When evangelizing to someone, you’re bound to come across some tough questions. It is best to work through questions with someone, answer their question with another question to get them to think as Jesus did as is discussed in the article How to Answer Evangelism Questions. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared to answer questions as best you can.
Following are ten of the most commonly asked evangelism questions and how to answer them. This page is excerpted from Pastor Mike’s book Evangelism Unprocessed which is available on Amazon in paperback and on the Kindle.
Christians are hypocrites.
Christians are not perfect and shouldn’t pretend to be. Anyone who makes this claim is a liar. We aren’t called to follow other Christians however. We’re called to follow Jesus, our only model of perfection. Jesus attained perfection so that we don’t have to. His disciples testified to Jesus perfection in 1 Peter 2:22 and 1 John 3:5. Even Jesus challenged others to prove that He had sinned in John 8:46.
Often when people make this claim it is because of an accusation of sin that someone has made toward them. They know that other Christians have sinned and they don’t want to be told about their sin. Some Christians truly are hypocrites who denounce the very sins that they are committing daily. But this is where the power of a life that is transformed by Christ is important.
Acknowledge that some Christians are hypocrites but use your own life as an example – hopefully you can back up what you’ve been preaching with your own life. Hopefully anyone that you have a relationship with is capable of seeing that you are different from others, both the Christians that they consider hypocrites and the outside world.
What about the atrocities Christians have committed?
his is similar to the question of hypocrisy. Horrible things have been done in the name of Christ but this shouldn’t be accepted as the norm. Despite things that have happened in the past Christianity is not a violent religion. We cannot be responsible for the things that others have done, only what we personally do.
Christianity has done far more good than the harm that has been done in the name of Christ. Countless hospitals and universities have been founded in the name of Christ. Likewise there are thousands of missions groups that help the hurting such as ones that are currently Christian like Samaritan’s Purse to ones that began with a more Christian focus such as the Red Cross.
Christianity is a crutch.
Karl Marx famously said “Religion is the opiate of the masses.” In other words, only weak minded fools need religion. It is true that Christians really on God but this isn’t any different from anyone else.
Everyone has a crutch whether it is alcohol, drugs, tobacco, sex, money, possessions, or other people. Even atheists use their atheism as a crutch to justify their own lifestyle.
Whatever they are doing that their conscience bothers them about, they ignore by telling themselves that there is no God and no judgment for sin.
No one is strong enough to go through life alone and anyone who uses the excuse that Christianity is a crutch is simply fooling themselves. It takes far more strength to admit that we can’t do something on our own and turn to God than it does to drown our fears and sorrows in something that will offer no true help, only escape.
It’s narrow-minded to think Jesus is the only way to God.
It’s true that Christianity claims to be the only way to God. John 14:6 makes this clear. Now, either this claim is true or it is not. Christianity is not just false if it isn’t the only way to God, it is worthless because a person should just choose the easiest path to God in that case.
But I’m a good person and try to live the right way.
Sincerity is not the criteria for making it into heaven. Trying to live a good life is not the same as living a perfect life. How good does one have to be to make it into heaven?
Just because we really believe in what we do doesn’t make it right nor does it get us into heaven. Hitler believed strongly in what he did and that certainly does not make what he did right. Obviously that is a drastic example but it proves the point that simply believing in what we’re doing doesn’t make it right.
What about those who’ve never heard about Jesus?
This question implies that a person may have more compassion than God and that God may somehow make a wrong decision regarding the fate of those who haven’t heard. Indeed we can trust that God will be just when dealing with those who haven’t heard of Him.
Romans 1:20 tells us that creation is a testimony to God. Anyone can look up in the sky and recognize that God must have created such an incredible world. But what if someone acknowledges that there must be a God but never hears about Jesus? Matthew 7:7-8 tells us that all who seek will find. God will put someone in the path or a person who is truly seeking. In Acts 8:26-39 tells the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. This is precisely what happens in that story. The Ethiopian eunuch hears about God and Philip is sent to tell him about Jesus.
The Bible is filled with errors.
This is typically spouted by someone who wants an excuse for ignoring what the Bible says. More often than not if you ask them to give an example they will immediately quiet down because they have none.
We know the Bible to be true because it is God’s Word and God can’t lie according to Isaiah 55:10-11, John 17:17, Titus 1:2, and Hebrews 4:12. The Bible itself claims to be true in 2 Timothy 3:16. “All scripture is God-breathed…”
Not everyone will accept the claims of the Bible’s truthfulness coming from the Bible itself however. Instances where there appear to be errors or discrepancies in the Bible are matters that need to be carefully looked at and studied. There are some instances where we simply have not found proof of the truthfulness of a Bible passage but new archaeological discoveries are being made every year that time and time again verify that the Bible is truth. More importantly, not one discovery has been made to disprove any claim in the Bible.
If God is so good, why is there evil?
God didn’t create evil, it entered the world through sin. This question is more a question of God’s power however as in, “why doesn’t God stop evil from happening?”
In order for free will to exist, man must be allowed to make his own choices. Because we are sinful by nature, sometimes these choices are evil. While the existence of evil is a problem, it is more important that God has a solution.
First of all, evil does not go unpunished. There will be a day of reckoning for all evil deeds. It may appear as if evildoers prosper today but nothing escapes God’s notice. Because we are all sinful though, God did something about our desire to do evil. God sent Jesus into the world for the forgiveness of sin. Evil has been defeated by Jesus on the cross but it has not yet been removed from the world.
Why is there suffering?
The problem of suffering is closely tied to the problem of evil. There is suffering in the world today because there is sin in the world today. God didn’t create suffering, man brought it upon himself when Adam and Eve first sinned.
Contrary to popular belief though, suffering can be good as it strengthens our faith and causes us to rely more closely on God. This doesn’t mean that we should ask God for more suffering but it should be noted that suffering gets our attention.
When people face difficulties in life, they can either grow closer to God or they can become angry and bitter and turn away from God. It is impossible to stay at the same place spiritually where enduring suffering.
Suffering is also a matter of what we believe we deserve. The US Declaration of Independence says that we have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. No such promise is given in scripture however. When we complain about suffering, we are really saying that what is taking place is not fair. In other words, God isn’t just. If God were just though, we would be far worse off because we deserve punishment for our sins. Instead of calling God unfair when we see suffering we should thank Him that His mercy keeps it from happening more often than it does.
If there’s a hell, why would a loving God send people there?
Man is separated from God because of sin. God can’t allow sin into heaven. Because of God’s abundance of love, He sent Jesus into the world to die for our sins and suffer the penalty of those sins for us.
God doesn’t send people to hell as much as their rejection of Jesus condemns them to continue on their pathway to hell. For a fuller in depth theological see Spreading Light Ministries’ Fate of the Unbeliever.