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What would you advise an atheist who is willing to seek God for a few months?

Discussion in 'Sign Gifts' started by TruthSeek3r, May 23, 2021.

  1. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Well-Known Member

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    Atheists do not believe in the existence of God nor anything supernatural. They do not believe that there is a spiritual realm, nor souls, spirits, angels, demons, miracles, paranormal phenomena, occultism, demon possessions, afterlife, reincarnation, psychic abilities, spiritual gifts, etc. In other words, they reject pretty much anything that goes beyond the physical and what is conventionally accepted by science.

    Having said that, suppose you've been in conversations about the existence of God with an atheist for quite a while, say, several weeks, and this atheist, kind of fed up with the topic, finally says to you: "Oh, come on. I'm tired of this annoying, never-ending discussion. You know what? Let's make a deal. I will give God a last chance. Three months. If nothing happens in three months, you can forget about wasting any more of my time".

    Suppose that the atheist, despite his/her inherent skepticism, is an intellectually honest guy/girl and he/she is willing to do things the "right" way during those three months. In other words, if you give them instructions about what to do those 3 months, the atheist is willing to try their best to honestly follow the instructions (i.e. despite their atheism, they are willing to take this 3-month experiment very seriously).

    Question: what instructions would you give to this atheist for their 3-month experiment? Please, be as specific as possible.

    Also, keep in mind that atheists like this are very rare. Most atheists wouldn't even think of "wasting their time" for that long.
    _______________________

    Note about why I'm posting this on the sign gifts subforum: The atheist in this story is not really sure about what to expect for those 3 months, but we can infer that he/she is expecting a sign or miracle from God of some sort. Of course, God is all powerful and there is no limit to His creativity, so it's kind of futile to attempt to prescribe how He is supposed to "reveal himself" to the atheist. He can surprise an atheist in a million different ways. Now, given that most people who are active in this subforum believe that signs and miracles from God are still possible, I thought that this would be an appropriate environment to ask a question like this. (But feel free to let me know if there is a better subforum for the question.)
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2021
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  2. Akita Suggagaki

    Akita Suggagaki Well-Known Member

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    Explore the question: What would God have to be like in order for you to believe?
     
  3. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Well-Known Member

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    I think the answer to that question depends on the person, doesn't it? You would get different answers if you pose the question to a Buddhist, a Muslim, a Christian, a Hinduist, an atheist, etc. Anyways, what is the point?
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2021
  4. zoidar

    zoidar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    @TruthSeek3r, Hard to be very specific, more than "give your whole life to Jesus". That's a decision the person has to make. We can't "try" giving our heart to Jesus. It's a "yes or no". The problem with giving it three months is a bit like bargaining with God. If the person decided to give his life to Jesus, it's a sincere "yes, I want to give the rest of my life to you, no matter what". At least that is how it was for me.

    With that said, I have heard people making this kind of deals, and that God has showed himself to them. I know that God sees a sincere heart.
     
  5. Hanging by a Thread

    Hanging by a Thread Member

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    So you're making the assumption that if the atheist behaved a certain way for three months that God will reveal himself? I'm not an atheist but I would love it if God would reveal himself to me. In fact, I pray for it. So if there is such a "right way" to do things for three months that can make this happen, sign me up for the program. Just let me know the specific intructions. Heck, I'll even follow the instructions and report back if you'd like (well, maybe- I might get a whole myriad of instructions, some that may be ridiculous, so I'll have to reserve the right to back out on this one). No athiest required for this experiment.
     
  6. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure how you can get to convince an atheist to accept the challenge of giving the literal rest of their life to Jesus. Just a 3 month challenge would deter the vast majority of atheists, let alone "the rest of their life". That said, let's say the atheist accepts your challenge of giving their life to Jesus, but only for 3 months. The atheist then asks you: "What am I supposed to do these 3 months? What does it mean, in practical and concrete terms, to give one's life to Jesus? What should my daily routine look like?"
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2021
  7. Hanging by a Thread

    Hanging by a Thread Member

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    I'm wondering as you list as a Christian, has God revealed himself to you in a way that the atheist in your story would be expecting ("we can infer that he/she is expecting a sign or miracle from God of some sort")? I'm also wondering what you would say to the athiest if, after three months of following the instructions, he did not recieve any revelation from God? Would you concede to his athiesm?
     
