I was recently in a class for people who have questions about life and faith. It was a new experience for me as I have grown up in Church. Most of the teaching I sat under was to tell us all the “answers” – not so much to give us a chance to ask big questions. It was so neat to talk with people from all different walks of life. One lady in particular was very easy to connect with as she was the mother of 3 young children. As we talked, I could just sense that her life was very much as unruly as mine at times. She was so nice and encouraging to me! I was surprised to later find out that she is an Atheist. I have always thought that atheists were hostile people, standing up against the lifestyle and tradition that I hold dear. She did not seem to fit this profile at all.
One of the things I learned that night is that there is really only one difference between the life of a lost person and my life. That difference is Jesus! A person can live a good life and be a citizen that contributes to the good in our world, but none of that matters if they don’t have faith in Jesus. Have you noticed that some unbelievers live a life that is morally outstanding when compared to some Christians? It is sobering to me. And then I remember that being morally good doesn’t make me a good Christian . . . living a life of faith in God and dependence on Him is what sets me apart from other good people.
I learned that Atheists do not believe in life after death. Many of them have the philosophy of life that “You only get one chance at life, so be kind!” I was thinking about this later and was struck by the truth that we Christians also only have one chance at life. Yes, we get to spend eternity in heaven with Jesus, but our life here on earth doesn’t have a “do over” button. It is so important for us to walk with Jesus in a way that others will see Him in us. John 13:34-35 says:
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
I have been challenged by an Atheist to be kind because I don’t get another go at life. May we all learn to show the love of Christ in all our conversations. No hate filled talk! Let others see Jesus in you so that they can experience the love of Christ and come to Him for salvation.
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him.
Heavenly Father, please help us to live lives of humility and love. Remembering that we are not better than those who believe differently than us, we are only sinners who have been rescued from eternal punishment. Please place people in our paths that we can share Jesus with so that they too can experience His loving forgiveness and redemption. Amen!