Our God is a sovereign God. He is our creator, He is our comforter, He is our Savior. How do we know this for sure, and how do we know this well enough to spread His message effectively? My response is very easy for me. I know, because He rescued me from the clutch of death and gave me a life that I would not have known apart from Him. This is a very stock answer for most members of the church, and I am grateful to be able to share testimonies within the fellowship of the church. How do we take our message to the masses of the lost? Most of the time our testimony, by itself, will not be enough to convict the heart of those who want an answer. I wish first-hand experience was enough, but that would be too easy would it not? We have to use the convicting power of the Word to show the truth. Let us look at some common practices that have seemed to work when we minister to those who want answers.
First of all, I think it is very important not to try to be someone’s holy spirit. Let the Holy Spirit do its work. For example: When someone asks you if only the followers of Christ will make it to heaven, show them John 14:6, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. It is important that we draw a line between instruction and condemning. It does us no good to condemn the non-believer. (It actually does nothing but harm.) It is much more Christ-like to plant a seed and pray for its growth.
At this point, there is no need to tell them that they are wrong. Consistency is good, but forcefulness tends to make us seem like a know-it-all. Let the Holy Spirit take over. He will guide them to the truth. If we sow a good seed of truth it will flourish and there is no better truth than the Word of God.
KNOW YOUR SCRIPTURE
The Word gives us all the tools that a Christian would need in order to convict the heart of the sinner. Let us turn our Bibles to the book of Psalms, chapter twenty-two. The words spoken by Christ, My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?… All those who see Me ridicule Me… I can count all my bones… They divide my garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots… But You, O Lord, do not be far from Me; You have answered me… Psalm 22:1-21 (NKJV)
Does this account of events look familiar? Of course it does! This is the story of the crucifixion. Notice again what book the scriptures were taken from… This is a powerful tool of conviction for a non-believer. This focuses on the blood of Jesus, and how we were bought with a price around six-hundred years before the event took place. Old Testament prophecy is interesting because it sheds light on the age old question: Does God really exist? Of course this particular passage also applies to those who have been “raised in church” and have fallen away. There are several specific prophecies from Jonah 1:17 to Psalm 8:5-6 that anyone with a slight biblical background could relate to and thus be opened up to a new world of faith structuring.
KNOW THE ENEMY’S ARGUMENT
When we approach the skeptics that have never darkened the doors of the house of worship, another approach that has proved useful is Christian apologetics. By definition, apologetics is the use of reasoning to defend our faith. For instance when someone asks, “Couldn’t God have used evolution?” The answer for any Bible-believing Christian would be no, but how do we go about defending our stance about this issue? The first defense is to learn the enemy’s playbook. The more one learns about evolution the more your mind is opened to the holes of the theory. Second, relate it to the cross. If God did cause evolution, He would have undermined the origin of sin. Death came into this world by the act of Adam eating fruit from the tree of knowledge. If there were millions of years of evolution before that action, there would have been death and suffering also. This makes the origin of sin a lie. Since it cannot be a lie, evolution cannot be true. Did Jesus die for a lie or for us to have freedom from Sin? Remember that God is sovereign and all scripture was given to us by the inspiration of God. Read it and believe it. This only scratches the surface of how far one can take the evolution vs. creation topic.
It is important for us to know about the things that are being taught to our kids and young adults in the public school as well as the Sunday school classrooms. The more knowledge we can have on a topic of confusion the more we can lead someone out of that confusion into the truth. Truth cannot be accurately presented if it is not obtained from scripture. The enemy has a habit of leading us from the truth. We tend to apply science to the Bible as opposed to applying the Bible to science. With a topic such as the origin of species, if we start with the Word, we will get two different theories that have the same results. A newspaper article is too small to elaborate on this subject, but I urge you to do your own research. The subject of evolution is very vast and very heretical. This is why we must make an effort to learn more about it. This isn’t dangerous if you already faithfully, hold on to a Biblical world view.
Strongholds usually do not change overnight. Some do, most do not. We must be kind with our words. Don’t get offended that others believe differently than you do. This is not how Jesus would want us to act. Embrace your fellow man as a student of the truth and a brother or sister. Overcoming a false reality that consumes much of the world today is a heavy task to undertake as students or teachers. This is why we must turn to the scriptures so that we can be guided in the right direction.
Do I feel like we have to have a logical answer for all that we believe? No. Do I feel like we have a duty to effectively defend our faith? Absolutely! Faith is worth a strong defense. In the information age there are many different resources at our disposal. The Bible tells us that study is crucial to God’s approval. “Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 (AKJV)
A self-justified world view is represented by the excuses made by the individual that is trying to explain their actions. Justifying one’s selfish desires is very common amongst the lost. Backbiting and hatred of our fellow man often finds its roots in the selfishness known as pride. The sum of the whole act is often explained by an excuse. We can make excuses for our actions all we want, but we haven’t excused anything. As Christians we should not need to use excuses; we have God’s word to direct us. God’s word is our manual for life. When we are in question, we must always check the manual. Colossians 1:28 tells us, Him we preach, warning every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
-Peace be with you