It is difficult to see a friend, or even a person you just met, in confusion with many religious ideas. There is no simple answer to questions about how to minister except to allow the Spirit of the Living Christ to flow through you in love toward this person and everyone else. There is no more compelling way to minister to others than to enter fully into your own experience with Christ. It is that personal relationship that ministers to them since the ministry is not your natural self but the Living Christ within you Who ministers through you.
The points on this page may shake the faith of the Atheist in the precepts of Atheism, but the most important thing is that you share the Good News (Gospel). This is simple. All these other things may help, but it is the proclamation of the Gospel that transforms minds. See Give Them the Gospel.
God has always moved in witness through the righteous acts that the Holy Spirit does through His people. Let the Love of God be shed abroad in your mind by the Holy Ghost. Yield your members to the flow of that Love. Acts and words of kindness that come from the flow of the Anointing of the Holy Spirit can melt a hard heart. Of course, any time you yield at all to your own fallen fleshly nature, you work against the work of Christ, both in you and in those around you.
Don't be afraid to share how Jesus speaks to you daily, guides you, and answers your prayers. If you are unaware of the leading of Jesus in your life, then you need to turn your mind toward Jesus, pay attention to Him, thank Him for each blessing moment by moment, ask Him for direction in everything, and yield to His Spirit in everything so that He can think His Thoughts, say His Words, and do His Works through you. As God gives you the words to speak, talk freely to your friends and acquaintances about how He corrects you or keeps you from danger. Make sure that the only words the come from your mouth are from Him. Anything else can do great damage to those you would have been able to minister to since they blame the ministry, the Christ in you, for your bad actions and words. Let Christ minister to your friend.
One other thing. You cannot be responsible to try to save your friend. Only the Holy Spirit can do that. Your place is to be obedient to the Spirit.
When someone trolls, looking to provoke you into an argument, cut to the central problem. Tell them that they are touching the edge of the problem, but the things that you believe are much more offensive than what they are trying to pick at. Tell them that you believe that God is God and that human beings are not. Tell them that you believe that God speaks to people through the Bible. Tell them that the Bible means exactly what it says and that it is God's Word without error. Tell them that you know that no one can really have any more than a human opinion unless God reveals His will. Tell them that God doesn't care about their opinion any more than He cares about your own. God has His own opinion. Then stand your ground on God's revelation rather than on weak human reasoning. (some caveats about hearing God's Voice)
An easy way to handle these people is to tell them the truth:
Whatever they come back with will consist of made-up stories (lies), arbitrary assumptions (lies), or irrational statements (insanity). This is true whether they say "Evolution is science," "There is no God," "God doesn't speak to you," "You are stupid," "You don't understand science," "I don't have enough evidence to believe," "There is no evidence for God," or any other thing, so just say some variation of the following:
Be very careful of compromise. As soon as you compromise, everything becomes a gray area. God places a huge division between righteousness and sin. Whatever He doesn't lead you into and do through you is sin. In ministry, there is no need for compromise. Often, those who are not following Christ will invite you to engage in their activities that are not of the Father but of the world. It is not kind to flatter or to say that sin is righteousness and righteousness is sin. If they ask about their own sin, which they often will do, speak the truth in love with gentleness, without anger, without disgust, without condemnation, and in the power of the Grace of God. Remember what Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery: Neither do I condemn you--go and sin no more lest a worse thing befall you. He was kind but truthful.
Avoid moralism, that is, talking about morality apart from God and what He says through His Word.
In these types of discussions, don't let Satan turn any discussion into a contest. Discuss without turning the other person into a loser or turning yourself into the winner.
Avoid the biggest compromise, accepting the unbeliever's foundation as the "neutral" position. It is not neutral. If we didn’t have the Bible as authority to find out what is right and what is wrong as we stand before God and allow Him to show us His revelation of what is right and what is wrong, we would just share our opinions. Who is then to say one person’s opinion is better than another person’s opinion. When someone jumps on you and disagrees with what you know from God, they will insist that we must all be “objective.” And they will then insist that you accept their own presuppositions, their own starting point for all their thoughts. What will that starting point be? Probably Naturalism, the notion that God doesn’t speak to people, not even through Scripture. They may have a presupposition of Materialism, the notion that God doesn’t exist. They may have a presupposition so Uniformitarianism, the notion that the flood never occurred. They may have a presupposition of rationalism, the notion that the human mind can manufacture knowledge on its own. They may have a notion of scientism, the worship of science as the source of all knowledge. So they want you to accept their presupposition as a starting point, and they insist that this is neutral ground. If they do this and try to shout down any use of what God says in His Word, then do what Martin Luther did. He said that he would not debate people who did not base their arguments on Scripture alone. That may make them furious, but it is what they are doing to you, except that their presuppositions are incorrect and your basis, revelation from God, is correct.
