Is it Wrong to Persuade? Some view our insistence in giving and requesting a “book, chapter, and verse” as being argumentative, or pushy. But is it really? Could it not just as easily be called persuasion?
God insisted David give Him a “thus saith the Lord” regarding the topic of building a temple; read 2Sam 7:1-7.
“In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar?”
It’s when we don’t give a “thus saith the Lord” that we’re actually just arguing opinions. Is it wrong to use persuasion?
We use it in just about every other are of our lives…
- People persuade when applying for work.
- People persuade when looking for love.
- People persuade kids to eat their vegetables.
- People persuade to get our kids to do well in school.
We find persuasion used in scripture…
- Stephen used it. “And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.” (Acts 6:10)
- Certainly, Peter used it; “And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” (Acts 2:40)
- Naaman’s servants had to use it. They couldn’t command him to dip in the Jordan. “And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?” (2Kings 5:13)
What is Persuasion?
- It’s Persistence. Someone once said they’re not convinced of Hell because believers aren’t very persistent in their warnings about it.
- It’s continuing to study with a sinner (who is willing to study) until they understand the importance of the gospel. (Acts 17:11; cf. Mat 15:14)
- It’s showing the sinner about the Love of the Lord and their response to His love. “Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” (Acts 26:28)
- It’s showing the sinner about the perils of ignoring the gospel. (Acts 24:25)
- It’s showing them that it does matter what one believes. “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” (John 8:24)
- It’s helping them see the wisdom in choosing to obey the Lord. “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15)
- It’s showing the sinner about the urgency in obeying the gospel. (Acts 16:30-34)
- It is helping the sinner realize the frailty of life (Jas 4:14).
- It is convincing the lost that there is a desperate need. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
Persuasion is NOT.
- Manipulation, which is using unfair or deceitful means to accomplish our own purpose. (2Cor 11:3-4)
- It is not force or coercion. One convinced against their will is of the same opinion still. “… for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.” (John 9:22)
- It is not steamrolling nor threatening another person into submission. (Acts 4:21; 19:34)
- It is not badgering nor mocking another person. (Acts 17:32)
- It is not arguing out of anger. (Acts 7:57)
Persuasion is just good old-fashioned evangelism from a fully convinced child of God who loves his family, friends, and neighbors enough to share with them the Good News of Jesus Christ.