Question: Is it a waste of time to witness to other religions when the response is so often very hostile, or at the very least completely uninterested?
Answer: Is there any group of people that are easy to witness to? Mormons? Catholics? Muslims? Buddhists? Hindus? Atheists? Agnostics? New-agers? The rich? The poor? The vast majority of conversations I’ve had with people on the street, at work, or anywhere else, are ones where the other party is dogmatically convinced they’re right. But we have to remember that just as they often try to “dominate the conversation,” so do we. We’re often not interested in listening to them, in reasoning with them, we just want them to listen to us.
The Scriptures command us to “earnestly contend for the faith.” Paul illustrated this well by reasoning with the Greeks and Jews in the synagogues every Sabbath (Acts 18:4). No doubt with very hard-headed people; but he did it for love of God and love for the lost. He recognised he too, was once one of those hard-headed, hard-hearted zealots.
Although we often see people coming to Jesus on their own accord that was not always the case (woman at the well, all the apostles, etc.). We however, are commanded to “go and preach the Gospel” (Mark 16:15) not “wait and preach the gospel to those whom come to us (although, even if you held the “God will bring them to me” philosophy it would be difficult to argue against witnessing to those Mormon and Jehovah’s Witness missionaries that come knocking on your door because, well, they ARE coming to you).
People are heard-hearted. I remember well my own arrogance and am often guilty of it still. “They won’t listen” was likely said about us before we came to the Lord. Those showing up at our door, like those that we meet out and about, are no more lost than we were and we need to be as concerned for their souls as we are our own.
Jude 1:3 – “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
Philippians 1:27 – “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;”
Philippians 2:4 – “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”