Tough Questions

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Atheists love throwing hard questions at Christians. The Living Waters team shows you how to answer.



Yeah. Have you ever had a christian friend come up to you and say, hey, you should share the Gospel with Stephanopoulos. Stephanopoulos? What if he asks me tough questions and from their nervousness, anxiety, and panic ensued friends, One of the most difficult things about sharing the Gospel with other people is the concern that they’re gonna ask you tough questions that you cannot answer. I have with me today to gentlemen, my co host who have been asked quadrillions of difficult, tough questions, Ray comfort and Mark Spence. Guys, we’ve been there, we’ve done that right a lot of times and we still get accosted with tough questions. So my question to you, maybe it’s a tough question is what is the toughest question you’ve ever been asked? Yeah. Um, how on earth did you ever get a television show? Yeah, with there’s no answer to that one. Yeah, but we still can’t figure it out, right, and neither can you. What are these three buffoons doing on my television set? But seriously guys, tough questions are common. I think they paralyze a lot of christians and it’s one of the reasons I would say that many christians don’t even want to share the Gospel because they’re afraid of being stumped. Mark Spence. How have you dealt with that over the course of your 18 years upon the face of the Earth? Well dealing with the tough questions, not having any answers has led me to say, I don’t have an answer for that and guess what? That’s okay. It’s okay to say? I have a limited amount of knowledge within this arena. I want to study it out. You’ve encouraged me to do that very thing. And I’m going to study it out now. What they’re not expecting you to say is let me get back to you with an answer. What’s your email address? You know? It’s not the tough, it’s not the tough questions. The problem. It’s the fear of the tough questions. Yeah. That can paralyze is uh, the, the imagination goes wild. Very really do we get asked really tough questions? But like Mark said, you can just put them aside and said, I just don’t answer that. But let’s get onto the subject at hand, Ray. When when I think of you back in New Zealand at the square every single weekday? For the most part for was it 12 years? 12 years when you first started? Because you’ve now become accustomed to answering questions, Even the questions that you know, hit you that you don’t know. But but when you first started, did you panic? I mean, you were a newer believer, you hadn’t been walking with christ that long? A few years, maybe 34 years, two years. Two years. He started opening and preaching it two years. How did you deal with that? Was it nerve wracking? Every time. Did you sometimes feel that temptation to be prideful and try to give an answer that you really didn’t know. I mean, how did you deal with it? It was, it was more than nerve wracking. And it was a sort of a sense of control panic, but you just trust the Lord. And I’ve always known that I can say, I don’t know. I’ve never really tried to bluff it because I don’t know where to go with someone else. I’m going to try and bluff this. You just say, I’m sorry. I don’t know. And there are some questions we can’t answer. There’s something that we shouldn’t answer. Were you ever asked maybe on, I don’t know, like national television, How do you sneak drugs into prison or anything like that? No, no, no. It’s not explained. You sneak drugs into prison. It’s how people sneak drugs into prison, right? Like my friends don’t know. Let me just give you some backdrop. Ray used to lead a drug prevention center. Is that what it was called on High Street? And uh, and Ray one time was asked to do an interview about how you, how someone would let me back it up. There was a couple of drug addicts. I could tell the drugs come into the center and they were just looking at books and I received a phone call from a national television program and they said, we would like to ask you how to get drugs in prison. I thought, yeah, yeah, sure. Go ahead. And they said, we’ll be there in five minutes and get drugs into prison. So I went up to these two drugs said, how do you get drugs in prison? They said, well, they inject oranges with LSD they put them on postage stamps since. And I and five minutes later I was on national television saying yes and I became a national expert for the whole drug thing and and that was a platform for the Gospel, The unbelievable, unbelievable vibe. This doesn’t happen to you. Well, let’s not forget that when Ray was trying to get the center, he was praying, Lord let me know your in this and he gets a call from the owner, he says yes, this is mr God be here. Yeah, I said Lord, if if you’re in this, please let me know as our minis. And probably two minutes later I got a telegram saying the leading of the dome was a big dome thing is yours, God be here. It was just surreal on High Street Friends on High