Two days after the Christian’s holiest and most hopeful day, Resurrection Sunday, the atheist, too, has a great hope.
This hope grants atheists rest at night, peace for the future, and no repercussions for the past. What is this hope?
The atheist’s great hope is that God is not real, Jesus is still dead in the grave and that the resurrection never happened. Why is that a hope for them?
If they’re right, they will not be held accountable for their sins, like the Bible says (see John 9:41), there will be no judgment of their life, like the Bible says (see Hebrews 9:17), and there will be no future condemnation in Hell, like the Bible says (see Mark 9:42-48).
Is it any wonder why, when faced with the dire consequences as outlined in the Bible, that unbelievers have made God’s Word “the most banned, burned, banished and vilified book in history”? “It’s been criticized for 2,000 years, yet is has an incredible way of outliving its enemies.”
The Roman emperor Diocletian, for example, issued an edict demanding every Bible on earth be destroyed, along with the people who owned them. But within twenty-five years, Diocletian was gone and Rome was paying for the publication of more bibles.
The French skeptic Voltaire predicted that within a hundred years of his death the Bible would be a forgotten book. Within fifty years of Voltaire’s death, however, the Geneva Bible Society was using his house to publish Bibles for Europe.
Bernard Ramm wrote, “A thousand times over, the death knell of the Bible has been sounded, the funeral procession formed, the inscription cut on the tombstone, and committal read. But somehow the corpse never stays put.”
Today the bible is more widely translated, published, and read than in all previous centuries combined. By its teachings weak people find strength, worried people find peace, confused people gain answers, and intelligent people grow wiser.
So you see, dear atheist friend, your hope is actually no hope at all, but a denial. A denial of truth. What you cling to is false hope, one built on sand, a vapor in the wind. You may reject the Creator despite all evidence, yet God will have his way, ultimately, and your hope will perish, as have all unbelievers before you, as brute beasts. (See Psalm 73)
But a believer’s hope is in Jesus, risen from the dead, providing forgiveness to all who repent and call on his name. As he said, “…I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18, KJV)