I was in a bible study class one day, and someone said they had seen a question on social media, which asked if God existed. The leader of the class, quickly said he didn’t buy into such garbage, and sort of dismissed the question. I feel such questions are legitimate questions. If a person did not have the privilege of being raised in a Christian home or being around Christians, questions like that would be raised. I think as Christians, especially here in Nigeria, when we think about evangelism or winning souls for Christ, we often associate that with going to impoverished communities or reaching out to the believers, we feel have put Christianity on the back burner.
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Of course, those groups of people will be more receptive to the gospel. A person who lives in an impoverished situation is looking for a get out of jail card. If you meet with them and tell them that Jesus is the only one who can save them, they will receive Him with open arms, because no one wants to be poor. You are in a way rescuing them. That is why religion thrives so much in Africa, because of the way our nation has been set up. So people hold on to some belief system for hope. And most times they are being taken advantage of, but that is a conversation for another day.
What then do you say, when you come in contact with people, who feel they don’t need a God. People, who believe they are their own god because they have worked hard for their money, and amassed so much wealth? They don’t have to worry about electricity, bad roads, security, and medical issues, because their countries have been set up in a way, that they can trust their system. Those are the types of people who doubt the existence of God because they have no immediate need for Him.
How about the rising numbers of millennials, who now have direct access to technology, and their idols on social media. People who are now exposed to other world views like agnosticism or atheism, and they feel they are now so smart and can ask intelligent questions about science, creation and the existence of God; How then does a Christian, engage these groups of people? Do we look the other way, and focus on those we can convince with our own power, without any help from God, or do we cry out to God to pour out His spirit on us, so we can be full of His wisdom, and be prepared at all times to defend the gospel of Jesus Christ?
In a way, we are doing the same thing the unbelievers do. We are both saying we don’t need God, because we depend on our own ability. And when we discover, we can't answer these difficult questions; we blow it off as garbage. Or are these people not deserving of having their legitimate questions answered?
Be Prepared To Give a Defense
The disciples were uneducated men. After Christ left, when they started teaching and having conversations with people, the people often said—aren’t these men uneducated? How come they know all these things? Then they realized that they had been with Jesus. So as a Christian, if we don’t spend time with Jesus, gleaning from His wisdom each day, we won’t be able to answer the tough questions, wisely. While Jesus walked this earth, he catered to all people. To the poor and the elite alike. The poor cried out to Him in public, because they wanted their circumstance to change, while the wealthy/influential came to him at night, to ask him the difficult questions that they couldn’t ask in public (John 3:1-21).
From the Greek woman, who Christ engaged in a conversation when she came to ask for deliverance for her child (Mark 7:25-30) to the rich young ruler, who couldn’t accept Jesus’s answer and walked away sorrowful (Mark 10:17-31). Christ engaged everybody. He wasn’t afraid of the tough questions. He also knew how to discern those who genuinely needed answers, from those who wanted to catch him in a mistake, and he often put them in their place.
A Christian and Muslim once shared a room in college. Both smart people, and both passionate about their religion. They often had debates on Christianity and Islam, when they came to the end of their knowledge, they went back to the Bible and Quran respectively, to prepare to give a defense for what they believed in. In all of this, they loved and respected each other as friends. Then one day, the Holy Spirit took over and showed the Muslim a dream which mirrored a passage of scripture in Luke 13: 24-30. The Muslim had asked God to show him something that would make him believe that the scriptures were real before he had that dream. When he had the dream, he went back to the Bible and found that passage of scripture; a bible passage that he knew nothing about before his dream.
That was when he came to Christ. If he didn’t have a Christian roommate, and if the Christian roommate did not engage in conversations with him, maybe he would have remained a Muslim, who knows? He then went ahead and became a successful Christian Apologist, traveling around the world, and giving a defense for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
So we must always be prepared to provide an answer as the bible says in 1 Peter 3:15—“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your conduct in Christ, may be ashamed.”
So no one is left out of the spectrum, according to this passage of scripture. And at the end of the day, it is the Holy Spirit who does the conviction. We are just instruments, for Him to do His work. But we must also be prepared for use. We can't leave these conversations to only those who don’t believe, let us be involved, let us engage them, let us talk about it because that is the only way people would see the God that they doubt exists.
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About The Author: Evi Idoghor is a Christian, writer and content creator on Letstalknationblog.com. She is a chemical engineering graduate from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Consumed by her love for writing and desire to effect change, she launched her online platform––Let’s Talk Nation––to tap into her creativity and start meaningful conversations that would make a difference around the world.
Most of her writing has been influenced by her time spent in America, where she lived for about 11 years. Also, she lived in Nigeria and South Korea and currently loves traveling the world while learning about other fascinating cultures. You can find her on all social media platforms with @eviidoghor.