On college campuses across the United States, many Christian students are having their first encounter with secular humanist arguments (secular humanists believe in the superiority of human reason and logic and they reject spirituality and religion) and having their first actual introduction to other religions. Countless students will abandon their shallow faith at the first tough question that they are unprepared to answer, others will wrestle with their faith as they encounter professors and/or fellow students who have convincing arguments, and some simply don’t have enough interest in God to care one way or the other.
There are very few college age Christians who are well equipped enough to answer the barrage (and it’s seriously a barrage) of questions and statements that they will encounter on a college campus. I don’t say this pretentiously, but I have read more apologetics books than nearly anyone else that I know (college age or older) and there have been a good amount of questions that I have encountered as I have started college that I was initially unsure about how to answer. So as I have walked this out, I have found a few specific things to be helpful on this journey to seek out answers.
1. Don’t Let The Enemy Turn Your Questions Into Doubts
One of the Enemy’s primary tactics is fear. Fear makes you think illogically and irrationally, so the Enemy will always try to get you to a place of fear.
The primary way that he does this with me is that if I encounter a question to which I don’t know the answer, he tries to turn my question into something bigger. A question is not the same as a doubt. Questions occur when we simply don’t know the answer to something. Doubts occur when we allow those questions to challenge what we know to be true.
The Enemy will try to get us to believe that a question the size of a pebble can topple over the mountain of truth and evidence that we already know about God and His Word. Don’t let Him deceive you.
This tip goes hand-in-hand with my next tip, which is:
2. Stand On The Word, Not On Your Questions.
What do I mean by that? One of the things I have noticed that I can tend to do when I encounter an argument that I don’t happen to have the immediate answer to, is that I can be tempted to question the Bible as I look at it from my place of uncertainty and doubt.
If you encounter a question, stand on the Word and know that it will never fail. Know that the answer is there, even if you don’t know it yet.
Personally I want to encourage you by saying that out of every question I have had and every argument I have encountered, I’ve never lacked answers as long as I have been diligent to seek them out.
3. Meet Your Questions Head On.
Questions become doubts and doubts become strongholds when you let your questions go unanswered. Don’t beat around the bush! I see tons of students who do this. They encounter one question they can’t answer and instead of finding answers they allow it to erode their faith to the ground. Doubt is corrosive and it will erode your faith if you let it. Meet your questions head on with boldness and faith in the fact that God will provide the answers.
By letting your questions mill around in your head, you give them a place of influence. I love how Bill Johnson says it, “Faith doesn’t deny a problem’s [or in this case a question’s] existence. It denies it a place of influence.” Seek out the answers quickly and passionately.
4. Know That Tests Exist To Make You Stronger.
As I said earlier, the Enemy will do whatever he can to get you to a place of fear. Don’t be afraid of the fight, but know that as we encounter opposition it only serves to make our faith stronger.
Faith is like a muscle. When body builders want to gain muscle, they workout (thanks for pointing out the obvious, Luke), but the question is why does working out build muscle? The reason is that by lifting weight you are literally causing your body to think that you are running for your life. So when your body thinks that it had to fight for survival, it builds more muscle so that the next time you encounter that situation you can overcome it.
Faith only gets stronger through trials. The fight isn’t always fun, but it’s always worth it. A.W. Tozer said this, “God never uses anyone greatly until He tests them deeply.” We are promised that the Holy Spirit will "guide us into all truth" (John 16:13), so we have nothing to fear as long as we seek Him. Don’t fear the fire, take it head on and know that you will come out refined on the other side.
5. Know What You Believe. Know Why You Believe It.
On a college campus, more than nearly anywhere else, people are desperate for Christians who know what they believe and why they believe it. The Bible isn’t a book that can’t stand up to scrutiny. Actually, the more questions I have about the Bible, the more my faith in its words and my faith in the God who wrote it grows.
No one has ever changed the world through skepticism. The only people that ever make history are those with convictions, whether good or bad. But in either case, the world has never been impacted by uncertainty, only faith.
I hope these points were helpful!
[Abraham] did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
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