Street. Alright, well look today, we’re gonna be talking about answering tough questions. In fact, we produce the course sometime ago called tough questions and we try to help christians to understand that there are answers and that we can be bold witnesses for the Lord by his strength and glory. So we’re gonna check out one of the clips from tough questions. I think that when you say things such as that humanity is innately evil and that it needs an external source to bring uh to save us to bring righteousness. I think that you are underestimating humanity. I think you’re underestimating the morals that we can create the societies that joseph. Could you tell me someone who was good in your eyes? Well, the, the image would bring up images of people like Martin Luther King, Jr like Mahatma Gandhi addressed that. Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King. Let me answer that. Okay, Mahatma Gandhi said after life being a hindu, I’m still separated from the God that I love by my own wretchedness. So he didn’t think he was a good person. Neither did martin Luther King 87 Oh, gods evil because you commanded genocide. You killed everyone on the earth except for eight people. And you say, well, did that really happen? And I said, yeah, he killed everybody. So you’re saying God exists and there wasn’t no flooding No, no, he didn’t. So God didn’t do it. So he doesn’t exist. There’s no evil. And you’re an atheist, you can’t say anything is good or bad or evil, right? Hmm. Three handsome fellas. Guys, sin sin. That was sinful, but sin. Really? I mean does anyone even have a concept of sin anymore. It looks like, you know, generations past people had more of a consciousness. Maybe it was talked about more, Maybe there was less of this relativistic perspective in society. But does anyone, does anyone even have a notion of sin anymore? I would only say that people have a notion of sin when it’s done against them right? When somebody does them wrong right? Like probably yes. Mark stole my nose. No sitting there thinking well that’s it. Then see what I got to put up with on this program. Friends. Yeah. So so Ray. But but speak to that please because it’s frustrating sometimes to try to talk to a person who keeps going in circles again and again and again about how what do you mean sin? No, of course not. There’s no such thing. I mean how do you deal with it? Well we’re living in a day and age where everyone does that which is right in their own ways. They make the mistake and and make the mistake of judging themselves by their own standard of righteousness and they say they’re good. Even though they’re lying thieves, you go through the commandments. Anything and lying thief is a good person. They say yeah, yeah. And it’s just it’s crazy. So what you have to do is realized that we have an ally right in the heart of the enemy. It’s the conscience. And I love those old movies where some british or american agent would find themselves in nazi Germany. They get into a bar or something and they would give a little code and the person to give the code back and suddenly I realize I’ve made contact with the ally and the code that makes contact with the Allies. The 10 Commandments. When you say to someone, you know the commandments. you know, it’s wrong to steal and to lie. And they’ll go, yeah, and subconsciously nod, because God has taken the time to write the work of the Law on the heart, the conscience bearing witness. And that’s the Ally. We’ve got to work with this, jesus, didn’t has pulled it in romans chapter two when he said you who say you shall not steal, Do you steal? You say shall not commit adultery? Do you commit adultery? So instead of arguing with someone, you have the contention set aside and you find there the conscience confirms the truth of the commandments. Mark, would you say that today? A lot of preachers don’t talk about sin because it makes them feel uncomfortable personally? Or is it it’s just that they’re not clear on what scripture teaches on? Well, you know, I’d probably say both. I did a interview on monday with a student who’s writing a paper over at bob jones university on this very subject. And I like this quote from martin Luther. Uh, the recognition of sin is the beginning of salvation. The recognition of sin is the beginning of salvation. And she who was interviewing me, just could not grasp for the life of her how easy it is to use the law to bring the knowledge of sin. She was in this place, what we call evangelical frustration. So desires of people to get saved, willing to do whatever it takes and say whatever needs to be said in order to get somebody to repeat a prayer and perhaps go back to the church, there’s a baptism and that church answers to mothership Church. We’ve had X. Amount of baptisms this uh this year. And there’s something wrong with that right? We applaud when somebody makes a decision, but heaven applauds when someone repents when someone repents when someone repents of their sin, you know, those that deny us in our living in