Some suggestions to avoid the biggest compromise:
"Show me your absolute evidence that evolution actually happened, not that it could have happened. I'm not interested in opinions or feasible stories. Other than that, I won't accept any evidence other than Scripture. If you can't prove it in the Bible, it is only your opinion. I don't care any more about your opinion than God does."
"Show me your absolute evidence that Naturalism can be proven by repeatable scientific process, that God doesn't exist and that there is no spiritual realm. Other than that, I won't accept any evidence other than Scripture. If you can't prove it there it is only your opinion. I don't care any more about your opinion than God does."
"Show me your absolute evidence that God doesn't speak to us through Scripture. Barring than that, I won't accept any evidence other than Scripture. If you can't prove it there it is only your opinion. I don't care any more about your opinion than God does." (They may bring up many of the arguments for errors in Scripture that have been brought forward and refuted over hundreds of years) "You may be able to ask me a question I don't know the answer to, but every attack on Scripture has been successfully refuted, so you would need iron-clad absolute evidence that God doesn't speak to us through Scripture. You won't find it, since I personally know that God speaks to me through Scripture. Other than that, I won't accept any evidence other than Scripture. If you can't prove it there it is only your opinion. I don't care any more about your opinion than God does."
If they say that knowledge is only given through science: "Since you say that knowledge is only found through science, then that statement itself must be proven using scientific method or else it is not true by its own definition. Show me the scientific research that shows this to be true or else admit that the statement was false. I don't care about your opinion any more than God does, but I'm perfectly willing to discuss Scripture with you or what God is doing in our lives."
On the blogs: "It seems that the people who know anything about science are doing science. The others are teaching and bouncing around on the blogs making science seem like something that requires unprovable assertions and circular reasoning and showing that they don't have a clue about how real science is done or how logic works. I don't care about your opinion any more than God does, but I'm perfectly willing to discuss Scripture with you or what God is doing in our lives."
"I'm really not any more interested in the opinions of scientists than God is. Let's talk about something real. What does the Scripture say? . . ."
Avoid being a poser. Don't pretend to be more spiritually mature than you are. Don't put on that you are better than any other person. Never gossip. Gossip implies that you are somehow better than someone else. You are forgiven for what should receive punishment in hell. And anything you do right is because of the Spirit of God in you doing His work through you. You have nothing to brag about. Admit that you have sin in you but that you don't want to be controlled by it. (You HAVE a sinful nature, but you IDENTIFY WITH the Christ Who lives within you. That's the real you.) Satan influences the minds of the ungodly to accuse Christ-followers of being hypocrites who sin and then pretend not to have sin. Granted, there are hypocrites who call themselves "Christian," but these are not Christ-followers. Let them know that you don't claim to be better than anyone but that you are seeking God moment by moment to transfigure you from your fleshly mind to the mind of Christ--that you haven't yet overcome, but God is forming Christ in you little by little, and He is setting you free from your own sinful nature. Paul, the apostle, fully admitted that he had not yet achieved this and it's OK for you to also admit the same. However, you can tell the truth about those areas of your life where God has given you the victory, not to brag but to encourage others that God can do this. The fact that there is a huge part of the Church that is compromising on sin, stepping knowingly into various sins, makes this problem much worse. Be Christ to them.
Don't be a denomination-follower; be a Christ-follower.
Avoid rooting your statements in science or philosophy--or even the Bible--rather than Christ. Science is one of the ways that God speaks to us, but God speaks through it and says exactly what Scripture says. Just as Satan gets the wrong interpretation out of the Bible, Satan also gets the wrong interpretation out of the Scripture. If God says something to you through Scripture, then speak about it. Most of the reason that denominations exist is because of people speculating about the Bible.
Sometimes the sales-oriented "witnessing systems" cause more problems that they do good. There are many memorized scripts. There are also many question-asking techniques. There is nothing inherently wrong with the words of these memorized scripts. There is nothing wrong with asking questions. What is wrong is trying to witness in a mechanical way without allowing God to give you the words and to move through you to say those words. Without the Holy Spirit, there can be no true witness.
