No one is immune to being afraid of evangelism, but if you set your mind on things above, you can overcome your fears.
September 24, 2019
In one of the most famous fight scenes in the Indiana Jones movies, the hero is being attacked by a fearsome man with a lethal-looking sword. I haven’t seen the whole movie, but I certainly remember seeing this part. The attacker is amazingly adept with the razor-sharp weapon, moving it through the air with lightning speed like some sort of sideshow juggler.
The hero is feet in front of him, and it looks like all is over for him—he’s armed with only a leather whip. When it looks like certain curtains for Mr. Jones, he casually pulls out a gun from his jacket pocket and shoots the swordsman through the heart. It was all over with one shot. It made the enemy look ridiculous, because despite all the hoopla, he was simply out-weaponed. A sword is useless in the face of a speeding bullet.
The Ten Commandments outgun the enemy. He has a sharp sword, but we have ten great cannons. Those cannons are mighty through God for the immediate shooting down of strongholds.
Let’s look at a transcript from one of our YouTube clips. It’s a real-life encounter I had when I dueled with a sharp young atheist. I was looking for material for a new video called “Why Did Dinosaurs Disappear?,” so I asked him why he thought the creatures were no longer with us. When describing creation coming back to life after a massive meteor hit the earth, he made the mistake of saying that animals and human beings were “constructed.” I asked, “Who constructed us?” He quickly replied, “I don’t believe in a god,” and said that cells just came together. So, I asked where they came from, adding, “There’s got to be a Constructor if there’s a construction.” He conceded, but said that he was still an atheist, I said, “Let me see if I can change your mind. Do you believe the scientific impossibility that nothing created everything?”
He went quiet for minute, and then said, “You do have a point there. I don’t believe that nothing created everything.”
“So you’re not an atheist.”
“I guess technically no, I’m not an atheist.”
“So you’ve changed your mind.”
He smiled warmly and said, “I’ve just changed my mind.”
It was encouraging to see him change his mind, though my agenda was deeper than having him admit that God existed. He already knew that, according to scripture:
“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse…” (Romans 1:20)
Neither was I merely trying to convince him to believe the Bible. Among other strange biblical narratives, Noah’s ark, Balaam’s talking donkey, Joshua stopping the sun, and Jonah’s down-in-the-mouth experience, are understandably hard for unbelievers to swallow. To try and to get them to intellectually accept these as truth is to put the cart before the horse, and that never goes anywhere.
I’m sure you’ve heard of “rhetoric.” The word is overused in the media to usually describe a politician they don’t like. They say something like, “He just spouted the same old rhetoric.” It’s actually a wrong use of the word. It means “a persuasive argument.” What they should be saying is that the politician used “empty” rhetoric. They believe he wasn’t sincere.
The Apostle Paul used rhetoric. He said, “Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men” (2 Corinthians 5:11, italics added). Once we know the terror of the Lord (that He is angry with the wicked every day, and that His wrath abides on them), our sole agenda is to warn every man that may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
The Scriptures tell us two things about an unsaved person. Firstly, he has a God-given knowledge of right and wrong. The “work of the Law” is written on his heart, and his conscience is “bearing witness” (see Romans 2:15). In other words, the Ten Commandments are boldly displayed across the courtroom of his mind. He intuitively knows that it’s wrong to lie, to steal, to kill, to commit adultery, to use the Name of God in blasphemy, and to live in rebellion to his Creator.
This is why we see Jesus using five of the Ten Commandments in Mark 10:17-22. It’s why we see the Apostle Paul speaking directly to his hearers’ conscience when he says, “You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? You who say, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ do you commit adultery?” (Romans 2:21-22). The conscience echoes the truth of the Commandments.
The second fact we know about the lost, is that God has placed eternity on the most hardened sinner’s heart (see Ecclesiastes 3:11). There is something in him that says, “Oh, I don’t want to die!” That’s why we should tap into his will to live by asking this question: “Do you think there’s an afterlife?” Almost everyone admits that they think of death often, and (if they are honest) they will admit that they are fearful of the sharp and seemingly unstoppable sickle of the Grim Reaper. Scripture also tells us that every human being is haunted by that daunting fear “all their lifetime” (Hebrews 2:14-15).
It is these powerful weapons that give me a quiet confidence in the face of the sharpest wit and most arrogant of hard-hearts. I need never panic because I have him outgunned. But unlike Indiana Jones, I’m not out to do him harm. Just the opposite. I always keep in mind that this sword-wielding rebel is nothing but a lost and dying human being, and that my agenda isn’t to win an argument, but rather win a precious sinner to the Savior.
Watch these biblical principles in action by Ray Comfort, on Living Waters’ advertising-free YouTube channel—which has over 85,000,000 views and has a new video posted every day.