Why is it important for Christians to engage non-believers in discussions about morality, science, and a host of other topics? The Christian believes in the message of the Bible and that we are commissioned to share the good news of God’s love with others.
The motivation fueling our never-ending discussions with non-believers is not simply to win an argument. We engage in discussion and debate in order to remove barriers to faith for those honestly seeking answers; and to help strengthen the faith of believers.
Sean McDowell, in Apologetics for a New Generation, writes, “The bottom line is this: Apologetics for a new generation must be more concerned about winning people than winning arguments” (Apologetics for a New Generation. Sean McDowell. Harvest House Publishers. 2009. p. 96). Christians must keep in mind that our main purpose in any debate or discussion is to help others see the truth of God’s love and His great offer of salvation from our sinful condition.
The following is a condensed version of basic Christian beliefs we try to share with others:
1. God’s original creation was perfect.
“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31 ESV)
2. Man rebelled in Genesis 3 and the perfect world began suffering the effects of sin. The natural world was cursed as well as man himself. Many today continue to reject and rebel against God.
“...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God...” (Romans 3:23 ESV)
“For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23 ESV)
3. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross in order to pay for our sins.
“…but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 ESV)
“...Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures...” (I Corinthians 15:3-5 ESV)
4. This gift is not earned, but is received by faith [trust, belief, commitment] in Jesus Christ.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV)
We share the love of God with others because we are first loved by Him. Just like everyone else, we were once lost in sin and headed for an eternity of misery separated from God. However, God came out of heaven, dressed in the flesh of humanity, so He could take the punishment caused by the sin that stood between Him and us.
Truth be told, if losing EVERY debate would insure more people would trust Jesus with their lives and gain eternity, most Christians would gladly be labeled “losers”.