a dream world, they can’t watch the news at night. Every every car alarm, every lock on every door, every prison, every judge, every jury, every police officer is a testimony to the reality of sin. If we didn’t have sin, we wouldn’t lock our doors have classrooms, wouldn’t have bank vaults which just leave money out on the counter and a bank and say take what you want to bring it back when you’ve finished with the line. But sin dwells. And that’s right. You know, and what you’re saying is it works within the college classroom, but it doesn’t work in real life. Right? Tell you what, put your wallet with $100 in there with your I. D. If lost, call this number and it won’t happen. Nobody will call you to tell you that they found your wallet more than likely put 23 $400 inside there and see what happens. And I mentioned before, that becomes national news when any human being does something right? You say ban found $10,000 in a wallet. He returned it. Whoa. He’s a good man. Well, the fact that they’re reporting on national news shows how uncommon it is. This is news when a human being does something which right, Well speaking of that mark mentioning the whole wallet thing. I mean that you did that exact thing right? In one of our programs where you will remember that you’re dropping wallets and I mean I love it because people are on camera and you see him take the money out there putting in there and it’s like, what what, what, what, what, what do you mean? You know, it’s like, hey, we got you. It’s like ah but yeah, I mean rate obviously for a season of your life before you got ahold of the use of the law. When you read that Spurgeon sermon many years ago, you didn’t use the law in evangelism. So what was your angle? How would you share the gospel with unbelievers at that time? I tried to get fish to jump into the boat um by putting fish food in the boat. That was exciting for fish and it just didn’t work. You know, we were to throw the net out and pull them in and the net that God has given us the loss. What I would do is say and I’m embarrassed to say it because it’s so unbiblical, you’ll never find true peace without jesus christ. there is a God shaped vacuum in your heart that only God can fill true peace and true happiness and fulfillment come from being a christian. And I really believed it until I looked at reality because I saw that all the guys that were in the crowd were happy, they were having a ball mocking me and blaspheming and joking, they always seem to be happy. And I’d say we haven’t got true lasting happiness or slash their tires and bring them to christ, which is the logical conclusion. And I I used to think like that my neighbor seems so happy. He won’t be interested in the happiness that I have in jesus. So the sooner his house burns down the better. So he’ll listen. And that was just such a silly, silly attitude. All I had to do was governor neighbor and say, hey, do you think you’re a good person, you’re gonna make it to heaven? He doesn’t need happiness. He he needs righteousness. You can find happiness in the world moses chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God that enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Sin is pleasurable. And the guy who said is miserable of sin. Didn’t know what he was talking about. Sin isn’t miserable. It can give pleasure man, it really is eye opening because we’ve been in this atmosphere for so long using the law and understanding the importance of highlighting people’s sins and calling them to repentance? But Ray, that’s pretty logical what you said. You know? If your perspective is that some, you know, people are miserable and that’s why they need jesus, then it’s like you’re going to do whatever you can to try to make them miserable. So they I mean obviously the house burning down all that is a joke, but but it’s almost like you’re trying to convince them they’re miserable. No, no. You’re sure they’re like, no, I’m not man. What are you talking about? But when you use the law, nobody is immune because everybody is a sinner. I love it. Well, friends, another problem that we deal with today, as far as tough questions go, is within the realm of relativism. How do we deal with relativism in our day and age where people say, oh no, there’s there are no absolutes. Check it out. There is far more to truth than just absolute truth. Um, that so called immaterial truth is what societies are made of. It’s part of what makes us human, the seeking of that truth. And so there is truth out there and there is truth to be known yet, but not absolute truth in terms of, you know, the abstract philosophy, but the truth is that absolutely true? Absolutely true. You’re making a statement, you’re saying there’s no such thing as absolute truth philosophically. My question is that absolutely true? That there is no such thing as absolute truth in philosophy? There is no such thing as absolute truth in philosophy. Is that what you said? Yes, I would agree with that. Yes. Do you find that self refuting There’s no such