If you ever do evangelism, you can sometimes tell when the Holy Spirit is working on someone’s heart and when He isn’t.
Some people are simply dead to any spiritual conversation. They may know about “religious” things but have no genuine interest in them. They do not understand why salvation and the possibility of life after death are important. They do not wonder where the world came from or whether their life has any ultimate meaning. And they certainly do not have any particular concern for the Lord Jesus Christ. You provide arguments and evidence for the gospel, and it makes absolutely no difference to them at all.
Why is that?
Why don’t they get it?
But the person without the Spirit does not receive what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually (1 Cor 2:14).
Atheists are physically alive but not spiritually alive. They exist apart from the indwelling Spirit of God and so cannot receive things from Him. You can point them to Jesus, but they will not “see” Him. Evan Hopkins illustrated it this way:
“You may put a telescope into the hands of a man who is blind and bid him look at some distant star, or on some lovely landscape. He tells you he sees nothing. Well, his witness is true. So the agnostic affirms of all supernatural religion, that he knows it not. His witness is also true. But if the blind man goes further, and asserts that because he sees nothing there is nothing to see, his assertion is untrue, and his witness is worthless, because he speaks beyond the range of his capacity” (Hopkins, The Law of Liberty, p. 62).
If an atheist cannot receive the things of the Spirit, how do they ever believe the gospel? I have some ideas, but I want to hear from you. Please send them to the email below.*
*In this blog, I am referring to atheists who have never believed in Jesus.
Send your questions or comments to Shawn.