Let me answer this by giving an example of a college student that I met at a secular university who proudly introduced herself as an “ex-Christian.” She had begun to question God after prayers for a cancer-stricken loved one seemed to go unanswered. Often rejection of God comes from a hurting heart. It might be a personal tragedy, trial, or even an encounter with a religious person who was a poor example of Christ or a poor witness.
So how can we be convincing in challenging someone to return to Jesus? The same strategies that are effective when witnessing to the lost apply are effective when witnessing to the wander. In loving and ministering to all people, empathy, discernment, and a listening ear will take the conversation much farther than a data dump of biblical facts.
Strategy 1: Ask questions.
With friendliness and a winsome spirit, try to connect with the person who voices skepticism. Ask questions such as, “Have you always felt this way or did something happen that caused you to change your beliefs?”
Strategy 2: Listen
Listen carefully to the other person’s position, trying to understand the real obstacle to faith. Restate what’s been said so that you are sure you really understand. Try to steer the conversation toward the subject of Jesus, just as the Lord did when talking with the Samaritan woman in John 4:1-26.
Strategy 3: Focus
Stay away from rabbit trails. Ancillary issues can confuse, but they will often fade away when the discussion focuses on Christ.
Strategy 4: Pray
Even as you’re talking, silently pray for the Holy Spirit to be at work in the situation. The person may have someone he/she needs to forgive, or there may be another burden that “colors” the picture. Ask God to open their ears.
Strategy 5: Don’t converse to “win.”
There’s nothing to “win.” The title of a C.S. Lewis book, God in the Dock, implies that people attempt to keep God on the witness stand. They consider the Bible guilty until proven innocent. Some of the more vitriolic say they have come from churches where questions and critical thinking were off limits. This is sad because one of our duties as Christians is to worship God through continual nurture of the intellect (Matthew 22:37; Romans 12:2).
Our goal should never be to win arguments. We are simply called to testify in hopes of convincing skeptics to consider the facts with an open mind and allow the Scripture to vindicate itself under cross-examination.
Most Important: Be Bold. Be Kind. Be Wise.
Share your faith. Tell people about your Jesus in the hope that their ears will be open and they will hear about the Blessed Hope you have and how they can know Him.
Christian apologists Alex McFarland and Shari Abbott answer some of life's many questions concerning the gospel, faith, and the Bible by sharing Truth for a New Generation and Reasons for Hope found only in Jesus. For more information about apologist, evangelist, author, and religion and culture analyst, Alex McFarland, visit www.alexmcfarland.com. For more information about Shari Abbott, executive director of Reasons for Hope* Jesus, click here.
Truth for a New Generation (TNG) serves nationwide, featuring a multi-year conference tour and student-led club program to equip teenagers, parents, grandparents, and others who lead them to live for God. TNG's mission is to creatively communicate a compelling Christian worldview to the next generation by giving answers to tough questions, based on the truths of Scripture, and to build up the Body of Christ to stand strong and boldly proclaim the gospel in the world. For more information and resources visit www.truthforanewgeneration.com.
Jesus is the Reason this Ministry Exists
We continue to reach people worldwide with the truths of God's Word and the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Your generosity is both a blessing and encouragement. Our mission is to glorify God by equipping, encouraging, and empowering YOU to understand the Bible and grow in faith. If our online resources have blessed you, please support Reasons for Hope* Jesus. Our ministry outreach has grown significantly and . . .
Please support Reasons for Hope* Jesus with a donation of $5, $10, $20, or more. A donation of any amount is needed and greatly appreciated.
CLICK TO DONATE
to Reasons for Hope*Jesus(a 501c3 Ministry)
Use a Credit Card or PayPal for safe, secure giving.
***A Hidden Message in Psalm 23?***
Hidden in the six verses of Psalm 23 are 11 names for Jesus. When you subscribe to our newsletter, we’ll send you The Names of God in Psalm 23 PDF that reveals all 11 names and Scripture verses of comfort and hope (link will be sent in your confirmation email).
A Room with a View of Eternity—The Last Will & Testament of Jesus Christ Take a seat at the Master's table. Learn about the riches He gives to all who are His. This book will bless and encourage you, give you hope, and help you live in the joy of your salvation and the riches of Christ that are yours.
The Top Ten Got Questions? in 2021
- The Meaning of NUMBERS in the Bible?
- The Meaning of COLORS in the Bible?
- How are the Shepherd’s ROD and STAFF Different?
- How long did JOB SUFFER?
- What is the Significance of the Wise Men's THREE GIFTS? And were they kings?
- Did The Wise Men Arrive 12 DAYS AFTER JESUS’ BIRTH? Or Was It Much Later?
- Which Old Testament Book Did JESUS QUOTE most often?
- How Did the Wise Men Know This Was the Messiah and KNOW TO FOLLOW HIS STAR?
- Did Jesus Fight Satan to Take Back the KEYS of Death and Hell?
- Was Jesus CRUCIFIED on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?
More Popular Got Questions & Articles
- Is Leonard Cohen’s “HALLELUJAH” a Christian Song?
- How was Jesus Like a Worm? What’s the CRIMSON (OR SCARLET) WORM in Psalm 22?
- What do the 12 stones UNDER the JORDAN River mean? (Joshua 4)
- If BAPTIZED as an Infant, Do I Need to Be Re-Baptized?
- What are the NAMES of JEHOVAH Hidden in Psalm 23?
- How Many MIRACLES Did Jesus Do?
- Where did OT Saints go at death? ABRAHAM'S BOSOM?
- Is Satan’s Real Name LUCIFER?
- Was MARY a LEVITE Making Jesus both a Priest and King?
- What Does It Mean to TASTE & SEE That God Is Good? (Psalm 34)
- What are the “I Will ” STATEMENTS of Satan, God, and Jesus?
- Do ANGELS TAKE US TO HEAVEN When We Die?
- SIN, INIQUITY, TRANSGRESSION? How are they different?
- What Did Jesus Say About HEAVEN (and HELL)?
- Why Was a RAM SACRIFICED in Genesis 22 Instead of a Lamb?
TOP TEN Videos from Reasons for Hope* Jesus
- Memorial Day BAGPIPES TRIBUTE: Amazing Grace
- RISE AND SHINE and Give God the Glory, Glory!
- PAUL HARVEY: THE BIRDCAGE
- WERE YOU THERE When They Crucified My Lord?
- PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: A SOLDIER'S PLEDGE
- JOHN WAYNE ~ WHY I LOVE AMERICA
- Hark! the Herald Angels Sing -- CHARLIE BROWN Christmas
- THE LEGEND OF THE CANDY CANE - A Christmas Story to Share
- Erwin Lutzer - We Will Not Be SILENCED
- Jimmy Stewart - Nativity Scene Prayer: Mr. Krueger's Christmas