How to Make God Relevant to Those Who Think He Isn’t
In our nation, there are definitely atheists — those who believe there is no God.
There also are definitely monotheists (like Christians) who believe there is a God.
But the majority of the people in our nation could be classified as apatheists.
The online Urban Dictionary defines an apatheist as “someone who has no use for religion although they believe in the existence of God or another ‘higher power.’” They don’t care about religion of any sort because they don’t find it a meaningful part of the way they have chosen to live their lives.
At JesusCares.com, conversations with atheists, Muslims and people from other religions daily, and we are seeing great fruit from those who haven’t been rejecting Him, but intentionally ignoring Him. When it comes to evangelism in the U.S., they are the low- hanging fruit, and here is the key: When dealing with an apatheist, you don’t need to convince them that God is real (they already believe that). You need to remind them that He is relevant. When they see all that Jesus offers and how He desires to interact with their lives, they embrace His gift of grace and His offer of relationship.
So how do you convince an apatheist that God is relevant?
- You remind them He has perfect perspective. When people find themselves trapped in cycles of destruction and misery, they need to be reminded that there is a way out. Instead of letting them sink in the quicksand of their making, remind them that God wants to come alongside them and help them on their journey. He wants to move the mountains that stand in the way of His plans for them, and He wants to open the closed doors that are keeping them from experiencing growth.
- You remind them that He loves unconditionally. This world leaves us bruised and bleeding emotionally as we search for meaningful and lasting connection. While we are out there “looking for love in all the wrong places,” we are left empty and tattered. When we remind those we are talking with that God is the One who knows us intimately and still loves us unconditionally, it positions God as the One who can meet their need to be loved.
- You remind them He can heal their heart. While people disappoint, God never does. In a world where the people who say they love us and should protect us end up being the ones who disappoint and wound us, we all need to be reminded that God is the One who can heal our hearts and restore hope. Rather than running to a substance or a shallow relationship in order to cope with our scars, we need to train people to turn to God. Other things can cover up the pain for a season, but only God can remove replace it with a sense of peace.
- You remind them that He gives purpose. We all long for purpose (just one of the reasons that Jeremiah 29:11 is the favorite verse of so many — “for I know the plans that I have for you says the Lord”). But many feel they have to create it. When we can share that God created them intentionally and knows what He put inside of them, it could move them closer to Jesus. When we tell them God put great things inside of them and knows how to get the best out of them, that might get them thinking about God differently.
Once you connect the relevancy of God to their life, then you can share the ultimate message of God’s meaning and purpose for them. When they are walking in relationship with their Creator, they have all of His benefits working on their behalf. He has promised them amazing peace and indescribable joy. He wants to bless them with His whispers to encourage them and His blessings through this life, but it all begins as they accept His gift of grace, forgiveness and salvation.
They are at their best when they are acknowledging and surrendering to Him.
Apatheist believe they have no room for religion in their life, but when they discover how God wants to benefit every area of their life, they will make room for Jesus.
Sean Dunn is founder and president of Groundwire, a global ministry with the mission to lead every youth and young adult into a personal relationship with Jesus by leveraging current media channels to connect with them wherever they are. More than 116,000 made commitments to Christ through the organization’s efforts in 2020. For more information, visit www.groundwire.net