (see Matthew 28-18-20; Mark 16:15-18). It's a divine duty that requires divine empowerment to be done. And when done faithfully, the result is the salvation of those who respond rightly, and the consequent return of the Lord Jesus Christ (see Matthew 24:14; Mark 13:10). Glorious, right?
Those who don't do as told, however, are simply disobeying Christ. It's that simple. Sometimes, we have to drop all of our assumptions and fears, and just speak. The rest is up to God.
We all know that we will be rejected by men, but we do it because God loves them anyway.
Christ the Lord did say that if the world hated Him, the world will hate us who follow Him (see John 15:18-21). Does that mean we should back out from preaching the Gospel? No it doesn't. Does that mean we shouldn't "force" our convictions on others? No, we're not forcing them to follow our convictions.
We're pleading with them to be reconciled with God (see 2 Corinthians 5:20). So sharing the truth is an act of love. Of course, we need to be sensitive to the listener - and we need to fear Jesus' rebuke to the Pharisees, lest we be Pharisees ourselves. But the point here is this: sometimes speaking up is necessary for the sake of saving that person's soul. The worst that can happen is that they get offended and don't like us any more (hopefully that won't happen if we share our message appropriately); the best that can happen is that they come to Jesus.
A loving appeal
Brothers and sisters, don't be discouraged from sharing your faith in God with another despite the possible backlash and rejection. We don't force them to cast off their beliefs and follow us – we plead with them to come back to God who loves them in repentance.
Christ paid a dear price for all the unsaved to be saved, and for the saved to keep talking about what He has done. It's but right we preach the Gospel no matter what others say.