Don't argue, but it is OK to answer questions that your friend asks. Some, especially the followers of Atheism, will try to bait you. They may even say that they are open-minded and willing to hear an argument to convince them. There are some who just need to hear answers to some misconceptions that they had. Others, however, are practiced ungodly people who know how to troll for Christians. They frame the conversation in a way that implies that you must convince them. Of course, they have an argument, no matter how insane, against anything you say. When they frame the conversation in this way, you must re-frame it by letting them know that they have the responsibility to believe God, that they already know that God exists, that you have no responsibility to convince them of anything, and that you are willing to answer any questions that they may have but not to argue. This kind of person will constantly be trying to turn the conversation back into an argument, but be led by God. God may lead you away from such people. Only minister to those who are indicated to you by the Holy Spirit. When God tells you to break off a conversation, break it off. Don't get fooled by Satan into thinking that there is a debate that you are supposed to win.
What is ministry
Every member of the Body of Christ has a ministry and is a ministry. The ministry is Christ in us, the hope of glory. Only God is Good. Only He can minister (serve) in an effective way. When we minister to those who have not yet been born again, we respond to the leading of God in the moment. We hear His voice. He directs us. Faith comes to us by hearing His utterance. Faith gives us access to His grace, His free gift of righteousness. His righteousness ministers to the spiritually dead person, breathing God's life into that person. You have yielded your members to expressing the words of God, but it is not you. You are acting as the oracle, the mouthpiece of God. That person is hearing the utterance of God through you as you yield to the Holy Spirit. That is ministry. Anything that is self-generated is not ministry.
We have been redeemed in part. Our spirits have been redeemed and joined to God's Spirit, and we sit with Him in the spiritual realm. Part of our minds, hearts, souls, have been transfigured through the obedience that is by grace through faith. And, in this part of our being that we call "our ministry" we are resting from our own works. We now just yield to the Holy Spirit and allow the love of God to be shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. We have ceased from our own dead works of self-generated "filthy rags" righteousness. We allow God's free gift of righteousness to work the works of God through us as we yield the members of our bodies to Him. That causes a progressive dying to the flesh and transfiguration of our mind into the mind of Christ.
The flesh is that part of your being that is still under the influence of Satan and the worldly influences, including false teachings, the winds of doctrine. The flesh is that part of the soul, mind, heart that is still in bondage to the body. Paul tells us that we are waiting for the redemption of our bodies.
How to minister to Error
How to minister to person who is deceived by Satan: Second, discern Christ the Body. Walk in love and submission to the members of the Body, especially Scripture-based authority. When you see yourself as part of a many-membered Body without meaning outside of the Body and that Body being Christ the Body, then you see Him as He is. This is what changes you. Every gift, ministry, office, and order is important. Go in the strength of the Body. Be aware of the presence of Christ the Head and Christ the Body wherever you go. If you see all of this, you walk in the full authority of the Body of Christ.
How to minister to person who is deceived by Satan: Third, understand faith. The real conflict between those who are in error and the Christian who is ministering by the Spirit is over faith. It is over faith regardless of whether the person is Hindu, Muslim, Atheist, Evolutionist, or what their belief system is. Don't ever forget this fact. You will almost always find that unbelievers don't even know what faith is. Most Christians don't know what faith is either. Faith only comes by a personal revelation of God. Your faith, if it is faith, involved you coming to know Jesus. You may have had to overcome some lies that were bound up in your mind; perhaps someone answered some of your questions. However, only Christ can overcome such things. Somewhere in this process, God spoke to you, and you acknowledged Him rather than your own flesh-controlled mind. No one can accept Jesus unless Jesus has personally revealed Himself to them.
How to minister to person who is deceived by Satan: Fourth, Pray: How often we forget to pray. When you are going to talk to a person who is deceived by Satan, prepare with prayer. As you are talking to the person who is deceived by Satan, pray. If they do not believe, ask them if they would be open-minded enough to accept Christ if He actually revealed Himself to them in a real way. If they say that they that are open-minded, then ask if you can pray for them. If they consent, pray right there that God would reveal Himself to them in a real way.
How to minister to the person who is deceived by Satan: Fifth, be effective. Initiate, inquire, invest, and influence.
How to minister to the person who is deceived by Satan: Sixth, Don't get bogged down.
Last updated: Sep, 2013
How to Minister to Person Who is Deceived by Satan
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How to Minister to Person Who is Deceived by Satan
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How to minister to the ungodly: First, draw near to God.
How to minister to the ungodly: Second, discern Christ the Body.
How to minister to the ungodly: Third, understand faith.
How to minister to the ungodly: Fourth, Pray
How to minister to the ungodly: Fifth , be effective
How to minister to the ungodly: Sixth, Don't get bogged down.
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How to Minister to Person Who is Deceived by Satan