Q & A – How do I prove God exists to an atheist?

 

 

 

Subject: Conversation between an atheist & a born-again Christian

 

Hello Craig,


I need some help.  There is this guy on the Internet and we’re all
talking about God.  He says he is atheist.  What can I do or say to him
to prove there is a God?  It would be Great to lead him to God!  Just
wondered what you could tell me...

 

Serving God in spirit & truth,

 

Austin

 

 

Craig’s Reply & Answers to Austin’s Questions

 

 

Dear Austin~

 

First, I’d like to commend you for reaching out to the lost, something that too few born-again Christians are willing to do.  Keep up the good work brother, and always water the seeds you plant in someone’s heart with prayer, and love. 

 

Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the uncompromisingly righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise captures human lives for God, as a fisher of men — he gathers and receives them for eternity. [Matthew 4:19; 1 Corinthians 9:19; James 5:20.]  Amplified Bible

 

There’s an underlying principal I consider as key to sharing the gospel with anyone, unbeliever or believer, and I will quote it from scripture, since God’s word always does a much better job than I am able to J.

 

Colossians 4:5-6 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.  New International Version

 

Your conversation with the atheist must always be full of grace and, “seasoned,” with, “salt.”  In biblical times, salt served many functions, however, just as it does today, this basic mineral was used to enhance the natural flavors in a variety of cooked foods and to preserve dried meats, such as fish, which could then be used well into the future, or shipped further inland.

 

When you are sharing your faith with anyone; just as you would season food to bring out its flavor for enjoyment, so too, God’s word admonishes us to season our words with grace Austin; this includes the guy who claims he is an atheist.  Salt brings out the best in the natural flavors that are inherent to certain food dishes, but if you add too much salt, what happens?  The overuse of salt makes the food tasteless and downright nasty and it must therefore be discarded. 

 

Therefore, use only that amount of grace, or ability, that God gives to you and don’t try to add more than is needful, being courteous, respectful, and seeking to bring out the best in this person, as you share the gospel with him.  Bring out the good flavors inside of him by appealing to whatever position views of faith he has, instead of over-salting him with Christian rhetoric about how great it is to be saved.  

 

Don’t just talk about your faith; instead, try your best to focus attention on his or her life, asking questions in a genuine attempt to sympathize and understand where he or she is coming from.  Try to find out why they resent God and be reassuring and tender in your mannerisms.  Use your words to preserve the integrity of whomever you speak with; make sure they are given the same respect, as you want others to show to you.

 

1 Peter 3:15b “Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy.” (The Message Bible by Eugene Peterson 2002)

 

I do not believe it is possible to, “prove,” whether or not God exists, whether to the atheist, or to anyone else for that matter.  We can present factual evidence for the unbeliever to weigh and consider as a part of the process necessary to develop his or her individual faith, but we simply cannot, “prove,” there is a God because we are not God.  What I mean is this: God will prove Himself to each and every person that takes his or her first step of faith; God tailors the inner, ‘spiritual witness’ that He feels is best suited and  unique to each individual, and therefore HE is the ultimate, “proof,” of Himself and His existence.

 

Please don’t misunderstand me; I believe in research, documentation, and providing solid reasons and logic for the Christian faith.  There are plenty of scientific facts available, which clearly point in the direction of Intelligent Design for the earth and its solar system.  My wife and I have an extensive library, which contains a great deal of fact-based information, including archaeological discoveries that corroborate the authenticity of the peoples of the Old Testament and New Testament, modern scientific data, and other materials that reasonably lay forth a valid argument for the existence of a God.  However, having once been a avowed atheist, and then after that, being an avowed agnostic, I can vouch by personal experience, that no amount of factual data, large or small, will ever, “prove,” there is a God to anyone unless they are truly seeking Him.

 

This does not mean a Christian should stop reading books, scripture, or gathering information to use in the course of conversations, and thereby validate the credibility of his or her own personal faith.  By its very nature and definition, faith, is not something attained by mere intellectual endeavor.

 

Hebrews 11:1,3,6 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see 3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible 6 And without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.  New International Version

 

Hebrews 11:1,3 & 6 is a fundamental description of faith that EVERY Christian should take it to heart the contents of this scripture passage.  Look at verse six, “And without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”  Faith is the prerequisite for, “everyone,” that wants proof, and further, by this definition, to have faith means a person MUST believe that God exists.

 

In Hebrews 11:1, faith is described as being, “sure,” of what you, “hope for,” and being, “certain,” you, “do not see.”  To the unbeliever, this paradox is an irreconcilable contradiction and utter nonsense.  But God in His infinite wisdom has made it so that Christ crucified is foolishness the wise man and philosopher of this earth.  Throughout the ages, He has always honored faith and as living, “proof,” of His very existence.  He steadfastly rewards that same faith by providing every woman and man of God with an inward SPIRITUAL assurance.  The scripture text below describes the inner confidence imparted by God’s spirit thru the redemption and salvation in Jesus Christ.

