“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
This passage is greatly overlooked. I came to Jesus clinging to the verse that precedes it. Most people who are turned off by religion almost unanimously mention they want nothing to do with it because of condemnation – in the now coming from people and the afterlife. Knowing this, do you honestly think you can reach them by reiterating to them what already made them reject it in the first place?
Jesus exemplified love to those who were condemned- the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-12 – pay close attention to verse 11) and the disdained – Levi (Matthew 9:9-12) and Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10) the tax collectors. It was showing them that He cared for them and loved them, even when everyone else wanted nothing to do with them. They were showed love and it was love, not condemnation that made converts out of them.
Were you not convicted at the knowledge that someone could possibly love you amidst everything you have done? A person’s encounter with Jesus is different for every person. There is no proven format but one thing I know; it is not the Christian’s job to convict but the Holy Spirit’s. It is the Christian’s job to let people know about the comfort they have received from Jesus at the time when they too, felt unloved.
Can you plainly tell people that Jesus loves them or will you choose to pick up stones instead?