An appeal to unbelievers

The bad news

This is for you - the unbeliever, or as we Christians like to say; the ‘unsaved’. Let’s not beat around the bush – as an unsaved person you are destined for a dark eternity. You can run from that reality but you will never escape it. Along the everlasting path stretching out to infinity, you will journey in a space marked for those who are separated from God. By God, we are referring to the God of the Christian Bible. The old depictions of Dante’s inferno might be overdone, but some things are for sure. If you remain an unbeliever until your death you will cross into a realm of unrelenting regret, purposelessness, boredom, loneliness and fear. There will be no happiness, only the pain of constant loss. You will be in hell. It is both a time and a place God has done his best to keep you from. The only thing taking you to hell is your free will. You can choose to go there, or you can choose heaven instead – up to you. It never ceases to amaze Christians that despite all the evidence for ‘an after-life’ so many people persist in clinging to the idea that the physical and present dimension is all there is.

 You are more than likely an unsaved unbeliever for one or more of these reasons:

  •  You have dismissed the very idea that God exists, since you think science has proven we are just evolved animals in an evolving universe. That makes you an atheist.
  • You once believed God did exist, or you believed there was some ‘unseen power’ (agnosticism), but the theory of evolution convinced you to abandon belief.
  • Circumstances in life, or philosophic reasoning, led you to reject God. This could include a tragic event, or some argument that you found so compelling that you abandoned belief in God.
  • The actions of people calling themselves Christian put you off belief in God.
  • You decided to swap Christianity, or atheism, for another religion, like Buddhism or Islam.
  • You see in Christianity a massive restriction on opportunities to be free and enjoy life.
  • You have not given God much thought because Christianity, or any religion for that matter, has never interested you.
  • You are from a culture in which Christianity is unknown and you therefore reject it as belief in a ‘foreign god’.
  • You have harmed so many people and acted so badly that God must reject you. You must be beyond forgiveness.
  • Everything is God. God is a life force in all things and since you are part of nature you are one with God. You will join this life force in some unexplained way when you die, even if you are not conscious of the fact. This is atheism with a pantheistic or ‘New Age’ face. Some call it Monism.

Having fallen into one of these categories you will almost certainly hold to a set of common assumptions, which you take to be ‘properly basic’. In other words, you adhere to them without question, because you think they don’t need to be proven, or investigated. They just are what they are. They have become part of the fabric of your being, made more attractive and compelling by the fact that most people seem to accept them. There is security and a sense of belonging in knowing you are part of the majority. These are the assumptions of which we speak:

  •  Science has proven and the evidence of evolution proves that God does not exist. When we die that is the end – extinction. There is nothing beyond the grave.
  • There is so much evil and tragedy in the world that God cannot exist because a God of love would never allow it.
  • If you are wrong and God does exist he will admit you into heaven because you are a good person and (according to Christians) he is forgiving and loving.
  • There are many paths to God. Christianity is not the only way and all belief systems that point to a life beyond death lead to the same God in the end. You might even think your atheism will take you to God, because if he actually does exist, he will respect the sincerity of your beliefs and your inherent integrity.

Truth Watch has news for you; all of the reasons and assumptions you rely on for rejecting, or ignoring God, are wrong. Try to imagine the position you would be in if you suddenly found that out, for a fact. Where would that leave you? We are not saying all those who become Christians do so because they reach that position. Many accept God and become Christians simply because they decide they want to believe. But, even then most Christians still have to face the issues and suppositions listed above and reconcile them with their faith in and knowledge of God. They are no longer a barrier to being Christian; they have simply become issues that need some form of resolution, or understanding.

But you are not in that happy position. The atheism, or Monism you cling to amounts to a wall of unbelief that you will hide behind, or never summon the strength to climb, until your death. You owe it to yourself to critically appraisal your wall of unbelief. Many who have done so find it develops cracks and then falls.

The good news

We are not going to try and push your wall of unbelief over for you. Only you can do that. We will point you in the right direction and sow some seeds of doubt that might make you take a good hard look at your world view. But first, let’s look at what is waiting for you if you can manage to get past your unbelief. We Christians call this the Gospel’, which is a Greek word used in the Bible and means ‘good news’. It does not guarantee wealth or a trouble free life but it does give you hope and an everlasting future. Death has lost its sting.

