In Luke 4:34, Jesus came down to Capernaum and there was a man in the synagogue possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, “Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? Does art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.” Just like these demons, many who hear the gospel say, “Let us alone.” We are going to examine five reasons why people say, “Let us alone” and examine how we may effectively refute these excuses.
Because They Are Afraid
The rulers were afraid of what the people would say or think about their belief in Jesus (Matthew 21:46; John 12:42-43), as well as what the people would do (John 9:22). The disciples were afraid to ask Jesus concerning His teaching because they had a lack of faith and understanding (Luke 9:45). Likewise, we may be afraid that the needed change in our life will be too drastic. Or perhaps someone is afraid to question the beliefs that they have held all their lives. Underlying this excuse is usually a fear of persecution. Exhort them that a Christian will undergo persecution as a natural result of obeying the gospel (Matthew 5:11-12; 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 4:16). It may be that they need to know that God will help them live a faithful life in Christ.
Because They Are Indifferent
The chief priests were indifferent because of their own sins (Matthew 27:3-4). The church at Laodicea was indifferent because they were rich (Revelation 3:14-17). The scoffers were indifferent because of ignorance and a lack of faith (2 Peter 3:3-4). Would God dare to punish some of us because we do not have the burning zeal we should? Try to find the reason for the person’s indifference. Once found, persuade the person to consider studying further. Another suggestion would be to find a subject with which the person is not indifferent (i.e. death). Ask your prospect, “Don’t you think it’s important to prepare for death? Why don’t we talk about how to prepare?” This may give you the chance to start a good discussion.
Because They Are Ignorant
The people of the Gadarenes begged Jesus to leave (Matthew 8:34). Would they have done so if they were not ignorant of who He was? Some ignorance is willful. The mockers of the judgment day remained in their ignorance (2 Peter 3:5-10). Ignorance is still wrong (1 Timothy 1:12, 16). This objection can readily be answered. The plan of salvation is not that difficult to discuss and is not that difficult to understand. It may be that a simple restatement of the facts will be enough to overcome this objection.
Because They Think the Cost Is Too Great
Jesus expects us to count the cost of discipleship (Luke 14:25-33). It can cost money and time (Matthew 19:20-22; 1 Timothy 6:6-10; Matthew 13:22). Being a disciple can also cost friendships and families (Matthew 10:34-39). Some think the cost is too high. They want to wait until there is less to give up or lose before obeying the gospel. Like the previous objection concerning fear, this person assumes that obeying the gospel will cost so much that without the Lord’s help he cannot endure. Assure them that not only will the Lord help, but their fellow Christians will give them support as they try to live faithfully in Christ.
Because They Are Satisfied
It’s sad to say, but some people simply believe they have no need for spiritual matters. The Jews at Antioch of Pisidia were satisfied in their religion without Christ (Acts 13:45-48). The Athenians were also satisfied in their rank idolatry (Acts 17:18, 32). Anything else is a perversion and will not save (Galatians 1:6-9). The church at Berea was not satisfied with their belief unless it could be proven by the scriptures (Acts 17:11). You may ask the person if they are trying to constantly improve their lives in other ways (losing weight, reading more, etc.). If they answer yes, ask “Don’t you think it’s important to improve spiritually?” Jesus never tried to satisfy Himself, but His Father in heaven (John 5:30).
Many people feel they are better off being left alone. They don’t have to worry about answering questions. They do not have to challenge ideas which they may have accepted all their life. They do not have to think or make any effort. They do not have to make a change. However, we know that we will not want to be left alone. In difficult times, we need someone to hold on to. In the hour of our departure from this life, Christ, who has walked this dark path ahead of us, can lead us safely through the way.