Discovering the Good News with Agnostics & Atheists
“I had no idea the Bible was like this.” This was Paul’s response after reading through one of the “I Am” statements in the Gospel of John. “I thought it was only about people who believed, but many of the people are just like me, they don’t believe Jesus. It seems that Jesus is offering them himself, but all they can see are their physical needs. They don’t understand what He is really saying. I identify more with them more than I do with the believers.”
“One of the first things I notice about God is that he is very mysterious.” John and I were meeting with Peter and had just read chapter one of Genesis. “If I’m ever going to believe in God I’ll have to surrender on his terms not on mine. And not on my ability to figure it out and get it right.”
“I read the ‘New part’ last week.” I had just met Suzan through her boyfriend. They were both interested in doing a form of Discovery Bible Study. “I didn’t know anything about Christianity except for a couple of people who said they were Christians, and I thought they were crazy. I didn’t want to meet with you without knowing anything, so I read it all. I have a lot of questions, but as I read I knew it was true. I knew that this is what I’ve always believed, I just didn’t know it yet.”
I have been amazed by how much I am learning about God’s story as I read and discuss the Bible with agnostics and atheists. Most people we meet do not know another person in their life with whom they can have spiritual discussions. Not everyone we meet takes us up on the offer to read and discuss together, but some do. We are thankful that God is answering our prayers to direct us to the people who’s hearts he is stirring.
Those who do start the Bible readings are often gripped by God’s character as it unfolds in His story. They are often amazed at how much they identify today with the people in the stories. Although the circumstances and the times are ages apart, they recognize hearts that are similar. They see their own hearts of doubt, fear, self-protection and misplaced desires. They also see God’s heart for them.
Some believe and put their trust in Christ. Others are still reading, still discussing, and still being wooed by the Spirit through the Word of God.
By: Worker, Serving in Central Europe