Christian VS Atheist
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)
I posed the following question to a person who is an atheist – What do you believe about where people go when they die? I stated further that Death is ugly and not something any of us looks forward to…
In answer to my question she wrote an article entitled; Death – An Atheist’s Perspective. The following statements are taken from the article she posted:
- According to my beliefs, my physical body will return to its elemental state and feed the earth and my energy will be returned to the earth to be recycled. In short, I will go to the recycling bin.
- I have yet to see concrete evidence for the existence of god and the supernatural…I’ve been researching the bible and the history of Christianity, and can confidently conclude that the bible is a work of fiction…
- If the bible is fiction, and there is no concrete evidence for the existence of god and the supernatural, then how can we presume there is an afterlife?…Can we believe what is said about heaven and hell?
The same person who made the above statement about where we go after death also stated; I hope I don’t die before I see my son grow up. She does not believe in the supernatural, yet she states; I’ve always disliked cemeteries – they are strange and creepy to me.
To that statement I would respond with; What is creepy about a cemetery if you don’t believe in the supernatural or life after death? I do believe in the supernatural world because God tells us about it in His word, but I have no fear of it because through faith I am protected by Jesus.
Keep in mind that the supernatural world does not consist of only Satan and evil angels (demons), but it is made up also of God’s holy angels and God Himself is a spirit. Note the following verses from the books of John and Hebrews:
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.
Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1:14)
As a Christian I find that the cemetery is a place of comfort for me. I feel no evil presence there. When I was a child my sister and I, along with our friends, played near the cemetery and were never fearful of it. There was a sand hill on the edge of our cemetery with beautiful clean white sand. We sometimes packed a lunch on summer days, and walked out to the cemetery, to spend the entire day there.
Now days I enjoy walking through the cemetery where loved ones who have gone before me are buried. It is always peaceful there. I don’t go there to visit them, but to remember them. I know they are not there. Their body is in the grave, but their souls are in heaven with the Lord. Instead, I visit them in my memory daily and I know I will be reunited with them when God takes me home.
Where God is present, evil does not abound. In the absence of God, the devil gets a foothold. He makes his presence known and uses his power to frighten people. This could perhaps be the reason this person (an Atheist) finds the cemetery a “creepy” place.
In response to her statement; I hope I don’t die before I see my son grow up – I would like to ask her what her reasoning is. Is it because she doesn’t want to miss seeing him grow up or is it because she doesn’t want for him to feel the loss of growing up without a mother? In my opinion, her statement does not seem to reflect concern for his loss, but for her own in not being able to see him grow up.
Rather, her concern should be for his soul. Sadly, children do die sometimes. If he should die at a young age without faith in Jesus, it will be she who has to answer to God and she will not have the comfort of knowing he is in heaven with the Lord. According to her belief he will be sent to the recycling bin. Worse yet, according to God’s word, he will be in hell because he will have died without faith and without knowing Jesus.
Jesus himself tells us in Matthew 18: 6; But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea and in Matthew 19: 14; Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. In Matthew 28: 19 he commands baptism when he says; Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…
Children are God’s precious gifts to us. He gives them to us to love and nurture. He commands us to teach them His word and bring them to baptism. It is our responsibility as parents to make sure our children are directed toward His word. Through baptism they receive faith and forgiveness, and become members of His family. At some point in their lives they will make their own choices, but when we as their parents, have fulfilled our responsibility to them in regard to God and His Word, they will have a much better chance of making a good choice for eternity.
I have stated before in my devotionals that God did not create us to die. He created us in His own image to live forever on the beautiful earth he had made.
Are you afraid of death and dying? To be totally honest, we all have to admit that we are, at the very least, apprehensive about dying. Because of our human nature we have a natural fear of things we have never experienced. To us in our human state death means separation from all that we are familiar and comfortable with. It also means separation from the people whom we know and love. However Jesus promises better for all who believe. He tells us in John 3:16; For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For those without faith in Jesus, God’s one and only Son, death IS something to fear. If you think you have trouble and heartache here on earth, just wait. The worst is yet to come. Don’t be afraid to swallow your pride and kneel at the foot of the cross where you will find full and free forgiveness. God will not laugh at you and say I told you so. He will take you lovingly in His arms and say Welcome home. For those who die in the Lord, death is only a sleep. God promises in His word to be with us. He will not leave us to face it alone.
The apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15: 51; Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye… and in verses 55-57; he tells us that because of the sacrifice of Jesus …Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where O death, is your victory? Where O death is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
So to all those who believe there is no afterlife – no Heaven or Hell; listen to the words of Jesus in Matthew 22: 29, 32; You are in error because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God…He [God] is not the God of the dead but of the living.
Writing this article was difficult. I was just plain stumped and didn’t know what to say to all the people who had made mocking comments toward God in regards to heaven and hell, and in regards to life and death. He revealed the answer to me one Sunday in church while I listened to my pastor quote the words of Jesus as he answered the Pharisees and the Sadducees, who in their unbelief, were trying to trap Him. Jesus said to them, You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God…