How to Preach The Gospel To An Atheist
Categories: Article, Bible Study, Lifestyle,
Believers often feel anxious when faced with the opportunity to preach the gospel to an atheist, this might be because their belief is against the gospel.
An atheist is a person that does not believe in the existence of God, this is different from knowing that there is God but not believing in Jesus Christ, as in other religions.
Atheists rely on Logic, reasoning, and scientific analysis.
Their convictions are also a result of personal hurtful occurrences and bad examples of religious leaders, which has fueled the belief that there is deception in the doctrine of Christianity, these things and other information have influenced their minds into believing that God does not exist.
Due to the reliance of atheists on tangible things, some believers feel that it would be difficult to get them saved. In this article, we will be looking at how we can effectively preach the gospel to an atheist.
What is the gospel?
The gospel is the power of God to save man from sin, Romans 1:16 The message of the gospel is the love of God expressed in the sacrifice of Jesus, His death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and glorification.
1 Corinthians 15:3-6
For I delivered unto you, first of all, that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;4) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5) And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:6) After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
The word gospel is gotten from the New Testament Greek word euaggelion which means "a good message or a reward for good tidings", and the verb euangelizo means “to bring or announce the good news.”
The two words are gotten from the noun angelos, which means“messenger”, The word euangelos was used for a person that brings a message of victory, any news that caused joy in ancient Greek, the gospel which is good news is something that is preached or announced.
When the gospel is preached and believed, the believer becomes saved.
Salvation is redemption from sin and its consequence, which is death, it comes with receiving of the promised spirit of God, Ezekiel 36:26, Joel 2:28.
Sin entered into the world through man's disobedience, Romans 5:12-14, man became helpless in sin and could not save himself, because the wages of sin is death Romans 6:23.
So Jesus came because it takes a man to save man, not just any man, but a man without sin.
The death of a sinner would only be his reward for sin because his death would not be good enough.
So Jesus was conceived by the holy spirit without sin, which was the plan of God from the beginning. Ephesians 1:4-6.
1 peter 1:18,19
18) Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19) But with the precious blood of Christ as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
Salvation in Christ is justification by faith, faith in the sacrifice of Jesus, this is what the gospel is about. Romans 5:1,2,5, Romans 5:8-10,15-21, 2 Corinthians 5:17.
It is evident in scriptures and historically that Jesus existed and is alive today, Jesus' birth, death, and burial is a historical fact
It is his resurrection that men tried to hinder from being public knowledge because they understood the implication of it.
A resurrected Christ means that Jesus is God, because the promises of God were fulfilled by him, their minds could not accept this.
12) When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13) saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’ 14) And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.” 15) So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
24) But God raised Him from the dead, releasing Him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for Him to be held in its clutches. 31) Foreseeing this, David spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that He was not abandoned to Hades, nor did His body see decay.
God gave man life in Genesis 1 and 2 but sin came into the world as a result of man's disobedience, Romans 5:12, the sacrifice of Jesus is superior to that of animals in the old testament because it is eternal and was done once. Hebrews 9:8-15. Therefore the gospel is enough to save a man from sin.
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
How Do I Preach The Gospel To An Atheist?
In the preaching of the gospel to an atheist, try not to see it differently, it is still the gospel of Christ that will get them saved, the gospel of Christ is enough to convert any heart.
The place of prayer in evangelism is of high importance, it is as important as evangelism.
Before you preach, pray that the light of God's word will shine bright in their minds, spend time praying in the spirit, by doing that you set the atmosphere in advance for there to be a free flow of understanding.
We must always pray concerning this because we do not know when the opportunity will present itself.
To effectively witness an atheist, you must do your due diligence to study, understand and know God's word.
This is because the problem with atheists is in their minds, they have been exposed to a set of information that conditioned their minds to think the way they currently do, so you need to take time to pull down those strongholds in the mind.
1 Corinthians 10:4,5
4)For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God, to the pulling down of strongholds 5) casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself above the knowledge of God, and bringing into captive every thought into the obedience of Christ;
You must understand that you are dealing with the person's mindset and not the person, so you should know and understand the gospel so that you can answer their questions until they understand.
Pay attention to details, explain clearly the concept of salvation, as simply as possible.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers , against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
The gospel is the very power of God to save, so do not try to improve upon it, do not add to it or remove anything from it.
Do not rely on how well you can speak, or your personal experiences, it is the gospel that saves man, whether it is an atheist, agnostic, or of other religions, Romans 10:6-9.
Stay with the gospel, the difference could be the technique you use.
2 Corinthians 4:3-6
3) But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 )In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5) For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
3. Don't Get Emotional or Aggressive
Be careful not to be distracted by what is not the gospel, the conversation will likely get heated in a bid for the person to protect his or her belief.
Do not get emotional or upset if you hear things that oppose the truth of God's word.
You may have to reach out to them again before they believe, rely on the Holy Spirit and you will know what to say.
Do not be afraid to lay hands to administer healing, God confirms his word, Hebrews 2:4, the working of miracles are signs of the reality of the power of God, and effectively convinces people of the existence and goodness of God.
Understand your work as an evangelist, dutifully explain the meaning of salvation, why he or she needs to be saved, and the rights and privileges that a believer in Christ is entitled to.
4. Go Into Details
Ensure that you go into details, who is God?, what is man?, why is Jesus called the son of God?, why do you need God?
Atheists do not respond positively to sentimental preaching, they believe that things should be logical and explainable, ensure that you explain the gospel as simple and detailed as possible.
It is God's will for man to be saved and know him, 1 Timothy 2:4.
Do not give up on people, however, God has given man free will, and a person can believe or reject the gospel.
When people reject or accept the gospel, they take a stand for or against the gospel which is the sacrifice of Jesus.
5. Follow Up
When you leave them, keep praying that they should come into the truth of God's word.
Finally, When you convert an atheist do not leave them by themselves, it's just like giving birth to a child and letting them care for themselves, teaching them God's word, till they are spiritually mature to teach others as well.
Atheists usually have other friends that are unbelievers, if you leave them their friends might reintroduce negative information to them without someone to guide and correct their thoughts.
A basic fact about humans is that we are products of influence, our beliefs are made up of what we hear, information that we receive over some time.
The information we receive; the things we see, the things we hear from our thoughts and our actions, that is why the bible instructs us to guard our hearts diligently.
Proverbs 4:23 NLT
23) Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
As a believer, you should be skillful in communicating the gospel, you should be able to navigate from any conversation to the gospel, even from a scientific discussion.
Science itself exists because scientists expected laws in nature, and this can only make sense when there is an existing lawgiver, whose wisdom holds all of creation.
Even as you preach, guard your heart. It is also the atheist's opportunity to make you see reasons with his or her belief.
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