I can relate to this question, for several days a week I go “door-to-door” with gospel tracts to present the gospel of Jesus Christ to whoever will listen to me. I have met many “strong-minded persons” who have “laughed at me when I bring up the gospel.” I never know what kind of person I will meet behind each door but I pray (at the beginning of each day and even during the day as I walk from house to house) that I will be a good witness, not only in the “words that I speak,” but also in “the manner in which I present the gospel.” I specifically pray for the following (and I trust this will help you as you approach the lost with the gospel).

LOVE: In Ephesians 6:14 we are exhorted to be “speaking the truth in love.” The words “speaking the truth” means “manifesting the truth” and thus the Word of God teaches us to be “manifesting the truth in love.” As we approach a lost soul, we should want to represent our Savior. He always approached souls in love as He presented the truth to them and so should we.

PATIENCE & HUMILITY: We read of this in 2nd Timothy 2:24-25, “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be GENTLE to all, able to teach, PATIENT, in HUMILITY correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth.” The last thing we want to do is ARGUE with souls, which is the result of PRIDE. We need to be controlled by the Spirit of God who will give us the power to manifest Christ to them by manifesting the “fruit of the Spirit” which is “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). We want to “win a soul to Christ” instead of trying to “win an argument.” If we do meet a strong-minded person who laughs at us as he opposes the truth, our very “manifestation of Christ” through the Spirit may help to calm him down and to give ear to the truth of salvation through Christ. If he does, then the Spirit may bring home to his heart the truth of his lost condition and the way of salvation, and cause him to “repent and believe the gospel.”

BOLDNESS: In Ephesians 6:19-20 the apostle Paul asked the saints to pray for him “that utterance may be given to me, that I may OPEN MY MOUTH BOLDLY to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I MAY SPEAK BOLDLY, as I ought to speak.” I am sure Paul, who was in prison “for preaching the gospel,” met with fierce opposition from “strong-minded people,” especially the Roman authorities and prison guards who hated Christians. Yet Paul asked for prayer to SPEAK BOLDLY; the very thing that landed him in jail! His heart was filled with love for lost souls and he knew that they needed Christ, thus he was willing to suffer in order to win souls for Christ. We know that his prayers were being answered for he did indeed win souls to Christ, even among those who served Caesar. We see this in his greetings to the saints in Philippi in Philippians 4:21-22, “Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. All the saints greet you, BUT ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO ARE OF CAESAR’S HOUSEHOLD.”

DISCERNMENT: Finally, we need the ability to DISCERN if the person we are speaking to is being affected at all by the truth we are presenting to them. The Lord Jesus serves as the Perfect Example of discerning the hearts of His listeners and if He knew they were willing to listen, He continued to give them the truth (as we see in His witnessing to Nicodemus in John 3, the woman at the well in John 4, and the blind man in John 9). If He discerned they were not open to the truth He sometimes tried to convict them (John 8:1-9) or He would (in love) rebuke them (Matthew 23). At other times, when their wickedness and opposition to the gospel was so great, He would simply walk away from them (Luke 4:28-30). In these cases, He has exhorted believers with these words, “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces” (Matthew 7:6). Here is what William MacDonald says about the verse in his Believer’s Bible Commentary: “Verse 6 proves that Jesus did not intend to forbid every kind of judgment. He warned His disciples not to give holy things to dogs or to cast pearls before swine. Under the Mosaic Law dogs and swine were unclean animals and here the terms are used to depict wicked people. When we meet vicious people who treat divine truths with utter contempt and respond to our preaching of the claims of Christ with abuse and violence, we are not obligated to continue to share the gospel with them. To press the matter only brings increased condemnation to the offenders. Needless to say, it requires SPIRITUAL PERCEPTION TO DISCERN THESE PEOPLE.”  (DO)  (540.1)