Should Evangelists “Close the Deal”? Part 1


This helpful article is from the blog, “Defending. Contending.”  Read part 2 of this series by clicking here.

Lately during really good witnessing encounters the question about what to do with someone who appears really remorseful over his or her sin has resurfaced for me. The other person who was witnessing with me took this as an opportunity to try to close the deal. Though this individual thankfully doesn’t subscribe to the sinner’s prayer nonsense, she wanted the person to pray a prayer of salvation from the heart. If the individual hesitated, she attempted to push him or her a little bit to go ahead and make a decision for Christ.

I’ve had trouble putting my finger on why this bothered me. Everything she was saying was technically true. Today is the day of salvation, and anyone can die at any time. However, it seemed she was coming off as a salesperson trying to convince a reluctant prospect.

As always the question to ask in evangelism is: “What did Jesus and the apostles do?” Read the rest by clicking here.


  1. In my experience you all come off as salesman. More importantly you can’t even show what product you are selling. That is exactly the point I typically make about evangelists. I wouldn’t buy a vaccum from someone who kept telling me how great the vaccum was, how much I needed it, and how bad things would happen to me if I didn’t buy the vaccum…but would never actually show me the vaccum or even prove that he had one.

    Worse still most of them tell me if I just have faith in the vaccum cleaner and buy it, then I will be able to see it. Just crazy.

  2. I believe its legitimate to ask the question if someone is under conviction of the Holy Spirit for their sins. Its not “closing the deal” but a sincere leading.
    For veteran evangelists , one can sense the right and sensitive moment to ask if they want to now be saved.

    Some are ready for harvest, some still need watering!

  3. Like the saying goes,

    “You can lead a jackass* to water but you can’t make him drink.”

    *jackass is a male donkey

    • It’s “horse”, not “jackass”.

      But I don’t understand your point. Would you please clarify it?

      • I thought the proverb was pretty self-explanatory. A jackass is an incorrigible and obstinate creature. You can’t make it drink if it doesn’t want to. Drinking is a metaphor for accepting something.

        I agree with what Beth Renee said below.

        You can share the Gospel with an atheist, you can read the Gospel to an atheist, you can explain the Gospel to an atheist but you can’t force the atheist to believe the Gospel. Jesus Christ is the “Living Water”. You must accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and your Savior in order to be forgiven for your sins, saved from the punishment that you deserve and receive the gift of eternal life.

      • So, I’m confused, Schmader.

        You talk about the jackass being an incorrigible and obstinate creature, which would be you, or the evangelist, in this proverb.

        So, shouldn’t it be, “a jackass can lead a horse to water, but can’t make him drink, especially if he’s pointing at a rock and calling it water, and doesn’t even understand how we determine that something is water and not a rock, and makes stuff up and does failed mind-reading”, right?


      • Schmader, my point is that you call people obstinate and incorrigible, but here’s my question:

        Is it possible that your belief about the existence of God is wrong?

        I admit that I can be wrong about this issue. Can you? What methodology would you use to determine this?

        So, who really is “incorrigible and obstinate” here?

      • I have ruled out the possibility that God does not exist and so should you. When the Holy Spirit enters your heart you will know. Pray to God that he will send His Spirit into your heart and you will have your answer.

      • Hi Schmader,

        You wrote: “I have ruled out the possibility that God does not exist

        For my own curiosity, please explain the methodology you used to arrive at this.

        Also, would you claim that you cannot be wrong about this issue?

      • Hi Schmader,

        I apologize for not responding to the part of your comment where you wrote: “Pray to God that he will send His Spirit into your heart and you will have your answer.

        I have done that, and nothing happened.

        Just for my own curiosity, have you ever prayed to Allah?

    • Simple, yet accurate metaphor.

      The jackass is a stubborn willful creature much like the hardened unsaved atheist. You can lead the unsaved to Jesus but they have to make up their own mind to receive the gift of salvation. You can’t force the jackass to drink and you can’t force the atheist to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

      • Well, in your analogy, you’ve led us (the damn, rotten atheist) to the desert, and said “See that sand? That’s water. Drink it”

        You’re hallucinating.

      • It is sad that all Christians have are insults and unsupported assertions. I can not imagine how someone could live like that.

      • “Donkeys have a notorious reputation for stubbornness, but this has been attributed to a much stronger sense of “self preservation” than exhibited by horses.”

        “…it is considerably more difficult to force or frighten a donkey into doing something it perceives to be dangerous for whatever reason. Once a person has earned their confidence they can be willing and companionable partners and very dependable in work”

        “Although formal studies of their behaviour and cognition are rather limited, donkeys appear to be quite intelligent, cautious, friendly, playful, and eager to learn.”

        This is from Wiki. I am fine with being a Jackass.

    • lol Shcmader.

      Nohm is correct, the proverb is about a horse. Your paraphrase is more… colorful 😉

    • Beth Renee and Schmader nailed it!!!

  4. I think that “closing the deal” lies beyond the scope of the evangelist’s job. The evangelist serves as a messenger that proclaims the Gospel. Making someone repeat a phrase or make a promise is empty if that individual doesn’t believe what they are saying. We aren’t saved by some sort of incantation. Some people would say that we have to make a decision. Other people might say that God is the One that is helping us or making us to decide. Maybe it is a part God and part us. Either way, it is not the evangelist that closes the deal.

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