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The One Thing Non-Christians Want From Christians

18 May 2013 6 Comments

Hi everyone,

One of the tools we use to reach the lost with the gospel is a little 3 minute survey.  To read the survey, click here

It’s simple to use.  All one does is approach a stranger, invite them to do a survey, and give them a gospel booklet at the end or share the gospel with them verbally.

After doing literally hundreds of these surveys, I have discovered an interesting thing.

heaven 4Non Christians, whether they are atheists, buddhists, hindus, tree huggers, or whatever – they all have one thing in common.

With a few very rare exceptions, they want to know how to be sure of going to heaven when they die.

This truth was again bought home to me yesterday.

I was buying a trailer which was advertised on Trade Me.

Before I made the purchase, I made a pre-purchase inspection a few days before the auction closed.

Naturally, I gave the guy who owned the trailer (Mike) a card. All I said was “oh, by the way, have a look at this.  We just made a video which summarises the central message of the bible in 11 minutes” and gave him the card.

He said (smiling) “sounds interesting” and thrust it into his pocket.  That was it. Very simple. Not confrontational at all.

The subject changed.

Two days later I won the auction and went to pick up the trailer.

I asked Mike (in his 60′s)  if he’d watched the video.

He had.

He said “I’ve been thinking about the stuff in the video for two years now.”

In the discussion that followed, it was obvious he wanted to be sure of going to to be sure of going to heaven at death 3d cover

The conversation ended with me giving him the follow up booklet, “how to be sure of going to heaven when we die”

What are the lessons here? There are seven.

1) Before I met Mike, he’d been thinking about eternity for two years.   Who got him thinking? Answer: God. Through conscience and creation, the Holy Spirit is ‘ploughing’ the hearts of non-Christians, preparing them to hear the gospel.  Many Christians say ‘oh, we can’t reach strangers with  the gospel until we have built a relationship with them’.  This simply isn’t true. Such thinking limits God and denies non-Christians.

2)  Mike had been thinking about eternity for two years before we got to him.  How would he have known how to get to heaven if we hadn’t explained it to hear via the video and the follow up booklet?  Answer: he woudn’t.  Paul makes this point in Romans 10:14-15  He says “How will they hear unless we go? Who will tell them, unless we speak?”.  We have to go, and keep on going until they have all heard and understood the gospel. This is the essence of the Great Commission.

3) Who is going to follow Mike up, and lead him to Christ? If I don’t, the Holy Spirit will.  Many Christians say “oh, if I reach people with the gospel and don’t follow them up, I am being irresponsible.   So I only want to work with one person at a time.”   Mark 4:26-29 teaches that God follows up every seed of the gospel planted.  He is the Lord of the Harvest. So to think that we can only reach one person at a time limits God and denies non-Christians.

4)  Having this conversation with Mike made me feel truly alive. It was the highlight of the day.  Getting a bargain trailer paled into insignificance.  Deep down, most Christians are bored with their Christian lives.  Participation in evangelism is the escape hatch out of Christian boredom and into John 10:10 life.

5) Many groups and churches ‘do’ evangelism on Friday or Saturday night, as a special event.  I have never understood why they do this.  Evangelism, properly understood, is, Biblically, supposed to be done as we go about the course of our ordinary day.   Every time we brush with a non-Christian, this is our opportunity to share the gospel, either by giving out a Bible in 11 card or sharing the gospel verbally.  Mark 16:15 says “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel.” The Greek construction is best translated “As you go.”  If I’d been an ‘evangelism is a special event’ person, Mike would not have heard the gospel because the day I bought the trailer was Friday afternoon, not Friday night.

6) We have to have the tools on us at all time in order to do evangelism. Many Christians start their day with no tools to do TOOLS_logoevangelism on them.   Just as a builder can’t build a house without tools, so no Christian can be effective in evangelism without tools.  Get the tools and make sure you take them where ever you go. When we leave each day with no evangelism tools on us, what are we saying?

7) Mike, like many non-Christians, wanted to know how to go to heaven.  a. I could have lied to him (as happens in most funerals) and told him God loves him, and that he’s a good bloke,  and he’ll be going to heaven for sure.   b. I could have said nothing, and hoped someone else would share the gospel with him.  Chances are, given that only 2% of Christians participate in evangelism, no one would have shared the gospel with him and Mike would have ended in hell   c. I could have said nothing about God, been utterly selfish, grabbed the trailor, paid the money, not brought the conversation around to God, not mentioned God at all, and not given his eternal salvation one itsy bitsy thought i.e. I could have carried out the transaction as a non-Christian would have.

Which one would you have been? a,b, or c?

To be conscious and aware  of the eternal destiny (heaven or hell) of every non-Christian we brush with each day is to be truly Christian.  It’s to be Christ like.  It’s how Jesus was when He was on earth. It’s to love our neighbour as ourself.

It’s to obey the greatest commandment because Jesus said when we obey His commands we are loving him (John 14:21)

With the tools we now have, evangelism has never been easier.

Really, does anyone have a good excuse not to engage in evangelism as they go about their day?

You know the answer…..


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  • Mike Oliver says:

    Hi Julian
    This was the most useful piece I have read so far, i.e. need of assuredness of going to heaven and ploughing.
    I was pastoring a traditional congregation up until last year and many did not believe in heaven or hell. After a couple of years of preaching my last comment was that unlike now in biblical times seed was scattered on the ground first and it was then the plough was put in and that “Now I have sowed – the plough is coming.” I believed this was a word from the Lord and have thought many times since as to what form that ploughing would take. I can just see their thoughts germinating over a season of ploughing. Thanks.

  • Carl says:

    This is perhaps the best succinct summary for why we should ALL be doing personal evangelism I have read! While I do always have some sort of tool in my wallet and in my car so that I am “prepared”, I must admit that it is still so easy to slip into the perhaps unconscious (perhaps not so!)error of thinking “I’m going out to do ‘evangelism’ at the university on Wednesday” and as a result am missing the day to day opportunities that God is giving me.
    Thanks for your Blog which always challenges me – in a good way.
    Bless ya!

  • lelei says:

    awesome statement and very creative.having tools on hand with passion to share Christ will make the jod easier and faster with the Help of the Holy Spirit..thanks and blessed

  • Julian Batchelor says:

    Hi Lelei, I have found the most Christians want to share the gospel but just lack the know how and the tools. With the right tools they can do it and it’s wonderful to see so many liberated and set free from something they have always feared.

  • Julian Batchelor says:

    Hi Carl, thanks mate. Well, it’s just the truth. Thank you too for your passion and love for Jesus to keep on going out there with the gospel. You are a great encouragement.

  • scott says:

    awsome stuff.its so true no tools uor conversation will be as normal as ussual but
    with avengalism tools will be just as normal as it would be.blessed.

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