What Are the Big Questions?
Ask, “What are the big questions for which you are seeking answers?” (Dialogue about the persons questions. One or all of the following questions will usually surface. As you dialogue, write down the one word that summarizes the question. Do not attempt to answer the questions until you have written the word for each of them.)
1. Origin: “Where did I come from? Did I just happen or was I an intentional creation?”
2. Purpose: “Why am I here? What am I here for?”
3. Values: “How should I live today? What is right and wrong?” Many are frustrated by the complexities of life. For them, the rules they were taught as children no longer seem to apply.
4. Destiny: “Where am I going after death?”
Origin: “Where Did I Come From?”
Start with origin. You may say, “The answer to this question will determine the way we answer the other questions on the list. There are two possible answers to the question of origin. First, that all intelligent life came through chance mutation. Nothing plus infinite time plus chance equals everything. That option has never been totally convincing to me, but what other options do we have'
“There is really only one other option. Behind it all there exists an intelligent creative Being or Force who started the process and has continued to guide it with some ultimate purpose in mind.” (You will notice that the name for God has not been used nor has any process of creation been mentioned. At this point, we are simply laying the foundation. Give the person with whom you are sharing opportunity to respond.)
Purpose: “Why Am I Here?”
After you have agreed on this basic truth, you are ready to move to a second but related questionour purpose for existing. You may say, “If we can agree that a creator exists, then you are a created being. The purpose for any created being or thing can only be determined by the creator who designed the creation.”
The person may ask, “How do I know that purpose?” (If the question is not asked, you may surface it.)
Share from your own experience. “If you like, I can tell you how I know and what that purpose is for my life.” (Give an opportunity for response.) “I find my answer for the purpose question in the Bible. I was created in the image of my Creator so I could know Him in personal intimacy. He created me so that I could live in relationship with other persons and to exercise good stewardship over all the rest of creation.”
Values: How Should I Live?”
Continue the discussion by saying, “Now, we are ready to answer the question about values. There are three possible answers to this question. One, we could allow each person to determine his or her own values and laws.” (Give an opportunity for response.)
“The second option is that we could have a popular vote and determine the law by a simple majority rule. There is a down side to this system of determining laws. To illustrate, passengers on an airplane could take a vote that it would be best for everyone to throw another passenger out of the plane. But, of course, this decision would violate the rights of the person thrown out of the plane.” (Give opportunity for response.)
“The third option is that the Creator designed a world in which certain physical laws, such as the law of gravity would govern the world, and certain moral and spiritual laws would govern our relationships within that world. If God created an orderly physical world, does it not make sense to you that He would ensure that there was also moral order?” (Give opportunity for response.)
“Here again I find these laws and values in the Bible. The Ten Commandments cover all the basic areas of our two fundamental relationshipsour relationship with God and with our fellowman. These very commandments are the foundation for the legal system of our country. God Himself is the only one who has the right or ability to determine how we should live.”
Destiny: “Where Am I Going after I Die?”
You may continue to dialogue by saying, “This leaves us with one more question: “Where are you going? This is one of the most critical questions that we will ever answer because all of us will one day face death. There are three possible answers.
“One, life is all there is and when we die, we return to dust and cease to exist.
“Two is the circular view of history where everything that exists is part of the oneness of the universe which is itself eternal. You may be reborn in several different lifetimes or even life forms.
“Perhaps, if you are good, you will be born into a higher or more glorious body. But what if youre not?” (Give time for response.)
“The evidence we see around us indicates that people do evil things. If we also take into account the bad thoughts and motives as well as the good things we fail to do, we might realistically look at ourselves. But lets assume the best: that you advance to the next level when you die. Once you have reached your final stage of human existence, what then? The end result of successive positive reincarnations is said to be this blissful union with the one, the divine force, which is described as nirvana, a mindless and person-less existence. This idea is not far from dying, returning to dust, and ceasing to exist.
“There is a third alternative. It is the natural conclusion to all we have talked about. You were created in the image of God so that you might know Him and serve His purpose now and for all eternity. Your Creator is eternal by His very nature and thus He alone can give eternal life. He has made you so that you can live eternally with Him. Would you like to know how you can do that?”
Level of Spiritual Development
|Ignorance||Uninformed||Pray, instruct, nurture|
|Indifference||Unconcerned||Share, Confront with the claims of Christ. Ask the Holy Spirit to stir.|
|Hostility||Bitter, angry||Love, listen, share Jesus. Continue with patience.|
|Conviction||Heavy hearted, Miserable||Call attention to work of Holy Spirit. Guide through the steps in coming to Christ.|
|Conversion||Ready||Guide through the conversion experience. Instruct in how to follow Christ.|
|Growing||Already a Christian. Following Christ||Share in fellowship. Encourage to witness. Pray together for lost acquaintances.|
|Spiritual Declining||Discouraged, defeated, Overcome by sin||Show patience, love, listen, encourage. Help reinvolve the person in following Christ. Help bridge the gap.|