ImageThis year was one of the few that many of the major journals did not feature articles trying to prove that Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead. Either because Easter came so fast that most editors did not have a chance to get their non-believing reporters aligned or because they felt that they have done enough in the previous years, we were spared the arguments.

One also can also hypothesize that since in the publication world the atheists have published abundant articles and books proposing that God does not exist, there was no need to argue in the journals that God's Son did not rise from the dead.  In fact, if one reads the Christian journals, many Christian apologists and theologians are still trying to answer some of the major statements made in past years by the atheist writers.

Richard Dawkins and Co. (Sam Harris, The End of Faith, Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett, The God Delusion and Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, Christopher Hitchens, God is Not So Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, Victor Stenger, God: The Failed Hypothesis) are introduced as a new type of atheist – bold, confrontational and proselytizing.  Because many of these books are on the best sellers lists, they are widely read and the people that read these books are rarely reading books written by Christians which demonstrate how shallow some of these books are (Alistair McGrath, The Dawkins Delusion: Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial  of the Divine, David Robertson,The Dawkins Letters: Challenging Atheist Myths, or even Dinesh D'Souza, What's So Great About Christianity)  Some Christians (such as Robertson) found out that the atheist blogosphere can be very unkind and hostile (in the name of enlightened intellectualism, of course)!

This debate made me think of Pascal's wager and the biblical story of the rich man and the beggar Lazarus. In this story, the rich man has the good life here on earth but after death finds himself in hell.  Looking away, he sees the beggar Lazarus in the bosom of Abraham which is a euphemistic way of describing paradise. The rich man and Abraham have a conversation and because nothing can be done for the alleviation of his torments, he asks if Abraham would kindly send Lazarus to tell his brothers to change their ways.  Abraham's answer is that they have the Old Testament laws and that is sufficient, for if they do not believe that, they will not believe even if a person would come from the other side to tell them of hell.

Pascal (1623-1662) lives in a time where the religious truth is mocked by many people. Pascal is a mathematician and philosopher, but also a devoted Christian.  He comes up with what is known as "Pascal's Wager." He says that if there is no God or hell, than he has lived an honorable life.  If there is God and hell and he did not believe in God he will be in hell for all eternity.  He argues that it is important to make a decision, to take a risk.

God delivers his people out of Egypt with a mighty hand, but within a short time they make a golden calf and proclaim that it was this speechless sculpture that brought them out of the land of slavery.  The psalmist says: The heavens declare the glory of God, but the fool says there is no God.  Isaiah sees the glory of God and cannot believe that in this glory he was not consumed.  The New Testament writers have written to us as witnesses of the Son of God, called Jesus Christ. Yet in the days of Jesus Christ, there have been people that have mocked him and crucified him.  Through the millennia, millions have believed in God, yet if you read some of the atheistic best sellers, they try to convince you that there is no God and this world is all that it is.

The conclusion of all things is that all human beings have to appear before the judgment seat of God.  He who has believed in God, he who has worshipped and obeyed Him will have a glorious eternity.  He who did not believe in God, who did not worship and obey him, will be lost for all eternity.

In the Day of Judgment no change can take place, for the final judgment is based on what we have done with God while we lived our lives here on earth.


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Rev. Dr. George Hancock-Stefan

George Hancock-Stefan

Pastor George Hancock-Stefan completed 30 years as the pastor of the great congregation at Central Baptist Church in Atlantic Highlands in 2020. Those 30 years have been a blessed time for him, his wife...