Answers to common objections
Christians often struggle with answering questions or objections they hear when sharing Christ. Although we want to rely on the Holy Spirit and not our own powers of persuasion, we also want to be ready to answer clearly and with grace (Col. 4:6). We hope the suggestions below will encourage you as you prayerfully seek to share the Gospel.
*Many of the answers have been adapted from chapter 10 of One Thing You Can't Do in Heaven by Mark Cahill (also available in Spanish).
1. "There's no absolute truth."
- Answer: we all accept certain absolute truths (e.g.: 2+2) - why expect that eternity would not have absolute truth?
- "It doesn't matter what you believe - what matters is what's true." (p. 149) For example, I could believe the earth is flat or that you're going to give me $1000. Just because I believe it doesn't make it true.
- People sometimes say that as long as they believe in their heart something's true, then it is. But is that logical? Adolph Hitler believed in his heart that all Jews should be killed. So is that true?
- Don't end a conversation about Jesus on a negative note. If the conversation is going nowhere, you can end with this statement from Cahill, "If you ever want to find absolute truth, you can, in the Bible."
- We all agree that certain actions are unconditionally wrong (e.g. rape or torturing a child). If this could be considered an absolute truth, then there is a possibility that more absolute truths exist.
2. "Can you prove that there is a God?"
- Inference: "You have blind faith (but I don't)..."
- Response: "What evidence have you found that proves to you there isn't a God?" If they have no evidence, then they also have blind faith.
- Cahill suggests that creation, design, art and order all serve as proof of God.
- "Every time you see a shirt, you know it has a creator. Every time you see a watch, you know it has a designer. Every time you see art (point out something artistic), you know there is an artist. Every time you see order (eg: 20 Cokes in a row) you know there's an orderer. You see this in the universe: creation, design, art, order. Why don't you think there's a Creator, a Designer, an Artist, an Orderer behind it?" (p. 152) This is the logic of Rom. 1:20.
3. "How do you know the Bible is true?"
- Most people won't be satisfied with the answer "The Bible says it's true," (circular reasoning) or "I simply believe it to be true," (see #1 - sincere belief doesn't mean something is true).
- Cahill suggests the following answers:
#1: The Bible is the best-selling book in the world, with maybe 4 billion copies sold. This doesn't prove it's true, but makes it worth looking into.
#2: The Bible claims to be written by God (1 Tim. 3:16, 2 Pet. 1:21). This isn't proof, but people should be aware of this.
#3: Historical evidence supports the Bible - no one has successfully identified a single historical mistake anywhere in the Bible. (For further info see New Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell and The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel.)
#4: Archaeological evidence supports the Bible - nothing in archaeological research in Middle East has proven the Bible wrong in more than 25,000 discoveries regarding people, places and events in the Bible. "If you can believe the historical and archaeological evidence for the Bible, why don't you think you can believe the spiritual part of the book?" (p. 155)
#5: Fulfilled prophecies validate the Bible - in a short conversation, jump to this point: The Bible contains hundreds of detailed prophecies. If the text contains prophecies that do not come true, what does that say about that book? What if they do come true? 25% of the Bible, when written, contained prophecies regarding future events. They have all come true, except for a few regarding Jesus' return. Some example: Messiah will be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2); Messiah will be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver (Zech. 11:12-13); Messiah will be pierced hands/feet (Ps. 22 - written 800 years before crucifixion was invented). If the Bible accurately predicted things like this, what is the likelihood of everything else being true?
4. "Doesn't evolution prove the Bible false?"
- Probability - If you have 20 dice with alphabet letters on them, the probability of them coming out in alphabetical order is 1 x 101018. We have 206 bones in our body. The probability of 200 things appearing in order is 1 x 1010375. (Anything over 1 x 101050 is statistically impossible.) How long before they could appear in order?
- The fossil record does not show any transitional forms, just complete kinds. (The Bible refers to God making species "after their own kind" in Gen. 1:25 and 1 Cor. 15:39.) So-called "missing links" have all been proved to be frauds.
- A good book on this subject is The Collapse of Evolution by Dr. Scott Huse.
5. "How can Jesus be the only way to God? Aren't there many paths to heaven?"
- We live in a pluralistic culture where many think all faiths are equal, so people should follow the one they prefer. (I.e. God is on top of a mountain, and there are many paths to the top, the Jewish path, the Christian path, the good works path...)
- Answer: if there are many paths, why did the Son of God have to die on the cross for the sins of the world? God sending Jesus to die would be cruel, and Jesus choosing to die voluntarily would be "the most senseless, idiotic act in the history of the world" (p. 159). A reading of the Gospels shows us that Jesus was anything but stupid!
- "Why would He live the only perfect life in the history of mankind, and then pull the bonehead move of the millennium - unless it is just as He said, that He is the only way to get to heaven?" (p. 159)
- If they ask why you are so sure this is true, ask them why are you so sure it's not?
- John 14:6, Acts 4:12 and 1 Tim. 2:5 all point to Jesus as only Way.
6. "I don't believe in hell, so there can't be one."
- Our beliefs don't matter; the truth matters. (See #1.) We must open our minds enough to search for the truth.
- The Bible says hell is a real place - Jesus warned us about it.
7. "Doesn't the Bible say we are reincarnated when we die?"
- No, it says we must be born again - a spiritual, not physical rebirth.
- There is one death and two destinies (Heb. 9:27)
8. "Can God create a rock so big that He can't lift it?"
- Short answer: no - and He can't make a round square, and He can't lie/sin. These things are outside His character.
- So there are some things God can't/won't do (but He can make a person who needs to make a choice about Him...)
9. "When I get old, I'll get right with God."
- Answer: "Can you guarantee you'll wake up tomorrow morning? Before you put your head on the pillow tonight, shouldn't you know for sure where you'll spend eternity?"
- Verses about this: James 4:13-14, 2 Cor. 6:2, Joel 3:14.
10. "How can there be a God when there is so much evil and suffering in the world?"
- Love by definition demands a choice; evil exists because people chose not to love/obey God.
- This question may come from personal pain/hurt, even pain caused by a church/Christian. Probe to find out about the source of their pain, then minister to them.
- "What kind of God would take my Dad away from me?" -Death came because of sin, which was caused by Satan; death is because of Satan, not God.
11. "What will happen to people in Africa who have never heard the Gospel? Are they condemned to hell?"
- Response: if you are concerned re this, you need to repent/believe and go to Africa to reach them!
- Answer: people don't go to hell because they haven't heard about Jesus, but because they have broken God's law and sinned (1 John 3:4)
- Titus 2:11 says the grace of God has appeared to all men; Rom. 1:20 says all know about God's invisible attributes, so we have no excuse.
- Ask: "If that African stood in front of God, he may be able to say he's never heard of Jesus. But you... will you be able to?"
12. "The church is full of hypocrites."
- Response: "There are hypocrites in this café/mall/school. That didn't stop you from coming here. Why in the world would you let hypocrites stop you from encountering the one true God who loves you and wants to forgive all your sins?"
13. "There are so many religions, how do I know which is the right one?"
- Response: prove the Bible is true, show them where they stand in regards to the Ten Commandments, then point to the cross and repentance.
- Remind them of the resurrection - only One rose again.