“When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.” (Matthew 13:19)
Christians sometimes approach the evangelism of their friends and neighbors as though if they could convice them intellectually, they will have won them. But an insight from Matthew 13:19 shows us otherwise.
Jesus taught here that when someone does not understand the word, the evil one (Satan) “snatches away” the seed of the word which was sown in them. He makes clear that it is not merely that these people “don’t understand” the gospel mentally; rather there is a warfare in the spiritual realm behind it. Satan is stealing the word, and keeping them from believing. The battle is not merely “mental” or “intellectual”, but spiritual.
Thos of us who are engaged in sharing the gospel need to understand this. Logical arguments alone will not “convince” or “win” our loved ones. There is a spiritual battle going on inside them. More than merely attempting to “win an argument”, we need to pray that the grip of the enemy would be released from the soul of the one we care about.
Paul wrote: “Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.” (Romans 10:1) We need to understand there is a spiritual battle going on for hearts and minds, and this needs to fuel our prayers for the God’s Kingdom work in the salvation of our loved ones. Don’t merely try to convince them in their mind — though that does play a role in it — but win the spiritual battle for their heart through intercessory prayer for their salvation.