It takes courage to learn how to evangelize to an atheist. Atheists are normally intelligent. Evangelizing to them needs proper planning.
While there are many ways of evangelizing to an atheist, there is a pattern that needs to be followed. This pattern will help you avoid arguments when evangelizing to an atheist.
Though some may not convert to Christ, this is the pattern that needs to be followed. In the end, how you walk an atheist through this pattern will determine how smoothly your evangelism session turns out.
However, don’t be too focused on having a peaceful evangelism session with an atheist. Rather, aim to have a fruitful session where you speak the truth. Atheists will always react as they want and there is little you can do about that.
How to Evangelize to an Atheist in 5 Steps
1. Let the Atheist know God has nothing to lose
When evangelizing to an atheist, it is important to start by letting him know that God has nothing to lose. God is who He is with or without men. God was from the beginning and will be for eternity.
Our opinion of Him doesn’t matter. The Bible tells us in Galatians that God cannot be mocked and that a man reaps what he sows.
In simple terms, if a man chooses to hate God, the man will lose his soul but God will remain to be God.
This is why it is insisted that when evangelizing to an atheist, you defend your faith in God and not defend God. God is able to defend Himself. He needs no help.
The atheist may argue that He doesn’t believe in the God you are talking about but that doesn’t matter. The truth is that we are all humans and were created by God.
Your goal is to let the atheist know that we are humans and we have everything to lose if we don’t go to God but God has nothing to lose if someone doesn’t believe He exists.
2. Let the Atheist know we Deserve Pain and Suffering
When evangelizing to an atheist, let him know that the pain that we experience on earth is caused by God. Then explain to Him why it is justified for us to be in pain.
In the beginning, God made the earth perfect for human life. There was no pain and suffering. But humans voluntarily disobeyed God when they knew exactly what would happen.
God had warned us clearly that if we disobey Him we will die. However, after we disobeyed Him, God had mercy on us; instead of killing us, He only drove us away from the peaceful garden into this world of pain and suffering.
Part of it was to let us know that God was angry at our disobedience but it was also a way for God to buy time to redeem us.
Eventually, God sent His Son Jesus who also shared in our suffering and brought us hope. Today, though we still suffer in this world, Jesus has promised us a new home where there will be no pain or suffering (Revelations 21:4).
This is the simple explanation you are to give for our suffering when evangelizing to an atheist.
3. God has provided Salvation
When evangelizing to an atheist, let him now that though God banished us from a peaceful garden into this world of trouble, He has provided a way out of our trouble and suffering.
Let the atheist know that though salvation is free, there is effort required to keep it. God’s duty was to provide a way out. Our duty is to find and hold onto it.
Salvation came through Jesus. Men could not find salvation on their own. We can’t know God unless we look to Jesus.
Since we are in our fallen nature, we can’t understand God. That is why it was necessary for God to come and live among us as a human being so that we could believe in Him.
Jesus is the express image of God. His life is the perfect life that God expects us to live in this world of pain and suffering.
Just as Jesus suffered yet He had done no wrong, those who follow Him also suffer. But the suffering is not in vain. It is through that suffering that we prove to God that we are ready to be restored to the peaceful life we lived before we disobeyed.
4. Humility is Required
When evangelizing to some atheists, they ask why God created us when He knew we would suffer. The truth is that God created us and we are suffering.
If we reject His salvation, there will be greater suffering for eternity. But if we accept His salvation, He will wipe our tears and give us comfort for eternity.
Therefore, as much as we may hate some aspects of God, it is wise to humble ourselves before Him and be comforted rather than hate Him and suffer greater punishment.
Your goal as someone evangelizing to an atheist should not be to deny what the atheist claims but rather to direct him.
Let him know that the anger he has against God may be justified to some extent but that the most important thing is to avoid greater trouble by accepting God’s salvation.
Let the atheist know that humility is not easy. It is a gift from God and you must pray to God to receive it.
5. Let the Atheist know Salvation is a Choice
When evangelizing to an atheist, help him understand that salvation is a conscious choice that someone has to make and put in effort to hold onto it.
Tell him that you too have chosen it even though you do not understand everything yet. There are too many things about God that if someone embarked on understanding all of them before believing in God, he would die before believing God.
Since we have limited time to believe in God, it is wise to believe in God first and then understand things about Him later.
But even believing in God is only possible if God gives someone the gift of faith. Therefore, someone must humble himself and ask God to give him faith for Him to believe God.
Of course it sounds counterproductive but that is the only way out. Many have done it. No one has an excuse.
That is the formula of how to evangelize to an atheist. The rest of the work is up to you as a disciple of Jesus.
Of course you will need to pray, seek guidance from the Holy Spirit and do whatever is necessary to win an atheist to Christ.
Always remember that God is with you; never will He leave you, never will He forsake you.
Go forth with boldness!