I met a young man today who didn’t have an atheistic opinion, but just said that he didn’t care what happens when we die. He said, “what happens, happens and I’m fine with that.” I didn’t know what to say that wouldn’t sound demeaning, so I didn’t say anything. I know what I would say to someone that has a thoughtful opinion, one way or the other. I would attempt to walk them through the same logic that I have found. But for someone that blatantly doesn’t care… I’m not sure where to go with that. Any advice?
My advice would be simply the truth. What scripture says. If he believes in the possibility of God, then he may just not know which God. If he doesn’t know that our God, the Christian and one true God, then that is why he may have no concern.
Salvation through Christ and the gift of Heaven is always good to hear. But in reality we must be sure to give them the truth and understanding of the consequences for the choices they make. No one likes to preach about hellfire and damnation anymore as if it’s not PC. Yet it is the reality that we know. It is scripture and biblical truth. We must stay true to scripture. Gods word stands without us and the truth is known by hearing. Don’t deny your friend the truth. The Holy Spirit will convict, then he will have to decide to except him or not.
Let’s not forget that wisdom begins with the fear or God. He must fully understand what that means to be lukewarm. You don’t need to jump on him and yell “your going to hell”, but rather out of love, express your concern for his soul and after life. Suggest readings from scripture. But explain that it is not our fathers desire for it to happen, but a free will choice we make. To be absent from the fathers love is hell in itself. God bless and carry the Holy Spirit be with you. Amen.
Honestly, you started out the best way: asking him questions. I wonder if more questions would reveal why he doesn’t care. Would his childhood religious background or a tragic experience be related? Maybe some of that would need to be addressed.
I’ll be interested to hear any advice others have to give!
@Joe89 Great question I think that this type of objection to Christianity is rooted in a misunderstanding of why Jesus died. In the past, some have taught that Jesus died so that when we die, we can go to Heaven. But Jesus did so much more than that - Jesus died so that we can bring the Kingdom of God to earth today. Jesus died and rose so that we can be fully alive today - this day - not just after we die.
So I think one response could be, “Even if you do not care what happens when you die, do you care about making the world a more peaceful, equitable place for all today - beginning now?” Probably they will say yes - then you can talk about how God’s Kingdom in Christ brings hope to the poor, the outcast, the orphan and the widow - following Jesus is not just about what happens after we die. It is about how we live today.
You might find some of N. T. Wright’s thoughts on what it means to live the Christian life helpful in this area. Also included some additional resources below that may be applicable. Christ grant you wisdom
Ravi on Reaching the Happy Thinking Pagan
Ravi Zacharias: The happy pagan is wrapped up in the belief that this world and the success it affords are the greatest pursuits in life. He or she feels no need for anything transcendent. Life has been reduced to temporal pursuits disconnected from all the other disciplines necessary for life to be meaningfully engaged.
Some are completely unreflective; they don’t think enough to know they have no right to be happy. They borrow on capital they don’t have. Many of these people, though, are sophisticated thinkers in their fields-scientists, mathematicians, computer engineers. They are specialists with a glaring weakness: The do not ask the questions of life itself.
I have been in the same similar situation that you find yourself in now. Before responding to the young man, I suggest that you first determine what his worldview is. Have you taken the RZIM Academy’s Core Module Apologetics course?
I have not taken the course, but would love to! Unfortunately, my finances are struggling right now and I can’t afford anything other than the bare essentials…
The young man was a volunteer at the organization I work for, so I’m not sure if I’ll see him again to have a deeper conversation.
Thanks for the reply, Alexander. I think I was too concerned in the moment about having to be able to say just the right words, rather than knowing that the Holy Spirit will do the work of conviction. I’ll definitely keep that in mind going forward!