Mark* had filled out a survey during orientation week at the University of Auckland, but when I messaged him, I didn’t think he would respond. On the survey he had said he was, “Quite content with the knowledge he had about who Jesus is.” He didn’t seem to want to know more about Jesus, the gospel, or my faith. Many of the 60 students who filled out surveys didn’t respond to a follow-up invitation to lunch.
So I was surprised and humbled when Mark responded that same evening: “Hey Ethan, shout me lunch Thursday, 12 pm at Subway? I have some questions.” (Shout is slang for me buying him lunch, which I had offered.)
In anticipation of our time together, I prayed that the Holy Spirit would be present in our time together and ministering to Mark as we met. I had no idea what to expect.
As we sat down for lunch, Mark informed me he technically grew up as a Christian, but often doubted the validity of the Bible, the life of Jesus, and that Jesus is actually God’s Son and God Himself, among other things. Some of his initial questions were striking. He asked, “Don’t Christians believe the Earth is flat and doesn’t revolve around the sun?”
In that moment, I thanked God for the time He gave me with Mark and that I was able to clear the air about some of his far-fetched, false beliefs about Christians.
Next, Mark asked me to prove to him that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died and rose from the grave. The day before our lunch, I had attended a discussion on this very same topic! It was an assurance for me, from God, that He would be guiding me all the way and that He had already been preparing me to meet with Mark.
We spent the next two hours talking about the true Jesus: His life, death, and resurrection. We looked at Scripture and the life of Jesus factually, rather than emotionally. Then I offered to meet with Mark again to answer more questions or explore the Bible together.
Mark and I met again for pizza, and it was clear from our continued conversation that he had grown up with many misconceptions about Jesus and faith. I asked him, “Mark, would you mind if I shared the true message about what we believe as Christians?”
Mark said that he didn’t want to read the Bible but he would let me talk about faith with him. So I proceeded to share the Good News of Jesus. Mark may not think he needs God now, but I am praying that Mark’s soul will be restless and that he will long for the truth about God and life through Jesus Christ.
My conversation with Mark reminds me what a skewed perception many have of Christians and the Bible today. Mark had pushed the question of salvation aside and was worried about crazy things he heard about Christians. For Mark, the thoughts, actions, and words of some who are Christians speaks louder than the gospel. But the prevalence of unclear ideas about God also presents an opportunity to intentionally engage with people relationally and share the truth about Jesus and the Bible—the Good News of God’s love is a new thought for many young adults.
Please pray for Mark that the truth of the gospel would transform his heart and mind to know God personally! And pray for Ethan and Navigators all over the world to continue planting seeds of the gospel in the lives of those who don’t yet know Christ.
Ethan is serving in New Zealand with The Navigators iEDGE team, a two-year internship program with Navigators Collegiate ministry on college campuses internationally.
Unfortunately, there ARE some Christians who believe the Earth is flat because they read the Bible too literally. I like that you keep going back with Mark to discuss the historical Jesus. The early church did not have the cannon of scripture we have today, but the Good News spread and people became devoted followers of Christ.
Just FYI: Isaiah 40:22 New King James Version (NKJV)
22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
Yes, that is a common one but it has already been addressed and answered.
Technically, the term “earth” is defined differently in the Bible than what we understand today. In the book of Genesis, God called the dry ground “earth.” In retrospect, only the ground (earth) we walk on is flat, but it doesn’t describe the planet’s structure. Four corners of the earth? At the time it was written, the Americas were not discovered so the four corners referenced in the Bible spoke about referred to Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa. Four winds? North, South, East, West. God allowed us to discover His creation of the curvature of the world when He deemed it was time (Galileo). Note: the flat earth belief was strongly held by the Catholic church probably as a way of maintaining control over every nation (in my opinion only but an interesting study to say the least).
We lived in NZ for almost 8 years. We have a heart for Kiwis. Praying for the University of Auckland.
Why don’t you give Mark a copy of “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel?
Wait! The earth isn’t flat??
A lot of Christians have trouble understanding the sciences like biology, physics, chemistry, astronomy and especially genetics because they are all based on evolution. But the physical world is not faith based. It just is what it is based on observation and analysis. However, Faith, Hope and Love are seen with the heart. Jesus explained it best when He told Nicodemus, “You must be born again.” Nicodemus, a very learned man of high status replies, “You mean I have to enter my mother’s womb?” Jesus explained that you must be born of the Spirit.
biology, physics, chemistry, astronomy and genetics, none of these are based on evolution.
Thanks for taking time to deal with Mark & his questions – sounds like he was ready to hear truth.
The flat earth conspiracy is very popular right now…There are many, many Christians who are falling for this..I had no idea until recently…. I thought it was a joke at first, but no, they really believe it.
