Have you ever been frustrated by the fact that someone will not respond to you when you try to teach them Christ. Sometimes you just want to give up don’t you? Let me encourage you, please don’t throw in the towel. You don’t know who or what will turn someone to Christ. To prove this point let’s look at the Christians at Ephesus and let’s imagine that we able to go back and ask them, “Why are you a Christian?” what do you think their responses would be? Let’s take a look.
An elderly man would be the first to raise his hand and say he was a Christian because he was in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost and he heard the fiery tongue Peter preaching Jesus and he believed (Act 2:5-41). With a twinkle in his eye he would say, “Let me tell ya… that boy could preach!”
Several others would say that he was a Christian because he had heard smooth talking Apollos preached Jesus and they believed (Act 18:18-28). “That man” they would say “knew his bible frontwards and backwards and he always knew just what to say and how to say it.”
A dozen or so would say that they were a Christian because they had heard and heeded the warnings of the wilderness preacher John (Act 19:1-5). “He was an odd fella, but he spoke the truth and we believed it.”
A middle-aged couple with a pew full of kids would say that they were Christians because they had been taught by the apostle Paul and heard him preach and they believed (Act 19:26). “Now sometimes what he said was hard to understand (2 Pet 3:16), but if you’ll really listened and search the scriptures you find it to be true.”
A few older sisters would say they were Christians because they had been taught the sound doctrine of truth by young Timothy (1 Tim 1:3, 10, 4:12). With fondness they would recall how he was so tenderhearted (2 Tim 1:4) and was always an “example to the believers” (1 Tim 4:12).
A man would stand up and say he was a Christian because of the conduct of his godly wife (1 Pet 1:1, 3:1). With a lump in his throat and tears in his eyes he would say “I use to be so mean to her. I would make fun of her for being a Christian. I would try to keep her from meeting with the saints but she kept on being faithful and that impressed me so I thought that if it really meant that much to her then I need to believe to.”
And on the back pew a man would say that he was a Christian because he saw Sceva’s seven naked sons running through the streets of Ephesus naked (Acts 19:13-18). With great excitement he would say, “When I saw those boys running around with no clothes on I just had to find out what happened. And when I did well I became fearful and went and confessed my sins.”
The believers at Ephesus came to the truth because of the efforts of different people and because of very different events. While some came Christ in the “conventional” way, through preaching; others came to Christ because of “unconventional” ways, through someone’s example of faithfulness and the near comical.
As we seek to bring people to faith, let’s realize that while we present the same gospel to all, different people need different approaches (and some times different people to teach them). So don’t give up if someone is not responding to your approach of presenting the gospel. Keep praying, keep teaching, bring someone else along to help and by God’s grace they will see the light.