Not long after I accepted a position at the seminary where I received my theology training, I attended a conference of professors from around the country. One of the speakers had a Ph.D. in religion and theology. It wasn’t long before it became apparent that this person knew a lot about God, but he did not have a personal relationship with God through Christ. So, during one of the lunch breaks, I sat with him and initiated a conversation about salvation and the gospel message. I will never forget this religion professor’s response: “Well, how can a good God let bad things happen?”
His question brings up one of the most common fears most people have about witnessing. They worry, “What if an unbeliever asks a theological question that I can’t answer?” Well, the chances of that happening aren’t too great, for there are only about seven basic questions that non-Christians generally ask as they grapple with the truth of the gospel. And would you believe it — my unbelieving-Ph.D.-in-theology friend asked the number-one question from that list!
You may be among those who are afraid of the questions that might come your way after you’ve built the bridges, developed the friendships, and become a good neighbor. Well, cheer up — that’s a good thing. Hopefully, there will be questions! Witnessing is not a one-way street. Evangelism is not a monologue, but a dialogue. Evangelism is listening to other people; understanding their objections, fears, and questions; and then seeking to give solid biblical answers.
The Christian faith demands that we have enough compassion to learn the questions of our generation and go to the Bible for its answers. And to help you be prepared, I’m going to list the seven basic questions (objections) that unbelievers most often ask. Alongside each objection, I’ll also provide the most basic scriptures that will help you with the answers. My prayer is that you have developed the kinds of friendships with others that will make them feel comfortable asking you one of these questions.
Seven Basic Objections to the Gospel
- Why do the innocent suffer? (Answer: Romans 5:12)
- What about the heathen who have never heard the gospel? (Answer: Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:18-20)
- How can miracles be possible? (Answer: John 1:1,14; John 3:2)
- Isn’t the Bible full of errors? (Answer: 2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:1-2; 2 Peter 1:20-21)
- Isn’t the Christian experience psychological? (Answer: Acts 9—the conversion of Paul; Romans 5:8-10)
- Won’t a good moral life get me to heaven? (Answer: Galatians 2:16; Titus 3:5; James 2:10)
My friend, I pray that you will take on the task of building those bridges, making those friendships, and becoming a good neighbor so that you will have an opportunity to “give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15). The rewards are eternal, for those who come to Christ through your witness—both verbal and nonverbal—will become fellow citizens of heaven. Show people that you really care. Show them Christ’s love through your love. Show them your heart!
Question: What type of objections have you experienced when sharing the Gospel with other people? What answers do you find most useful to help overcome someone’s skepticism?
Fore more encouragement read, A Man After God’s Own Heart.