thing as truth and that’s the truth. You know what I said was that there’s a difference between philosophy and science. Philosophy seeks to understand the abstract, as does religion. Science seeks to understand the material and that is the only making the truth claim that there is no such thing as truth? Uh, No, I was merely making it is the truth. The truth. In order to say there’s no such thing as truth. You’re making the truth claim which becomes self refuting. I suppose that is an oxymoron. Well, it’s wrong. It’s it’s illogical. The only thing that I do know is that I don’t know. I believe in everything and I don’t believe in anything at all. I know enough to know. I don’t know anything. So that’s what I’m talking. I don’t like that. People, that people that speaking absolute truths. I don’t like that. Do you think rape is wrong? Yes, Absolutely. Yes. Well, that’s absolute truth, Ray. That is absolutely classic things. She probably still didn’t get it. She probably did not did not catch what Ray was doing. That’s the problem, right? And you give them enough rope. They’re going to hang themselves through their own worldview? Yeah. Well, that’s what I was thinking when you were talking to the gentleman in Long Beach, I’m like, is he like, is he hasn’t clicked yet. You know what I mean? Has he gotten that? He’s absolutely making no sense? I felt he was floundering and sending out smoke smoke screens. He was saying he was saying you see a thought bubble, he just got me, but he wouldn’t say it with his mouth. Yeah, It’s like, right at what moment does it finally hit them? Like, Man Mark rescued him by continuing it at all. Yeah, yeah. So guys, we get we come across that a lot and my question to you is what in the world is happening on our university campuses. Because if you maybe took out the background and we didn’t somehow mention that this was a university campus, you think most people would say there’s no way right. I mean, there’s no way that people who are being taught to think critically and who are being taught logic. Hopefully in some of their classes, I would think that way, but they’re not right. I mean that they’re not being taught to think critically. I have two of my kids are taking a philosophy class at a secular school and my boy Ethan comes back now, he’s only a junior in high school, but he’s taking this class and he comes to me and he said, Dad, this is so great. He starts off by saying that truth is unbending ble that there’s only one truth and you can have your truth and I can have my truth, wait a minute. That makes no logical sense. I said, son, listen, just write down things that he says. And then if you want to kind of corner him or you want to have a dialogue, put it in the area in the realm of questions, how does that work with this? That you said over here and caused him to be pushed back on his heels? And at the right moment if given the opportunity begin to proclaim the gospel and jesus said he is the truth. Every other worldview does not make sense unless you bring christ into the conversation. So Christianity, all one can do that, wow. So I have another weapon. When I got a local college, I always ask people, do you think there’s an afterlife? And then are you afraid of dying? And that’s my little litmus test to see if they if they’ve got a humble heart, if someone says, yeah, I’m really scared of dying. I know I’m dealing with a humble person because they’re being honest and open and that usually is a headway straight for the gospel because they’ve got a will to live there crying out, I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die. Someone says, no, I’m not afraid of dying when you’re dead, you’re dead and I’m dealing with a proud person that’s gonna put up those arguments and the smoke screens all the way through and that almost always happens. So it’s very beneficial to ask someone that you think there’s an afterlife. Are you afraid of dying? And it’s as though a relief comes over their face. Hmm, This this guy is speaking to something that I’ve had secretly in my heart all my life and never shared it because it’s been so fearful for me and it’s a way for them to see that you really do care. So Ray, what do you say to the person who says to you, How do you know everybody is afraid of dying? Oh, hebrews two verse 15. It says that the whole of humanity is subject to the fear of death or haunted by the fear of death all their lifetime. So that’s my confidence. The Bible is the instruction book that tells us how humans think what God’s put within the human heart. And if we look at the instruction book, it has all the answers. And mark you, you’ve dealt with situations where that’s come to the surface when you’re talking to people and they’re real heart issue is that like they might put up smoke screens, they might put up a facade and, you know, throw this question at you that question at you. But but how have you dealt with that when you’re talking to someone and it does come to the surface. That that’s it. They are terrified to