***DISCLAIMER***The following is far from an exhaustive plot. Instead, it makes a best effort to answer the question.
Recently, someone asked me whether or not he should risk relationships as he spreads the Gospel. What follows is his question followed by my answer.
Whenever I start to talk about the Bible/Christianity, topics of or related to philosophy, or life/high degree questions, my classmates (even close friends) either show no interest or pretend to be interested in a sarcastic way. They think I’m annoying, but I have an obligation to spread the Good News. What should I do? Risk relationships for spreading the gospel or…?
You most certainly have an obligation to spread the Good News. After all, Jesus Christ is the only way by which mankind may be saved (Acts 4:12; John 14:6; Isaiah 43:11). Having said that, you definitely want to spread the Gospel in a non-threatening manner. Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, you may lose relationships as a result of spreading the Gospel.
Are any of your classmates or close friends believers? If they are not believers, please understand that they cannot understand the things of God since the things of God are foolishness to those classmates/close friends (1 Corinthians 2:14). As a result, it would be natural for them to either fake interest and/or become annoyed/sarcastic.
As for spreading the Gospel in a non-threatening manner, you want to emphasize no less than three things. First, be in prayer. Please understand that you cannot change another’s mind about the Gospel. Only the Holy Spirit can do such a thing (Titus 3:1-7).
Second, in an effort to not get accused of shoving religion down the throats of people, you will want to ask questions that can lead into a sharing of the Gospel. If you are simply making a bunch of unprovoked statements pertaining to Christianity, you increase the chances of being accused of shoving religion down the throat of another. Furthermore, you may alienate friends and most definitely destroy relationships. You obviously do not want to do that. A conversation can go like this:
Person: I had a great weekend last weekend.
You: As did I. I had an awesome time at the church I attend. Speaking of church, do you have any spiritual beliefs?
By asking that question, it can engage the person into opening up about any spiritual beliefs he/she has. If they have none, you can reply, “I follow Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world who brings Good News to all. Would you like to hear this?” If the person accepts the invitation, you then have free reign to share the Gospel. Furthermore, the person has no basis for accusing you of shoving religion down the throat of another. If the person declines, please move on to a different matter. While this type of dialogue will be uncomfortable for the person (maybe also yourself), asking questions is a lot less threatening in comparison to making unprovoked statements.
Finally, maintain gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15). The people you witness to are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:25-31). Even if they decline to repent and/or treat you with utter cruelty because of your witnessing, you must continue to be gentle and respectful to them. This is all the more reason to be in prayer as you witness to others.
A good resource for witnessing is a program by an organization known as Wretched.Org. Each Wednesday, the podcast does a “Witness Wednesday.” Ray Comfort (the main evangelizer) and Todd Friel (the main host but more of a supporting evangelizer on these editions of the program) do an amazing job with their Gospel presentations. Comfort asks a lot of questions. You may be able to get some good pointers from a program such as this.
I hope you find this information helpful. May God richly bless you as you continue to witness to others in spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29; 1 Timothy 1:15).