Before going on to explain the gospel, lets cover a few definitions, in case the words Christian and Bible seem strange to you. A Christian is a ‘Christ-follower’ – someone who believes in and follows the teachings of Jesus Christ explained in the Bible. The Bible is a set of 66 short ‘book’s which were written by different people under the guidance of God. In other words, God has given us a record that explains who he is, who we are and what we must do to co-exist with him. That is an inadequate explanation, but it will do for now. Although, we will not go into it here, there is a vast amount of written and physical evidence that supports the claim that the Bible is from God. A good text on all of this is Josh McDowell’s Evidence that Demands a Verdict.

The good news is this: hell is not a foregone conclusion. Quite the opposite. Heaven is a forgone conclusion - an absolute certainty for all those who accept these Gospel truths and take the following:

  • Accept, by faith and evidence that the God of the Bible actually exists.
  • Acknowledge before God that you are a ‘sinner’ – a person like the rest of us who cannot be reconciled to God by anything we think we can do to be saved. The only way we can find God’s forgiveness is through his son, Jesus Christ.
  • By faith, believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that God, in the form of Jesus Christ, came into the world and lived for a time as a man; died on the cross and rose again on the third day for the forgiveness of your sins.
  • Having admitted you are a sinner ask for God’s forgiveness for everything you have done that was wrong before God.
  • Accept by faith that God has forgiven you – he has.
  • Celebrate the fact that you are now saved and destined for an eternity with the living God in a state as far removed from hell as it is possible to get.
  • Prove the genuineness of your conversion by acknowledging your new found faith before other Christians and then be baptised. Then go on to prove your new-found faith by reading the Bible and obeying God’s commands. This will take time. Theologians call it the journey of sanctification.

There is a lot of theological background knowledge behind the good news of the Gospel as it has just been presented to you, but we will not go into it here. You do not need to know the doctrine (principles and instruction) described in the Bible to become a Christian, you just need, by faith to believe and the willingness to act. The knowledge can come later. Faith is a word meaning to believe without actual physical or sensory evidence. Non-Christians often criticise belief by faith, calling it a blind faith. Christian faith is not blind. The Bible says the evidence for God’s existence is all around us – in the world he created. After you become a Christian and start looking for justification for faith your eyes will be opened to all the evidence available confirming the existence for God. Of course, you will not see God and you are very unlikely to have any direct communication with him, although some do, so the need for faith remains. It just ceases to be blind faith.

The road to salvation

We will now try to open up a few cracks in your wall of unbelief, in the hope you may one day break through it and embrace the good news – the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We will look briefly at some basic problems with the reasons and suppositions listed at the top end of this article. We will go through them one at a time, starting with that list of reasons you may be relying on:

 God does not exist.

To be able to make this claim someone would have to know everything, or near enough to it. Physicists openly acknowledge they know very little about how the universe functions, so how can anyone claim they know God does not exist. To make this claim you have to be either ignorant, arrogant, or believe evolution has proven God does not exist. Either way such a belief has to based on blind faith.

Science has proven we are just evolved animals in an evolving universe.

No it hasn’t. Empiricism, the bread and butter of genuine science cannot prove evolution explains the origins of the earth and all life on it. All it can do is put up a theory that it will never be able to prove because Man was not an observer to life’s origins. Many scientists, despite what you are told, do not accept evolution. In a 1996 Nature Magazine article it was reported that 80% of scientists still believe in God. Evolutionary theory is a faith system, not pure science. For a full understanding of all of this read Milton’s book, Shattering the Myths of Darwinism, Stobel’s, The Case for Creation and Denton’s, Evolution a Theory in Crisis. Like you, two of these authors are unsaved.

 A life event or some compelling argument led to unbelief

God never promised us a free wide. In fact he warns us in the Bible that we will face trouble. If you have blamed God for a tragic event in your life, it is probably because you only want to believe in a God who eliminates all suffering in a world that has largely rejected him. Christians are often at fault for portraying God as a sort of cosmic Father Christmas. They think softening God’s profile will make him more acceptable. Instead all they do is create a false picture that fails to measure up to reality. When you try to make God fit your ideal, all you do is break the Second Commandment by creating your own false God. Secondly, you cut off your nose to spite your face. Why reject the God, who can save you for eternity, because you have had to deal with grief or disappointment? By the way God has promised to wipe away every tear, end all wars and bring in a new eternal era of total peace free of disease and tragedy. All you have to do is overcome your unbelief.

There is no argument that disproves God’s existence, but many think they have one that does. The most common is what is called the ‘argument from evil’ - if God is a loving God he would not allow evil things to happen to good people. Arguments like this do not disprove the existence of God. All they do is pass judgement on his character. There are many reasons why the argument from evil is flawed. There are any number of good books and internet articles that deal with it and other objections. People also like to spend a lot of time picking holes in the Bible, but they don’t hold water. Once again, if you hold to any objection to God based on some favoured objection or argument we suggest you explore the counters and measure them against your unbelief. At the very least they will demonstrate to you that your cherished argument is not invulnerable. You can also e-mail Truth Watch with any questions you may have.

