The Story of Three Atheists In Three Weeks

By: Curtis Ophoven 0 Comments   11/3/2011

Several months ago, I prayed a prayer to God that went something like this; “Lord give more opportunities to tell people about your good news.”

Sometimes I forget that God is sovereign. I forget that he listens to the prayers of the righteous.

I forget that he is interested in my ability to trust him, which grows my relationship with him. I forget that he has plans for me, to strengthen me with each trial so that I can face bigger trials in the future.

This is a story about the boldness of preaching Christ.

I have always been bold and outspoken, but being bold in preaching Christ is perhaps the most difficult. It is impossible without the unmatchable power of God’s Words that transforms and renews our mind.  Boldness comes from knowing what God has done for us and what He has guaranteed our future to be.

"Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold." - 2 Corinthians 3:12

It all started with a major reorganization of project teams at my place of work. The shift caused me to work and sit next to new people that I had never worked with before. It was very stressful working with new people, not knowing anything about them. So we began talking to each other about our personal lives to help us understand each other’s motivations and strengths. As we did, one of the team members told us that she was an Atheist and she was not shy about it.

I was immediately intrigued with her and began to ask her lots of questions, in which she responded by asking me lots of questions. I got the chance to answer her in front of several others that were listening very intriguingly. She didn’t give her life to Christ that day, but I put a lot of questions in her mind that Atheism cannot answer – only Christ can.

After that day, the discussion continued for many weeks, and as she questioned her faith she began to ask others about the questions I posed to her, which pulled more people into the discussion.

A week later, the discussion resulted in the discovery that another co-worker claimed to be an Atheist. At this point, I realized that God was answering my prayer and testing me to see if I would have the boldness to face the challenge. I thanked the Lord for the opportunity that he provided and I began to pursue this second Atheist.

The conversation went on for about a week, until he was convinced that it is in his best interest not only to believe in God but to set in his heart that "Christ is Lord". (Proverbs 3:6, 1 Peter 3:15)  Yet, he said he is not ready at this time to trust God and let go of the steering wheel of his life. He wants to try to live life without God and believes he can make something good out of his life without God.

The bible tells us this is impossible, and history proves it over and over.  The reason is that we are prone to evil because of our nature which we inherit from our sinful parents who inherited it from theirs all the way to Adam and Eve, when sin entered the world. 

"Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned" - Romans 5:12

Without God, it is impossible for us to overcome our sin nature that we inherit at birth. Therefore we are prone to think evil thoughts that lead us to destroy our lives and the lives around us. There is no escaping our own skin. We cannot do anything good, because we are born with sin in our hearts. And because of the sin in our hearts, we are not even capable of making rational decisions. 

"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" - Jeremiah 17:9

You see, evil causes us to do things that are not in our best interest and therefore cannot be reasonably explained. We cannot even understand or explain to ourselves some of the bad things that we do, because the sin that is in our heart is irrational.

This is the reason that Christ came to earth, to pay the ransom (1 Timothy 2:6) for our sin and set us free from its bondage.

Christ came to earth to undo what Adam did to us.

"Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man (Jesus Christ) the many will be made righteous." - Romans 5:18-19

In the third week, I ran into an old friend who was even bolder in her unbelief then the first two. And this time, instead of me initiating the conversation, she confronted me and started calling me names and claiming that my faith in God was a fake.

The Lord’s timing was perfect, because I just spend the last two weeks researching the key points that the previous Atheists brought to my attention.

Back and forth we went for ten days until the scriptures that I quoted to her were too much for her to listen to any longer. They were penetrating her heart and she began to question her faith and realize the reality of God was more real than she was alive.

The Word of God always has a purpose and never comes back void (Isaiah 55:11). Without it, an argument is just an argument, but with it, an argument has the power to save many lives.  The longer an Atheist talks to someone who is quoting scripture, the harder it is for them to remain in unbelief. 

This is why many will try to stop you from quoting scripture, telling you that they don't believe scripture so you cannot use it, but don't be fooled and keep quoting scripture, it is everything and without it you have nothing.

"Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. " - Proverbs 4:13

To this day, all three Atheists that I witnessed to have not given their life to Christ that I know of, but they realize that there is every reason to believe in God.   They know that when you look at the evidence all around us it takes more faith to be an Atheist then to believe in God, and overlooking the evidence is irrational.

“And whether they listen or fail to listen--for they are a rebellious house--they will know that a prophet has been among them.” – Ezekiel 2:5

Boldness in Christ is proof that we have the real hope that cannot be found anywhere else. Some have searched the world from end to end, and have not found what Christ gives. And this is why when you run into these people they are amazed at what you have.

The Kingdom of God is a treasure that the world does not understand and cannot comprehend, because it is not of the world. You cannot buy it or gain it in any form of worldly measure. The idea that the Kingdom of God is beyond this world and we are part of it is hard to grasp when one wants to think of this life as everything.

Boldness comes by prayer and studying the Word of God to get a deep understanding of what He revealed to us. The test of boldness is a test of our faith, and God tests our faith.  So instead of waiting for God to test your faith, ask Him to test you and enjoy the test because it will reveal more of Him to you. Watch what He does and see how powerful His words are.   

Boldness Was Part Of The Early Church

Boldness is another sign that we are living in the end times (just before the return of Christ). Scripture talks about how the early church will be restored. In Acts 4, Peter and John get into trouble with the government because they are preaching Christ with boldness. The government threatens to throw them in jail, so they decide to have a prayer meeting.

The interesting thing is that rather than pray for help against the government or to be rescued from the threats they were facing, they pray for even greater boldness to preach to even more people as they face greater threats in the future.

Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word “ - Acts 4:29-31

Christians are going to face greater and greater threats as the world rejects Christ.  The Lord gave me these opportunities to deepen my faith and strengthen my courage for greater courage will be needed in the days ahead. But what an exciting adventure to look at what the Lord is doing to answer my prayers by directly intervening in my life. 

If you want more boldness and a deeper faith, pray to the God of heaven, he is where my help comes from (Psalm 121:2), and join the greatest adventure of your life.

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