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  8. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Well-Known Member

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    I personally have never had a supernatural experience myself, so actually, just like you, answers to this question interests me a lot on a personal level. However, I do believe in the supernatural after having investigated tons and tons of testimonies. In my opinion, the testimonial evidence for the supernatural is just overwhelming. That said, I've personally known a few atheists, including a close relative, who are kind of in the situation I described in the OP and would need a personal experience to change their minds. In the case of my close relative, we've had long hours of discussions, in which I shared with him tons of powerful testimonies I've come across in my investigations, but he's still skeptical. The only thing that would change his mind is a personal experience. So I was thinking that maybe a good compromise would be to offer him a time-bound challenge as the one described in the OP, but the specific details (what instructions he would have to follow) are not yet clear to me.

    Regarding what I would say if the experiment didn't work for him, I don't know. It would depend on the specific instructions he followed.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2021
  9. zoidar

    zoidar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The problem is that it's not something you can do, no routine works. Religion has routine, faith doesn't.

    All Atheists aren't alike, but if he is interested in truth I would say to him: "Seek God, seek Him all the ways you can and understand! Read the NT Gospels, pray even it may feel silly, attend a church where Christians really live their faith. Be honest with God about yourself, even about your disbelief." Hopefully something inside will awaken. The person needs to understand that he is a sinner in need of Christ for salvation.
     
  10. Hanging by a Thread

    Hanging by a Thread Member

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    Can you point me to where you've found the testimonies of the supernatural? I'd be interested (although I am skeptical- I'm not one of those who believes in bigfoot or alien abductions, etc). I've been looking into a lot of NDE's which is the most convincing I can find, but even some of those seem contrived, and I'm really put off by NDE'rs who are selling a book or going on tour to tell their story.
     
  11. zoidar

    zoidar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My older brother is like that, he wants personal experience, but he wouldn't give it a chance whole heartly for three months. Ones I told him to pray, ask God if He was real, and that God would show himself to him. He did as I proposed, but he said that nothing happened. I wouldn't ask this of anyone again. I was quite new in faith. What I do now is praying for him and being honest about my faith. Trying to live my faith, hoping to be of influence, so he one day might believe.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2021
  12. GospelS

    GospelS Dance.Battle.Music Black.Gold.White Wind.Fire.Oil Supporter

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    The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit. John 3:8

    I think that the question that Nicodemus asked Jesus is no different from what you ask here.

    @TruthSeek3r It is your faith in God that moves the heart of God. Our goal should not be about proving ourselves or even helping others but we do what we do for the glory of God, that Christ may receive the full reward of His suffering. If that's what you are after, then you don't need to doubt or worry. We all want unbelievers to be saved but let's not forget that it's God's business and we simply follow His directions. If you faithfully did your job of presenting the gospel and have been an example of Christ's love, then God will reward your work in His time.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2021
  13. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Well-Known Member

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    You can find many of the testimonies I've watched on this link. But basically, you can find lots of testimonies on YouTube and on the internet in general. You just need to learn to use the right keywords to search. There are also many books that have been published about miracles, supernatural experiences, etc.
     
  14. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Well-Known Member

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    For how many days did he seek God in prayer? How earnestly did he do it?
     
  15. zoidar

    zoidar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think it wasn't much of seeking God. He prayed the prayer, that's all. I don't know of his heart though.
     
