Points to Ponder: When you did, do you die?
Points to Ponder
When you did, do you die?
Author and outspoken atheist, Christopher Hitchens, disclosed that he is dying of cancer. A television interviewer was particularly curious about this atheist who is facing death. I found the journalist's curiosity curious. It takes a lot more faith to be an atheist than to believe in God. Maybe that's what compels the curiosity.
Hitchens assured us that his atheist beliefs are still intact. For those like-minded souls who wonder of he'll hold out with those beliefs to the very end, he said that a deathbed confession of faith in God should not be taken seriously. It will simply mean that the cancer got hold of his brain. He appreciated the prayers of those who have been so moved, but found it offensive that some are praying for his conversion to faith in God. He left open the possibility that there may be an Intelligent Designer, Higher Power; but he's not seeking Him.
Interesting. In this "one nation under God," there are many who want to expunge all references to God. The dying Hitchens is kind of like a martyr for the cause, I suppose. If he can go to his death without God, openly declaring there is no God, then there is "hope" for others of his kind. Some want to discredit and thereby nullify the culturally accepted belief in a "God," if not The God. But then what?
If there is no God, where did you come from? And to where do you go at death? It's kind of sad to think that a few decades on this earth is all there is to life. Are you really dead when you die?
"The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good." (Psalm 14:1)
It is a curious way to think.
If the enlightened, educated persons, such as Christopher Hitchens, are correct in their belief, then what of all the miraculous healings, and the incredible testimonies of the dying? Who do you believe? Are these fantasies? Mental illness? Self-deception?
Well, if you believe in Jesus Christ as the Bible says, there are numerous passages that acknowledge you will go through death one day. But because of faith in Him, death cannot go through you.
"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life." (John 5:24)
"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'" (John 14:6)
If you believe this, and it turns out to not be true, then you have lost nothing. But if this is true and you refuse to believe, as Mr. Hitchens openly attests, then you have lost everything.
It is worthy of study and prayer. Every one of us will face a last day. Most of us don't receive notice in advance. And you can't come back and say, "Let me try that again."
"What man can live and not see death? Can he deliver his life from the power of the grave?" (Psalm 89:48)
The believer's hope is that death is not the end, but the next step before the new beginning - resurrection from the grave. The power of the grave has been defeated.
"Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed - in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: 'Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?'" (1 Corinthians 15:51-52 and 54-55)
So a believer in the Lord faces death with great hope and a wonderful future. For what does an atheist hope? It is a curious Faith that is based, not on what is, but on what (according to them) is not. How does one prove that there is nothing - no One - there? And if this is so, why is it so imperative to oppose that which does not exist?
Is there life after death or just death after death? Who decides what is really true? Truth doesn't cease to be true because you decide to not believe it.
If there is no God, so what? But if there is, then what? It is a rather interesting and exciting point to ponder - and a necessary one as well.
Points to Ponder is a series of occasional articles written by Rev. Dennis Whitmore, Pastor of Hilltop Christian Fellowship, 12624 Trinity Church Drive, Clear Spring, MD (1/4 mile east of Clear Spring on Rt. 40). Listen to Pastor Dennis on WJEJ-1240 AM, Tues and Thurs, at 10:45am and 7:50pm, both days. www.hilltopchristianfellowship.com