die. But yet they’re being distracted by sin and foolish questions. We need to be patient when we talk to people usually what gets the most views on Youtube. It’s somebody being put in their place, the opposition being put in their place apologetically. That’s not what evangelism is all about, right? Christianity is one beggar telling another beggar about the bread of life, how to find everlasting life. So when we get so caught up in trying to put somebody in their place and having an answer for that question, I wanted them to be quiet so I can just get to it and make them look foolish. You failed. You failed, right? I mean, you’re too proud to even admit it. Their greatest need is to get right with God. And at that moment your greatest desire is to demonstrate that you’re not an intellectual um, yep, that you’re an intellectual elitist, right? But you know more than them. Listen, we, we need to humble ourselves because but by the grace of God, there go us. So when somebody begins to talk and they begin to not make sense when given the moment feel free to begin to speak up and to be friendly with the person. That’s one of the reasons why I think people absolutely love raised Youtube videos is that he’s relatable that he comes down on their level, right? He’s only 52. So he’s able to see them face to face when their boy you just sold me short. Look, let me just 5-5. You know, people can relate to yesterday. I was talking to this guy who was actually very tall, nice looking guy, very intelligent, very eloquent. And I said, do you believe in evolution? He says, yeah, I totally believe in it was scientific. And I said, well, let me share what the bible says that God made man in his own image with a moral accountability. He made the male and female so they can reproduce off their own kind. And this is what his evolution say. And that he had no comeback. And I said, what does the bible makes sense? He said, absolutely not. I said, do you think that people embrace evolution? Because it gets rid of moral accountability, accountability? So they can have sex with your girlfriend, look at pornography without qualms of conscience. And he just smiled. And I said, why are you smiling? And it was just so telling, you know, ray it seriously, it almost seems without fail because you’ve asked that question a number of times of people, but that’s typical, right? I mean, it’s kind of like, it’s almost like you got me right, I don’t want to be fettered in my, you know, unbridled pursuit of morality and wickedness. It was wonderful because at the end he keeps I said, this all makes sense. He says, no, you’re gonna think about it. He said no. And I said, look, you’re like a little kid holding a stick of dynamite and you’re fascinated by the flicker of the and he just went like, and for the next probably two minutes he just stayed and listened. It was it was quite used that one. Have you used that before there? And then right, I’m a humble guy. Anyway, oh guys, this is uh this is stirring my heart, you know, because it’s a reminder. Even as I watched those clips, it’s a reminder That there is wisdom in the power of God’s word and there’s wisdom given to God’s people by his spirit. I mean, that illustration is just so profound. You know, you’re standing there, you’re holding a stick of dynamite and like a kid on the 4th of July, you’re being intrigued by the sparkles and you’re about to die. Like, and and like you said, it just, it makes people pause and think, you know, and and it’s huge and so friends. That clip you watched and the one before that is from our course tough questions, you see it sitting here on the table, this can help equip you to know how to deal with those tough questions so that you can be ready to give an answer to those that ask you. So we’re going to deal with one more. Now we’ll watch another clip and this deals with how do you respond to someone who basically says to you, I don’t believe God exists, where do you go from there. Okay, so once you realize, okay, I messed up and God is real. So probably I should get on this train to heaven or something like that. But how what if somebody doesn’t believe that God is real? Um you have an intuitive understanding of God, God’s nature and his character, it’s written on your heart, the book of romans issue without excuse because the invisible things of him through the creation of the world are clearly seen. You know, there was a builder by looking at the building, you know, there’s a painter by looking at the painting, you know, there’s a creator by looking at creation or nature and the order from the order from the atoms of the universe. You have a God given conscience, the society shaped, but that conscience tells you that God exists. It’s intuitive, that’s my confidence when I’m talking to you. So I know that you believe in God’s existence. What I’m trying to get you to realize is you’re in big trouble with God. You didn’t just mess up, but you sinned against heaven, You angered the God, you produce wrath and the almighty