  16. Rene Loup

    Rene Loup Saved Wolf Among Sheep

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    Spend each day reading, studying, and KNOWING Scripture, with an open mind. Get something OUT of Scripture, DO NOT read INTO it. Also keep in mind, God is an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, omnibenevolent Supreme Being who does NOT think like us (Genesis 1-3, Ezekiel 18:20-30, Isaiah 55:8-9). He and His plans are beyond our fallible human comprehension. I also personally recommend doing research on the humanities, such as history, psychology, and geography, to help understand the Bible, not the natural sciences. God can bend the laws of natural science to His will, so empirically proving God this way is a fool's errand (Genesis 1-3, Exodus 7-15, Luke 1:37, Mark 10:23-27, Matthew 19:23-26). God is more interested in HUMANS than the rest of creation.

    Even if the atheists do not agree with the historicity of the stories, they are still valuable tools to learn morality and life lessons from. Anyone who studies literature can tell you, reading fiction and non-fiction greatly helps with developing empathy, critical thinking, creativity, among other benefits.[1][2][3] The Holy Bible is the greatest piece of literature in existence, and has profoundly influenced Western culture, and eventually the rest of the world.[4][5][6] It is impossible to deny The Holy Bible's influence on the world without pride (Psalm 14:1-7, Proverbs 16:18, 16:25, 26:12, 2 Timothy 3:1-17).[7][8][9]

    And do all of this RESPECTFULLY, as an INVITATION, and know when to walk away from an argument (Matthew 7:6, 10:11-25, 1 Peter 3:12-17), especially with narcissistic people bent on 'winning' (Proverbs 16:18, 26:12, 2 Timothy 3).[7][8][9] We all have free will and will be judged accordingly on the Judgment Day, for our every thought, word, and deed (Matthew 5:21-37, Revelation 20:11-15, Romans 14:9-12). Exchange ideas, learn from them, and try to develop Christ-like character from them. Not all ideas are equal, but some can be salvaged, meant for evil and used for good (1 Corinthians 15:33, Genesis 50:20).[10] During debates, I also advise you to answer, but also respectfully ask questions too. That is to show if he knows what he is talking about. Simple questions require simple answers. If it cannot be done, then something is up.[11][12]

    God bless!
    1. Benefits of Reading Books: For Your Physical and Mental Health
    2. Reading literature helps develop critical-thinking skills
    3. Importance of reading | Young Readers Foundation
    4. YouTube.com - Impact 360 Institute - WHAT GOOD IS CHRISTIANITY? - Posted Mar 27, 2017.
    5. How the King James Bible changed the world
    6. The influence of the Bible in English culture: the law, the arts, science, society, environment from Crossref-it.info
    7. Separating the Narcissist's Delusion from Reality
    8. How Narcissists Try to Avoid Responsibility
    9. Narcissistic Personality Disorder - HelpGuide.org
    10. Did the apostle Paul quote pagan philosophers? | carm.org
    11. YouTube.com - WIRED - Former FBI Agent Breaks Down Interrogation Techniques | WIRED - Posted Jan 26, 2021.
    12. YouTube.com - TheFuelProject - Answers S2 Ep1 || Answer, but ask too - Posted Sep 16, 2020.
     
  17. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

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    The only instruction that matters, which he cannot follow.

    God does not show us his truth to satisfy our curiousity, or for us to decide whether we agree with it or not, which is the atheist's position here.

    God shows his truth only to those who have decided beforehand that if God does so, they will receive, believe and obey it. (John 7:17)

    And God is doing them a huge favor in this. For if he showed them his truth and they rejected it, they would be better off not having ever known it.
     
  18. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Well-Known Member

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    Are you saying that God would not reveal Himself to sincere atheists if they seriously try to seek Him?
     
  19. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

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    Sincerity is the decision to obey if God reveals his truth to him.

    For examination is not sincerity.
     
  20. 4UallPraise

    4UallPraise disabled entertainment

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    Besides the complex socio-political issues, the challenge can be regarded as a reasonably sceptical request to know precisely what the argument is about, and how any serious theory of the world might settle it. It certainly wouldn’t be sufficient merely to appeal to internal rules and roles, they’re going to have sort through these and related complexities in understanding people’s intuitive responses. But that, in this particularly, one would have to have an intuition attuned to God and not the imagination. Kinda cache 22.
     
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