Where Do We Start? At The Beginning of Course! : Witnessing in a World That Is Increasingly Secular

Posted: June 15, 2015 in 46-1 Corinthians

1 Corinthian 2:1-16 — To conclude our review of this passage today, let us consider that people who are not receptive to the Holy Spirit consider the truth of God as revealed in Scripture as foolishness. It all sounds foolish to them for they cannot understand. Something you consider foolish or fantastic, you will by nature will dismiss it.

Do you remember when you were a kid, you could not understand the concept of people living in other time zones. You could not understand why people all over the world did not go to sleep at the same time. It did not make sense to you because, as a child, you could only understand the world as it related to you. You could understand the world as it related to you but anything else beyond that, you dismissed it. It did not make sense that whole parts of the world worked and slept on a totally different schedule than you. It did not make sense that the universe was not within your realm of understanding. Did it make it any less true that the earth rotates on its axis as it rotates on a trajectory around the sun such that all parts of our planet have day and night? Just because we do not understand something and summarily dismiss it does not make it any less true. The truth of Scripture is the same way. It is dismissed as untrue by many because the Holy Spirit has not yet opened their eyes to the possibility that there is something greater than ourselves and that there is a plan in motion to redeem mankind through Jesus Christ. Does saying God does not exist make Him not exist. Just because I cannot see outside my field of vision does not make the world beyond my vision not exist. There are elements of the universe that we have just recently discovered but did their discovery mean that they did not previously exist?

We, as Christ followers, must keep this in mind that some will dismiss the gospel, will dismiss the existence of God because it all seems foolish to them. We must be able to tailor the unchanging story of God’s redemptive plan to the context in which they find their lives at the moment. In a world that is increasingly secular. In a world where we are entering second generations and maybe even third generations of people that have not darkened the door of a church ever. In a world where biblical literacy is decreasing. In a world where people right here in the United States have not read a single page of the Bible nor have had parents who did, the Bible and its story are just the thin veneer of things that they have seen on television or seen possibly in movies. How to do you express the message of God’s redemptive plan for mankind to a world that does not know Him. Do you start with Jesus on the cross? I do not think that we can start there any more. In decades past, when there was a significantly higher level of biblical literacy in the world, you could start at the cross because there was already pre-existing understanding of Jesus and why His death on the cross and His resurrection were significant. These are assumptions we cannot make today.

We must begin with the beginning. We must begin with the concept of how we all got here. We must begin with existence. We must grapple with the beginnings of the universe. We must seek to understand whether they believe that the universe was created by a random spark out of nothingness and work through the issue that the universe has forever been built on laws of action and reaction and catalysts that set of actions and reactions. How could a universe built on a set of laws based on such things just create itself. There must have been a catalyst. There has to have been an outside agent that caused the initial spark that created the universe. The Bible addresses the issue of creation and attributes it all to the existence of God who set all things in motion. That begins to frame the whole conversation. You have to start there. Without opening up with the question of creation in a world where the existence of God may not even be a consideration in a person’s mind, the discussion is pointless and rejected as foolishness. Does it make it any less true that God exists and was the Intelligent Designer of the universe if I say He does not exist? No. God will still exist even if I say He does not. However, you do not give solid food to a baby, you give them milk. In our conversations with those who reject what we believe, you must address this issue first. Go back to the very beginning.

Until you settle that issue, the need for Jesus Christ is indeed foolishness. How do I know I need Jesus until I know there is God. If I believe in a world that was randomly created out of nothing for no apparent reason, then, the whole world is random and the whole world is chance. And I must control it all myself. In a world randomly created out of nothing for apparent reason with no catalyst, I am therefore my own God. I define what is right and what is wrong. In a world without God, I am the definer of morality. Everything else is foolishness until you address the issue of the existence of God. With existence of God, there is a judge of what is universally right and universally wrong. With the existence of God there are unchanging truths. With the existence of God there is accountability. With the existence of God there is such a thing as sin. With the existence of God, there is a need for a redemptive plan for man who has royally screwed up God’s creation with his self-centered ways. With the existence of God, there is a need for a Savior. With the existence of God, there is a need for Jesus. With Jesus there is a hope for an eternity with God. With Jesus there an expectation and a hope that this crazy messed up world will be made right by Him in the end. Begin with the beginning. Unless you do that, it is all foolishness to a world that increasingly does not even know or cares to know that God exists. To them, it’s all foolishness until you address that issue.

May we pray for opportunities to have discussions about the purpose of existence and how it all began so that we address the issue of the existence of God and get the conversation started that leads us down the path to Jesus Christ. May we rely on the Holy Spirit to guide our words so that eyes are open to facts that were previously believed either to not exist or were considered untrue fictions. May we give the milk that leads to solid food. Amen.

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