Question: How should I share the gospel with an atheist? So I was saved about two years ago from, well, atheism, and I have a pretty atheistic family. And so I’ve been trying to share the gospel with them. Ever since I was saved. And just finally, recently, I’m engaged in a conversation with my sister, and she’s wanting to get into a discussion about evidence and I’m just curious if you guys can touch on should I engage in that or not? And if not, at what point do you draw the line and you know, I’ve listened to sermons on not casting your pearls before swine and just kind of lost as to where to go from here.
Paul: Any sincere question, any sincere, genuine question deserves a sincere answer but know this, that all the answers from science, culture, whatever it’s not going to convert her it’s going to be the gospel. Always go to the gospel, the gospel.
Let me give an example. There’s a brother I know in the mountains of Peru. He was pagan Catholic which is as many of you know, in Latin America. It’s a mixture of paganism and Catholicism. The whole village was one day a little man, unimpressive, came in there and shared a gospel message. Immediately this man believed the next day the whole village got together and they were going to it’s a thing they will do for punishment. They were going to bathe him in boiling water. if he didn’t recant. Now, I want you to think about something. He hears a message that contradicts his entire tribe, his entire village of people. He hears it from a little unimpressive, poor man who only stammer, only shares the gospel for 30 minutes. Yet in that moment, he comes to believe that Jesus is the Christ resurrected from the dead. And salvation is by faith. He never read “Evidence That Demands a Verdict”. Knows nothing about Vantilian apologetics, no reasons to believe, were given to him nothing about who moved the stone. There was there was nothing. It was the gospel message. How is it that with that small thing, he’s now willing to die for his faith? I think John Calvin, one of his greatest contributions in theology, was to answer that question, using Scripture that it was the work of the spirit of God, testifying to the truth of the message, illuminating his heart and regenerating him.
So that should be your concentration speaking forth the gospel, demonstrating the gospel to your family, which means if you try to share with them and they say, no, do not badger them, do not give them a reason to say, “Look what he’s become a fanatical person who just badgers us and judges us know, seek to share the gospel with him.” If they say We don’t want to hear it, stop and serve them and love them and bless them. Not in a way in which you’re trying to draw attention to yourself, but out of a sincere heart. If she has an honest question, like, what about evolution? You can answer that question, but not thinking that by answering all her questions, you’re going to bring her to Christ. It is the power of the gospel. It is always the power of the gospel. And I love what Spurgeon and others have said. You know, with the Scriptures, you don’t have to defend the Scriptures any more than you have to defend a lion and let him out of the cage. he’ll defend himself.
Let me give you one other example. I remember I was on a plane having a wonderful conversation with this unbelieving man. And then I said, “Can I take the next few minutes and share with you the gospel, my faith?” And he turned in just one moment, I mean, into, no, I don’t want to hear anything about your religion. Now, if I was really zealous, I would have kept going, right? And I said, OK, now, what was it you were saying about your sister? Oh, and I kept talking with him. I kept serving him. And you know what happened? He got up. Now, if I would have badgered him, what would he have done? He’d have got off the plane, got his bags, met with his other friends at the bar there during the layover and said, I was badgered by one of those fanatical evangelicals gosh, it was horrible. I’m glad I got off that plane. But because I didn’t do that, he got up before me. He was actually sitting on this side. He got up in the aisle. He got his bag, was getting ready to leave. I was still here. And he took one step and he stopped and he turned around. He said, I am so sorry. I’m so sorry. I had no reason to be that way with you. Do you see and you want to. We have a lot of college students, and one of the things I always have to tell him, look, you’ve been converted and now you’re saying to me, you don’t your parents have gone to church for 25 years and you don’t think they’re Christians and everything. Let’s talk about how you’re going to act when you get home. You are going to not come in there like some zealot. You are going to come in there and share your faith. Mom, Dad, look at this. What happened? And then you’re going to serve them, humble yourself before them, be more obedient than they could ever imagine you would be. And they’re going to start asking you. Tell us more about this faith of yours.