that’s abiding upon you. That will be revealed on the day of judgment. And I’m saying you need a savior. This is what it’s like you and I on the edge of playing 10,000 ft up. I got a parachute on. You haven’t you’re saying I can’t see this gravity thing. I’m saying man is there. He said, but I I really don’t think I can, I can save myself. I said, no, no, no best favor I can do for you. Peter is hanging out the plane by your ankles for five seconds when you come in your good sense or kicking you say, give me that parachute, man. I need a savior. Oh, Mark, While we were watching that, you said something about Ray’s demeanor on their right to speak on that. We’ll notice that he’s not trying to win an argument. He’s not trying to put him in his place. He is reasoning with the person in order to get to the gospel. So he’s slow to speak. He’s willing to listen. He’s willing to yield. And the guy had even made a comment. What what did he say? Right. He said something very, very silly. Um, while you’re looking for it, let me just say there’s nothing special on what I was doing. It’s just an obedience to the scripture. The servant of the Lord must not strive but be gentle unto all men and meekness speaking to those that oppose themselves. Yeah, okay, It was right. Well, peter, he didn’t take things too seriously at first and he starts talking about how I if I wanted to get on this train to heaven, Right? Just some silly talk. Ray takes no notice of it whatsoever, realizes what he really needs and we need to do that. When a question is asked, we have to realize that’s not what’s really holding them back, especially when they start with a gatling gun of questions. All of these questions started coming out. You can just slowly not even answer all of them at one time, but realize where you’re heading get to the gospel and leave the results to God. That’s the gentleness we need. Yeah. And I think of what it says in the word, Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand and they can’t argue against that. You know, they may in their minds be convinced all these christians, they don’t understand that, but they can’t argue with the fact that this person acted like they weren’t offended by me. They acted like they didn’t care about winning an argument. They acted like they weren’t out there to put a notch on their belt, man. They seemed like they really cared, you know, And it’s amazing how the Lord can work in and through that. I mean, Ray, you’ve seen some pretty intense interactions be diffused by kindness, right? I mean over the years and how, how have you know, there’s one story you’ve told before about, wasn’t it a guy that got mad at you and you parked somewhere or something you pulled in there? Oh, that’s right. I actually cut him off accidentally. I didn’t see him because I can’t see over the windshield. I, I stand to drive my wife. Yeah, I went to park my car and I looked and he had stopped his van. He was backing up and he was very angry and then he got out. He stomped across to me and I thought, man, I’m in big trouble And uh um he came over and he banged on the window so I thought I’d better get out not to them and make them stand up and make much difference. But I got out and he said that was a very stupid thing to do and I said yes and I’m sorry, please forgive me. He said, oh, have a nice weekend because the temptation is to be like, who do you think you are? You know, that’s a Yeah, but man, it’s scripture, so true. Time and time again. That gentle answer turns away wrath unless you’re some new Zealand preacher’s wife and some guy’s about to punch your husband. You say, don’t you touch my husband? And that worked. Yeah, that was raised wife defending him one day against a very brutal man. But we won’t talk about that today. Friends. Well guys, this has been encouraging to me personally because it’s a reminder that because like everyone, we still sometimes deal with that nervousness of what are we going to say. But it’s a reminder that Salvation is of the Lord that it’s his spirit who does the work. And so friends we hope that you’ve been encouraged today with that reminder again, The course that we’ve been talking about is tough questions. You can get it at Living Waters dot com and you can get sharpened and encouraged and not just in having answers to questions, but in knowing that God is at work saving souls in the way that he saved you. So our encouragement to you is to be yielded to him and watch him use you for his glory. Thanks for joining us. We’ll see you next time here again on the way of The Master. We hope this episode of Wave the Master has inspired you to share the message of eternal life. You can watch our award winning movies such as the Atheist Delusion freely on our website, where you’ll also find articles, videos, and audio messages, as well as books, dvds, gospel tracts and other resources to help you share your faith Biblically, and effectively make sure to visit Living Waters dot com today

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