 

Hebrews 10:12-23 But this man {Jesus}, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, took his seat at God’s right hand; from that time offering no more sacrifice, but waiting until, “his enemies be made his footstool.”  For by virtue of that one offering he has perfected for all time every one whom he makes holy.  The Spirit himself endorses this truth for us, when he says, ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them After those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws on their heart, and upon their mind also will I write them.’  And then, he adds: ‘and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.’  Where God grants remission of sin there can be no question of making further atonement.  So, by virtue of the blood of Jesus, you and I, my brothers, may now have confidence to enter the holy place by a fresh and living way which he has opened up for us by himself passing through the curtain, that is, his own human nature.  Further, since we have a great High Priest set over the household of God, let us draw near with true hearts and fullest confidence, knowing that our inmost souls have been purified by the sprinkling of his blood Just as our bodies are cleansed by the washing of clean water. 23  In this confidence let us hold on to the hope that we profess without the slightest hesitation––for he is utterly dependable––and” (Hebrews 10:12-23 Philips)

 

Unless a person expresses the willingness to believe, any attempt by the well-intentioned Christian to bombard them with scientific facts is futile, and can often be destructive.  If you go looking for raw data, and all kinds of head knowledge to prove your point, you may be right, and you may even win the argument, but in the end, you’ll lose an opportunity to win a soul.  There are a few basic considerations to reflect upon here:

 

L       PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!  Prayer is asking God for help; prayer is leaning on His knowledge and HIS wisdom, not our own.  We are only human vessels, but we’re the Designers handiwork, and He uses us when we get out of the way.

 

L       BE HUMBLE.  Share your own faults & struggles; explain how God thru Jesus Christ helps you to cope with life every day.

 

L       BE REAL; don’t get ‘preachy’ and don’t talk ‘at’ the person.

 

L       RECOGNIZE YOUR ROLE; not everyone is called to lead someone directly to God thru Christ.  Many seeds need to be planted.  Hard ground needs to be tilled, and any large rocks of unbelief, cynicism, etc, have to be carefully removed before the seeds can be effectively planted to yield a crop.  This point is perhaps the most important, and the one most Christians do not understand because they misjudge themselves.  Don’t allow the rebuffs or volatile reactions get you down, because oftentimes, this means whatever you said hit its target! 

 

L       Rarely will you see the long-term benefit of what you were blessed by God to sow inside someone’s heart and mind.  Once I shared the gospel to a 17-year old teenage girl; she cussed me so badly I learned words I never heard before!  To my utter astonishment, 2 years later, she found me one day as I was doing some street evangelism.  She told me that my words were used by7 God that very day!  She repented and turned her broken life over to Jes7us Christ, and was living a strong Christian walk.  You just never know, so be content in whatever capacity God uses you.

 

L       DON’T USE CHRISTIAN ‘LINGO’ (terminology); unbelievers recoil when Christians wear two different masks.  Just talk as normally about God, Jesus, the Bible, and other spiritual things as you would about any other topic, otherwise the impression given is that of ‘holier-than-you.’  Even if you don’t intend or have the motive of appearing self-righteous, your mannerisms are on display.  God has designed every human to be sensitive to other people’s demeanor, or outward behavior & appearance.  Don’t talk about how great your church is, and how great your pastor is.  In fact, if at all possible try NOT to mention church at all.  Keep in mind, first impression LAST.  If the person you are sharing with thinks you’re trying to box them in to going to church, 99 times out of a 100 they’ll turn their hearing off and try their best to avoid you.

 

L       BE A FRIEND OF SINNERS; Jesus was accused of being the, “friend of sinners,” (Luke 7:34).  This doesn’t mean you hang out with the world and do what they do, but neither do you stand aloof from them.  Be approachable, kind, generous and wise. 

 

Text Box: “People don’t CARE what you know, 
Until the KNOW that you CARE.” 

I have spend over 30 years on the streets of Seattle, Tacoma, and across the west coast, sharing the gospel of Jesus, one person at a time.  For years, I made the mistake of being heady and high-minded; it took nearly 15 years for me to learn that people usually don’t care what I know, unless they perceive I am concerned about them individually. 

 

One thing unbelievers find pugnacious and obnoxious is the demeanor and the rhetoric of born-again Christians who come on like they ‘know-it-all.’  You will turn them off if that’s your approach.  There’s an old saying Austin, and it goes like this: “People don’t usually CARE what you know, until the KNOW that you care.”

 

I hope this is helpful Austin.  There’s much more I’d like to say, but I have many people’s email questions to answer.

 

God bless you!

 

Craigo

 

Craig Bluemel - The Bible Answer Stand Ministry

1 Peter 3:15 Always be ready to give a logical defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it courteously and respectfully.   

 

 

 


 

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