Recently, I heard someone tell about a friend they had that was an unbeliever (non-Christian). According to them, their friend needed but one question more answered before they would believe. What was the question? “If God knows everything, then he knows what choices I will make. How, then, do I have free will?” As yet, no one has been able to answer this question to this person’s satisfaction. I am not surprised.
There is no shortage of answers to that question. The debate over sovereignty versus free will has raged for many moons.
My answer to the question posed is that the person asking the question doesn’t need an answer. They need an encounter. They need to come face to face with the Holy Spirit. Until they have that holy encounter, the “proof” they need to believe will evade them. There will always be just one more question separating them from faith.
Answers to probing questions from unbelievers are like crumbs that fall from a banquet table. They grab the answers up and are satisfied for only the briefest time, but before too long, they will be right back where they started. Unfulfilled, and spouting more questions. Only after the invitation comes to sit at the table and partake of the feast- and is accepted- will they be forever satisfied.
Questions will then no longer separate them from faith in the Lord. We often want to debate the finer points of theology with our unbelieving friends, but in the end, it is not our words that will open their eyes to understanding. Some things are meant only for believers to understand. Jesus spoke to the early Christians in parables with dual meanings. Only followers of Christ understood the double entendre there.
From the outside looking in, the Christian faith is full of things that seem odd. We are called upon to love our enemies and bless those who persecute us. The world would tell us to do just the opposite. Check out Matthew chapter five.
But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
That’s crazy stuff by this world’s standards.
We believe in a Savior who was born of a virgin, turned water into wine, walked upon a larger amount of water, healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, fed five thousand with one little boy’s lunch, healed broken hearts, and came back to life after kicking death in the rear.
No wonder they have questions.
Coming to Christ doesn’t mean we get all of our questions answered. But those questions we have will become less important as we gain understanding of who God is and how he loves us. Believe me, I still have questions. But I have learned that while right now I see only a part of the picture, one day I will see it all.
For the most part, debating Christianity with a non-believer is like trying to empty water out of a sinking boat with a slotted spoon. So many times our answers just bring up more questions. While we are instructed at all times to be ready to speak to the faith that we have, we have to realize that apart from the understanding that the Holy Spirit gives, they will not fully understand what we take sometimes for granted.
Coming to faith is not a head issue. It’s a heart issue. More answers will not always bring more understanding. It’s a transformation that comes about when the Holy Spirit woos or draws us to Him. It’s a beautiful thing, a precious thing that opens up our seat at His table.
And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber,because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. Romans 13:11