It’s a good conspiracy…. over 240 Stationary Level Pond scriptures in the Bible, but only one where God says he will take the parchment like earth…roll it up like a scroll, the crumble it into a sphere then immediately destroy it…from all memory…. 240 v’s 1…. seems according to God science/evolution is fantasy
Don’t be a “religious” person but but a follower of the Way and ask to be sealed with the down payment and your eyes will be opened to understanding the things taught to you from your youth till now are false. Just because you perceive heavenly things doesn’t mean you have salvation, many who were healed by Christ and had demons cast out of them by Him still we’re in unbelief and stayed in their old ways. Don’t ever think for a second you are going to mix science and the unseen to understand the unseen or prove it. If you are spiritually blind you will remain that way until you ask Christ from the depths of your soul with all cincerity to forgive you and trust in Him and then he will begin a work in you that He will surely finish. Then and only then can you begin to understand the things us who truly believe are telling you. Including that biblically the evidence points towards flat
WOW! I’m a Spirit filled lover of Jesus & YES a Flat Earther! Go figure! YES I take the Bible literal!!!
Me too, the earth is 💯 % flat and motionless, I mean over 70% of water in our world is level, so what globe are we talking about in scientism, religion of unbelievers?
I pray for Mark. Hold fast to the faith:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;”
Ephesians 2:8 NASB
“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
Hebrews 11:6 NASB
And by the gospel:
“But what does it say? ” THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART “-that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
Romans 10:8-10 NASB
The earth is no more flat than any deity is real. Science is real. Things that can be seen or measured are real. That which may not be seen or measured is pure fantasy. It’s not hard to understand once you abandon denial that results from unwarranted fear.
You cannot know diety until you experience it. You can experiment this too…Try praying every day and see what happens! Then tell me if God doesn’t exist! I am a science person myself! Why can’t science explain everything! I’ll pray for your soul!
Are you serious? The Bible does not teach a flat earth and it has been shown and proven that it doesn’t.
The bible does teach that the earth is flat and does not move, the sun ,moon and starts move…..yes it is in the bible and just maybe you should read it!!! The Catholic church taught the earth was flat and even accused those who taught otherwise of heresy even Galileo was accused, and promised to say it was flat to avoid death. Martin Luther also taught the earth was flat.You need to READ your bible and also history before you run off at the mouth. NO it is not flat, but those were the teachings of the CHURCH into the 1600s
The Catholic church is a false religion anyway. Galileo was led by God and fought against the heretical teachings of the Catholic cult.
Some things one must believe before one can see. Science is truly the religion of satan set up to lead the masses into believing their own thoughts are correct and not the inspired divine kept words of God. If you are truly sealed for the day of redemption then the Spirit tells you that science/evolution wants you to feel distant from God to the point of questioning Him and eventually most abandoning Him. You see the Bible as a whole screams from beggining to end that God wants nothing more than a personal deep relationship with all mankind, this is why His only begotten Son to died for us so one day we can truly spend enternity blessed In close relationship with our creator. (who by the way is Christ) When the advasary throws his deception “science” into things it makes our feble minds forget who created us and for what purpose. Don’t be decieved. God doesn’t want to punish you but to love you and have a personal relationship just as he did in the beginning with Adam before the fall. You see death came through a man (Adam) so it is only logical that life came through a man as well (Yeshua of Nazereth). The advasary wants all of to burn with him, don’t let him take you with him!!!!!
Jesus is who He said He is, the only problem is, the earth is flat and none moving. Try to prove the earth is a sphere and moving through space, it can’t be done. All the information we were told in school is wrong
Hi Joanne. You stated that you take the Bible as literal. There are many symbolisms in the Bible. Some words you can take literally, some you cannot. And this is where your studying of the Bible comes into play. We have many tools today to do so. A concordance to look up the literal Greek words or Hebrew words used in a particular verse. We have many versions of the Bible you can look at. You can cross reference scriptures to get the full meaning. And of course, reading the Bible to get the understanding of the context of a word. Our English language is limited in compared to the Greek and Hebrew. A great example is the word LOVE. Love can be translated to STORGE, which is a family type of love. Or EROS which is an erotic love. PHILEO, which is a brotherly love (i.e. Philadelphia, home of Brotherly love) and AGAPE which is the highest, most supreme form of love. It’s the way God loves us. So please don’t take each word as it’s literal meaning. Study. God bless you.
I can show you many examples of proof that the Earth is a ball, and I’m going to keep it simple for you. If the earth is flat and stationary and the sun moves, then why don’t we see the sun getting smaller and smaller in the sky as it moves away? Like we’d see a plane in the sky or a ship on the water. Anything that moves away from you gets smaller. But if you’ve ever seen a sunset, the sun does NOT get smaller. It stays the same size as it dips down into the horizon until you cannot see it anymore. Or how about the lunar eclipse? That’s when the sun, earth and moon are lined up. And the moon, being smaller than the earth will be blocked by the earth, until…….the earth slowly moves and then the moon is now only partially blocked by the earth. But, what do we see? A crescent moon. A curvature seen on the moon created by the earth. And one more example is, a pilot. A close friend of mine is a born again Christian and an Air force pilot who flies jets up to 50,000 ft in the air! Higher than any commercial airliner. And he said, “Yes, most certainly you can see the curvature of the earth.” Have you ever been that high up in the sky John? Me either. But I trust the word of my son’s best friend. What’s your proof John? I’d love to hear it. God bless you.
Physical reality only has evidence for fe. The bible clearly teaches that earth is not a globe and is flat.
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