Tell someone “The Bible says….” and you may get a look like “Who cares?”.
Quoting the Bible usually won’t help a discussion about God if you are talking to someone who doesn’t believe the Bible. It is sort of like talking to someone about a scientific theory when they don’t believe in science. It won’t work! This can make it especially challenging for Christians to share their faith because everything comes from the Bible!
Where do you start? Here are a couple of ways to help bridge the gap without having to become an expert in Biblical manuscript evidence.
1. Connect Bible Truth to Everyday Life
Psalm 19:1-4 – The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
It has often been said, “The Bible isn’t true because it says so, it says so because it’s true”. In other words, the truth of the Bible should be self-evident by how we experience it in everyday life. This is how we can talk about the God of the Bible without ever having to quote the Bible. For example, if you want to talk about the biblical truth of God being the creator and us being His creation, highlight how we see this same process taking place in everyday life. Highlight how people create things (e.g. music, poetry, painting, etc.) demonstrating a creator/creation model.
Or if you want to talk about God’s justice and judgment, highlight how society also functions according to this same biblical model (i.e. laws, penalties, legal system, etc). You get the idea? If the God of the Bible is the God of this world, then we should be able to see his fingerprints everywhere we look. You just have to look! The more you connect Bible truth to everyday life, the more you will help people begin to trust what the Bible has to say.
2. Encourage Questions & Accommodate Doubt
John 20:24-28 – Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe it.” … Jesus came and stood among them … Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
I love the story of doubting Thomas and his struggle with believing Jesus had risen from the dead. This is real! He wasn’t buying it, and he needed proof! Notice when Jesus showed up, He didn’t rebuke Thomas for his lack of faith or reject him for unbelief. Instead, Jesus accommodated Thomas’ doubt and provided him proof that He was alive.
It is so important that when we talk with people who don’t believe in God or the Bible that we don’t shut them down. We must be a safe place for them to ask their questions and share their doubts. In other words, if we approach people like Jesus did, we can have a significant impact on how they will ultimately view God and the Bible. So remember “how” you treat people can be really important for them in understanding “what” you are saying.
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