The Use of Questions in Evangelism

During his earthly ministry, sometimes the Master Teacher answered the Jews’ seemingly innocent questions by asking them another (Matthew 21:23-27; 22:15-22, 23-33). Questions are an excellent way to help people review their assumptions and make them reflect on the motives behind what they say.

At first glance, questions seem to indicate a sincere desire to know the will of God more perfectly. However, we would do well to recognize that they are sometimes used as a “smoke screen.” Some ask questions to hide true intentions or to divert attention.

So, the next time someone asks you a question about the word of God, first ask yourself if it would be more effective to answer him/her with another question.

For example, someone might say, “The Bible has many contradictions.” In this case, we might ask: “Have you ever read it?” If he has read the Bible, we might ask, “Can you show me an example of a contradiction?” If he cannot, it should become clear to him that it’s not wise to criticize the Bible without first carefully examining its claims. The Bible does have apparent contradictions, but these disappear with a careful and sincere investigation of the word of God (Acts 17:11-12).

Also, some argue, “The important thing is that one be sincere in what he believes.” In this case, we might ask, “What happens to the person who takes poison, sincerely believing that it is medicine?” Then we can show them that it is possible to be sincerely wrong (Acts 23:1; 26:9-11; Mark 10:17-24).

Finally, others might say: “I’m a good person.” We might ask, “According to whose criteria? According to your ideas or the laws of the country in which you live?” These things are not proof that we are “good” in the eyes of God. Let’s not examine ourselves according to our own criteria. We are not the standard. The Lord is the one who judges (1 Corinthians 4:4) and only His word can determine our faithfulness or lack of it (John 12:48; Hebrews 4:12).

–Jerry Falk