A couple weeks ago, my kids saw a man and his son out in the park, so they quickly asked if they could go outside. It was a great chance for my kids to play with someone and for me to get to know a neighbor. It turned out to be a great Gospel opportunity.
He was a guy who grew up in Peru, currently working for an airline company. He gets to fly all over the world for free, and he told me that he can’t wait to make it to Italy one day, specifically Rome. When I informed him that I grew up in Rome, we were practically best friends. Then he asked me what I do. When I informed him that I worked at a church, he played it cool like he was ok with it. He had already told me that he grew up with Catholic grandparents, as well as a Jewish grandpa, all practicing in their respective religions. He never mentioned anything negative about them, nor about religion at all. And then he told me that he was an atheist. As we continued our conversation, it was very pleasant. He couldn’t understand why there are so many religions, so I explained to him the differences between what I believe and most other religions. He had many questions about the Bible’s reliability which I did my best to answer, and then I got the chance to encourage him to read his Bible. He confessed to a fear of death, as well as some doubts about atheism. Right before we went home, we took out our phones and became Facebook friends. All in all, a wonderful conversation, and one which I was very thankful for.
And then I looked at his Facebook.
He was a particular fan of a Facebook page that was entitled, “WE –CURSEWORD- LOVE ATHEISM.” And not too long before our conversation, he had shared a cartoon of a man getting kicked out of a car for changing the music station to Christian music. At first, I was a little shocked and a little discouraged, feeling a little weird about our conversation, but that feeling went away pretty quickly. I started becoming thankful and encouraged by our conversation. I thought about how cool it was that our conversation went so well. Perhaps he acted more with a mob mentality when he was with a group of online friends than he did in person. Of course, I don’t want to minimize his hatred for God or his sinfulness, but it was a reminder of the fact that we don’t need to be afraid to share the Gospel with anyone despite their outward appearance or of what we know about their beliefs. Many Christians can be very intimidated when talking to atheists, but if we trust in God’s Sovereignty and His Word, we don’t need to fear anyone. Here are five confidence-inducing reasons why you don’t need to fear to share the Gospel with an atheist.
They do believe in God
by Howard Snyder
. .. where Christian fellowship demonstrates the gospel, believers come alive and sinners get curious and want to know what the secret is. So true Christian community (koinonia) becomes both the basis and the goal of evangelism. .. . The community is the only effective school for discipleship. . . . All spiritual gifts contribute to evangelism in one way or another.
~ Community of the King, p. 125