The Message for the Nonbelievers

But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. —1 Corinthians 2:14

We have all had the experience of encountering either an aggressive nonbeliever or a fanatical cult member ready to defend to the death a false gospel. Many of us have debated Scripture with those who deny the Bible as the inspired Word of God or with those whose doctrines were created by a man or woman claiming revelation that was outside the confines of Holy Scripture. In such cases, arguments erupt and debates heat up, and no one changes their mind or position.

For Christians, this scenario is often a tactic of the enemy to distract us from the matter at hand, which is the person’s need for the gospel. I have often counseled zealous debaters of the Christian faith to remember that it is not possible to engage in a theological debate with the unsaved, nor can we argue someone into the kingdom of God. The message for unsaved people, whether they are cult members, atheists, or something else, is not to prove to them that the Bible is true. As a matter of fact, the Bible doesn’t even defend itself; it just declares itself as the truth of God.

Nonbelievers simply need to hear the gospel, no matter how many times they have heard it, no matter what they may claim to believe about it. Jesus gave us this model in His encounter with Nicodemus in John 3. Jesus told this religious man and teacher of Israel, “You must be born again.” This is the message for the unsaved and spiritually deluded. The natural man cannot discern the things of God, so how can you convince anyone except with the gospel itself? It is the seed that must be planted in order for anyone to come to Christ. So rather than getting caught up in trying to prove the Bible’s record of creation or trying to expose the false teachings of the cults, preach the gospel to lost souls. It is the only message by which people can be saved. To try and argue people into the kingdom of God is a tactic that never bears fruit. Instead, tell people God loves them and has made a way for them to be forgiven and reconciled to God. That is the seed that takes root and transforms the hardest of hearts time and again. That is why Paul told the Corinthians he knew and preached one thing only: “Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). Why did Paul say this? Because unsaved people cannot discern truth until they are born again. So preach the body and blood of Jesus today—someone just might get saved!

Excerpt from “Body Builders” now available on Amazon.

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BARRY STAGNER

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