One of the most common questions I get from people is, “What do I do when my friend says that the Bible is not a reliable book? How do I evangelise them?”
I understand the question. It seems like a pretty difficult dilemma. If someone will not listen to the Bible because they think it is an invention of men, then how do I convince them that the Bible is actually God’s Word?
But if you think about it the answer is pretty simple. If someone tells me that in order to convince them that I must use something other than the Bible, then I must ask myself exactly what would convince them? Some proof that God exists? An incredible experience? A miracle? Someone rising from the dead? None of these things will convince them.
The answer has to be that you continue to give them the Bible.
The Bible—simply put—doesn’t allow for other means to be used in order to win someone to Christ. We must understand and believe in the sufficiency of Scripture to do what God has intended it to do. We cannot put it aside and trust in other means in order to see people worship God. There are verses in particular that come to mind for why Scripture is the only means by which God save souls.
YOU CAN’T REASON SOMEONE TO GOD
“For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.’” – 1 Corinthians 1:18-19
The God of Scripture doesn’t fit in our minds. He is way too powerful and way too big for us to be able to reason to Him. In fact, if we were able to reason to Him, or if He were able to fit in our minds, then He would not be a God worth worshiping. Eternity will not be long enough to truly grasp the greatness of God, and therefore we cannot come to a complete understanding of Him. The only means we have to understand Him is through His Word. God has given it to us as His only special revelation in order to allow us to know enough about Him to be able to worship Him properly in this life. His Word is the means through which God destroys the wisdom of the wise and the cleverness of the clever.
FAITH COMES FROM HEARING
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” – Romans 10:17
The Bible says that people come to faith through the word of Christ. The word of Christ is only found in the Bible, therefore the only way for someone to come to faith is through the Bible. There is no other way. You can’t trick someone into becoming a Christian. The only way that someone can come to faith is for them to be exposed to the Bible.
THE POWER OF GOD IS FOUND IN THE GOSPEL
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” – Romans 1:16
God’s power is found in the Gospel. Though we can be thankful for all kinds of other “proofs” that God exists, we must always remember that it is the Gospel itself that is called the power of God. Going outside of Scripture causes us to give up our sword and use a feather. Just because the person you are talking to doesn’t like your sword does not mean that you should give it up in order to win them over through other means.
PEOPLE WILL NOT BELIEVE EVEN IF THEY SEE SOMEONE RISE FROM THE DEAD
“But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.‘” – Luke 19:31
In this parable, we find the rich man in hell. Once he understands the fact that he cannot and will never be able to leave, his mind goes to his brothers on earth and he is convinced that they will believe if only someone like Lazarus were to rise from the dead and preach to them. But Abraham is clear that if they don’t listen to the Bible then they won’t believe even if they were to witness a resurrection.
PEOPLE REJECT GOD BECAUSE THEY LOVE THEIR SIN, AND CONVICTION OF SIN LEADING TO SALVATION COMES ONLY THROUGH GOD’S WORD
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” – Romans 1:18
“…if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth.” – 2 Timothy 2:25b
The Bible is clear that people love their sin. That’s the reason why they will not repent and trust in the Creator that they know exists. No amount of proof, whether it be through miracles or reasoning, can cause them to believe and forsake their sin. The only means by which people will repent is if in the kindness of God; He opens their eyes to their enslavement to sin and gives them new hearts that hate sin. He has one means that He will use to accomplish this: His Word.
We must, despite what the world tells us, continue to trust in God’s Word which is sharper than any two-edged sword. It is alive, it is the power of God, and it is the only means that God has given us to break through the hard heart of man and to win that heart over to Christ. Don’t use cheap tricks and other ways that have no power. Set down the feathers of pragmatism and seeker-sensitive mentalities and pick up the Sword of God to do what it was intended to.
Written by Jordan Standridge (thecripplegate.com)