Today an increasing number of people believe that all beliefs are equally valid, that there is no one “right” source of revelation. This leads them to dismiss anything you tell them from the Bible. How do you approach someone who believes this in a way that will open the door to sharing the Word of God with them?
The unbeliever does not believe the Word of God. This is natural. Why does he not believe it? “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). The Word is the only source of faith. Before he can believe it, he must hear it.
What the unbeliever wants or does not want to hear should not determine what you say. We get our orders from God, not from non-Christians. However, that does not mean we should force the Word on people. Before we give the gospel, their eyes must be opened so they can see its light:
"I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me" (Acts 26:18).
A method I have found effective is to give people a book that is not a direct declaration of the gospel. They are not likely to read a declaration. Give them one that they will not be able to put down. Here are a few suggestions:
• Peace Child by Don Richardson
• And the Word Came with Power by Joanne Shetler
• In Search of the Source by Neil Anderson
• Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot
• To the Golden Shore by Courtney Anderson
• A Prisoner and Yet by Corrie ten Boom
The unbeliever thinks he knows what Christians are. In reality, he does not know. By reading these books, he may realize that he does not know and may want to find out. Of course, you should read the books first.
"The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:14).
Not understanding God’s Word is one of the clearest means of identifying someone as a non-Christian. We hesitate to make that identification, perhaps because it is not “politically correct” or because we do not want to be told not to judge. Even if we never state it, we should at least recognize that a man who lacks this kind of understanding is not a Christian.
In his preface to Androcles and the Lion, George Bernard Shaw admitted that he could not make any sense out of the New Testament unless he used a very select means of interpretation. He did not understand the things of the Spirit of God. Why? He did not have the Spirit of God. He was brilliant, but blind.
"The God of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God" (2 Corinthians 4:4).