Rev. Billy Graham, before his death, was asked by a reader, how she could win her atheist friend to Christ. Graham had a wise response.
The reader wrote this question to Graham: “My best friend and I enjoy each other’s company, but I’m a Christian and he says he’s an atheist. I’ve tried to argue with him, but he just laughs and says I ought to grow up and forget about God. How can I win him over?”
Charisma News reports on Graham’s response:
“You can point him in the right direction—but to be honest, you can’t win him over by yourself (as you’ve discovered). He’s convinced that he is right, and even if he has secret doubts, his pride probably gets in the way,” began Graham.
He went on to say that praying for our atheist friends is the most important thing we can do, because ultimately only God can convert them.
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“But God can do what we can’t do, and He can conquer even the most stubborn heart. And that’s why the most important thing you can do for your friend is to pray for him, asking God to convict him of his sin and his pride and convince him of his need for Christ. Pray also that your life will be a witness to him—a witness to Christ’s peace and joy. People may argue with what we say, but they can’t argue with the reality of a life that’s been transformed by Christ.”
“Most of all,” Graham concluded, “urge him to examine Jesus Christ honestly and openly, as He is found in the Gospels of the New Testament. When he does, he’ll discover not only that God exists, but God loves him and wants to come into his life.”
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Amen. Salvation is not so much dependent on human persuasion as it is on the Sovereign work of the Holy Spirit. The resistant heart can be melted by His work of convincing, conviction and conversion.