Recently, I had a good conversation with an old friend who is a self-described atheist. I say it was a good conversation because we usually go back and forth in a respectful way. I don’t agree with him and he doesn’t agree with me. Yet, we can still have a civilized talk. That’s the definition of tolerance, by the way.
During our conversation, I posed a hypothetical scenario that made him think. The scenario was this: let’s assume for a moment that Christianity isn’t true and that atheism is correct. This would mean there is no God. Christ, the Bible, and everything Christians believe and practice is really just a bunch of rubbish. If that is the case, when I die, my life will be over. If Christianity isn’t real, then there is no Heaven. There is no Hell. There is no final judgment. When I die, I will just be dead.
This would be disappointing, no doubt. But here’s my argument: even if Christianity isn’t true, and, in the end, we find out that death is our final stop, I will still have lived a full, joyful and productive life as a Christian. Christianity, whether it’s true or not, makes me, my family and other people very happy. It gives us fulfillment and a sense of purpose. Its structure and beliefs are why we help and love others on a weekly basis. Jesus Christ has made my life and countless other people’s lives immensely better. So, my basic point to my atheist friend was this: even we’re wrong, when we die, we’ll have lived the life we wanted and then it will be over.
But, let’s switch gears, I said to my friend. Let’s assume for a moment that Christianity is true and that atheism is a sham. When you get to the end of your life, you will stand before your Creator, having rejected Jesus Christ, and lived life for yourself and not Him, you will be judged for your sins and spend eternity in Hell suffering under the wrath of God. I, on the other hand, will be welcomed into eternal paradise where I will enjoy the bliss and glory of Christ forever.
So, you see, looking at it from this perspective, the Christian has nothing to lose and everything to gain. The atheist, however, has nothing to gain and everything to lose.
If you’re an atheist or even an agnostic, maybe it would be a good time to re-consider your life. Take a good hard look at why you’re an atheist. Is it because you have sufficient evidence to reject God? Or is it because you do not want ultimate accountability for your life? I’d guess the latter. Understand that Christ is true, and eternity is real. Every human being will stand before God in judgment, and because we’re sinners we will be found guilty. But, God has provided a way for you and I to be saved and this is through His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus died in the place of sinners, taking the penalty we deserve for our sins. If you put your trust in Him, you will be saved from God’s judgment. God proved this by raising Jesus from the grave. Let me encourage you, keep an opened mind. Read the Gospel of John and ask God for two things. 1) For understanding. 2) If Jesus is God’s Son, ask Him to reveal this to you.
Give it a shot. What do you have to lose?!