What you have to do is to take time with him, to make friends with him, to get alongside him, to find out where he is in terms of spiritual understanding, and to start dealing with him at that point. You have to explain the gospel to him, and be sure that he understands it and is convinced of its truth, before you start pressing him to an active response. You have to be ready to help him, if need be, through a spell of seeking to repent and believe before he knows within himself that he has received Christ, and Christ has received him. At each stage you have to be willing to go along with him at God’s speed, which may seem to you a strangely slow speed. But that is God’s business, not yours. Your business is simply to keep pace with what God is doing in his life. Your willingness to be patient with him in this way is the proof of your love of him no less than of your faith in God. If you are not willing thus to be patient, you need not expect that God will favor you by enabling you to win souls.
–Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J. I. Packer
This really brings up a question I think about a lot. When do you give up on someone? When are they no longer worth your time? I do not know that there should ever come a time when they are not worth it. “I know I say I’m a Christian and that I do not want people to go to hell but you are just not worth the effort so good luck with eternity in hell.” That just doesn’t sit right with my soul.
Except there are people who we want to do that with. People we would rather throw in the trash than suffer through, in a hope that God saves them from an eternity in hell. Sadly there are people we have already abandoned to that fate.