Listen:  76 Question 1

I am thankful that you still love your friend in spite of what has happened to her concerning her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Regardless of any past profession of faith in the Lord, I suggest that you accept what she is saying now…that she is an atheist.  As an atheist, or non-believer in the Lord, what is your responsibility to your friend?  It is to share the precious Gospel with her at every opportunity the Lord gives you.  Because you do love her and have a concern for her soul, ask the Lord for wisdom in dealing with her.

Young people entering college will have their faith tested.  Too often, the teachers and professors are not believers on the Lord Jesus and try to discern the truth of the Bible from an intellectual perspective, as if we can understand the existence of God and our sinful state by human reasoning.  The Lord tells us in Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”  It’s when we reason with the Lord, in the light of His Word, that we are able to properly know Him and realize our responsibility to Him.  The Apostle Paul spoke about the impossibility of the unsaved person discerning the truths of God.  He wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:14, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”  Unregenerate, unbelieving people can never, on their own, figure out the truth of the existence and love of God, and the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus.  As Paul wrote, “…they are foolishness unto him.”

Let’s look briefly at the Apostle Peter’s bold statement concerning the Lord Jesus in Matthew 16:16, where he said to the Lord “…Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  Here Peter spoke with conviction and assurance about who Jesus truly is.  Now, let’s look at the Lord’s response to Peter’s statement in Matthew 16:17, “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”  Flesh and blood did not reveal this truth to Peter.  He did not reason this precious truth on his own.  He was not convinced by what others had said about the Lord.  It was the Father that had revealed this to Peter.

We cannot search for the truth of the Lord in the world.  Psychiatry, psychology, higher learning, human reasoning…we cannot find the truth of the Lord in these things.  The answers to life, God, and eternity are found in God’s Word, the Bible.  The Lord Jesus said in John 5:39, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”  I encourage you to speak frankly to your friend.  It may be that she is, indeed saved, but has been confused by the arguments of the world.  However, as long as she professes to be an atheist; she needs to have the Gospel presented to her.

If she is looking for evidence of the existence of God, remind her that the Lord expects us to receive Him by faith.  Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”  The Lord said to Thomas after his resurrection in John 20:29, “…because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”  Scripture does point out some indisputable evidence of the existence of God.  We read in Psalms 19:1-4, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.  Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun.”  We read in Romans 1:20, “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.”  So, the evidence for the existence of God is really all around her.  May the Lord open her eyes to see Him, His love, and the sacrifice of His son for her eternal salvation.  Be patient, but persistent with her.  The Lord does love her and He wants her to be saved as we know from 2 Peter 3:9 which says, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”