Appeal to Intellect

One of the more difficult aspects of sharing our faith is when we know someone who won’t believe in God because they can’t see Him. In fact, many highly intelligent people struggle with putting their faith in something they can’t see. They’d rather trust in their own intellect and things they can actually place their confidence in. 

If you’ve read any part of the New Testament, then it’s likely you’ve read something that was written by the Apostle Paul. He was well-educated, highly intelligent, and even once persecuted people who believed in Jesus. The Bible doesn’t say this for certain, but with all of the credentials attributed to Paul, it’s likely that he was a know-it-all, arrogant Jew. But on one unlikely day as Paul was still threatening Christians with their lives, he was transformed.

As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” Acts 9:3-6 NIV

Paul went from oppressing and harassing Christians to encouraging and teaching them. For years he’d heard the truth about Jesus, but chose to reject Him because this didn’t line up with everything he’d learned in his life. But on this day, no amount of intellect could explain away his experience with Jesus on that dusty road.

This method of evangelism, where we appeal to someone’s intellect, won’t be for everyone, but it will be attractive to some. Maybe we just don’t feel we know enough to journey down this intellectual path. Even if that’s the case, there could still be a time when God places someone in our path who has an abundance of questions, and plenty of them are ones you don’t seem to have the answers to. 

Let’s spend some time learning new things about our amazing God, so that we’ll be prepared with answers to the questions that may be asked of us. We can also read books and learn about men and women who came to know Christ through a more intellectual way. Some people we come across won’t believe in anything until they understand it completely. And while we can’t change their hearts, we can be ready to share what we know and trust God to do the rest. 

We won’t know everything, but we can ask God for wisdom that He’s ready to give us. As we learn new things, God may use us to bring grace-filled truth to someone at a time when we least expect it. 


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