The actions of some Christians have put you off Christianity

Christians are not perfect. Being ‘saved’ does not guarantee perfection. If you go through this site you will see we are highly critical of many features of the Western Church. The important point to recognise is that the existence of God and the saving effect of the Gospel remain unchanged and unassailable, no matter what people calling themselves Christian may do. Christianity, God and the Bible do not depend on the actions, or excesses of individual Christians, or churches. Mere human actions do not negate God’s purposes, his principles, essential doctrine, or God’s plans for Man’s future. Once again, all you do is harm yourself by rejecting Christianity because you find some things that are strange or wrong with those calling themselves Christian.

Another religion is better than Christianity

There is no other religion with Christianity’s pedigree. Those nations to have prospered and led the world in just about every aspect of human endeavour have been the nations that accepted Christian principles. Also, no other religion is based on actual verifiable history. No other religion is as open to investigation. Christianity is the only religion that offers eternal salvation as a cast-iron certainty to anyone who accepts the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Christianity is the only religion that holds to the essential dignity and rights of every individual. We won’t go on and turn this into a cheap sales pitch. You need to compare the claims of Christianity and its achievements against your other preferred religion. It will not measure up. If you think otherwise e-mail us and we will point you in the right direction. If you want some good books on Christianity read Stark’s The Victory of Reason, Stobel’s The Case for Faith, or Geisler and Hoffman’s Why I Am a Christian. If you are not into reading then you are in trouble, because you will remain ignorant of so much that can expand your world view. A little perseverance and reading now will save you an eternity of bitter regret.

Christianity would restrict your freedom and enjoyment of life.

Many Christians once believed that, but the opposite is true. Christianity explains the meaning of life. It sets parameters for life that frees individuals. The nations with the most freedom are the old Christian nations. As those nations have drifted away from God the cracks have started to appear in the human rights they once upheld.

Christianity does not interest you.

It should. Your eternal future depends on accepting it. There is a lot more to reality than the way you are living your life now.

Christianity is a foreign religion unrelated to your culture.

God is the creator of the whole world. He does not offer salvation to selected people groups, but to everyone irrespective of their culture. The search for truth should guide decisions about faith, not your cultural baggage.

You are a really bad person so God could never accept you.

God offers salvation to anyone. When a person asks for God’s forgiveness he gives it unconditionally. You do not have to be a good person to find salvation; you only need to be repentant. Some of God’s champions in the Bible were people who did some terrible things. Moses was a murderer, Paul persecuted Christians, David committed some terrible crimes. The only one who never did anything wrong was Jesus Christ. Despite that he happily submitted to injustice and death on a cross to pay the full and final penalty for all wrong doing by everyone that asks for his forgiveness and accepts that he died on the cross for them.

Pantheism is your preferred belief system.

God is a person, a defined entity, not a force in nature. He created nature and exists independent of it. You may like the idea of some life force in all things, but liking something does not make it real, right, or true. Pantheism is a myth that leads you away from the truth found in Jesus Christ. It is a poison that will kill you. It is strange that you can reject God, despite all the evidence for his existence and yet embrace an idea with no real evidence – certainly none the stacks up against the mountain of evidence for and the logical consistency of Christianity. There is far more reason to doubt pantheism than there is to doubt Christianity. If your understanding of Christianity is deficient you will struggle to understand the gross disparity between pantheistic beliefs and the more reasonable claims of Christianity.

Your likely suppositions

These, as you probably now realise are simply ideas that have come out of the reasons you use to support your unbelief. They are just more specific rationalisations. They are repeated here, but much of what has already been said has already covered them. Read through them and think back over the arguments outlined above. You should see that these suppositions are no longer the cast iron certainties you have assumed they were. There is one assumption in this list that needs further work.

  •  Science has proven and the evidence of evolution proves that God does not exist. When we die that is the end – extinction. There is nothing beyond the grave.
  • There is so much evil and tragedy in the world that God cannot exist because a God of love would never allow it.
  • If you are wrong and God does exist he will admit you into heaven because you are a good person and he is forgiving and loving.
  • There are many paths to God. Christianity is not the only way and all belief system that point to a life beyond death lead to the same God in the end. You might even think your atheism will take you to God, because if he actually does exist, he will respect the sincerity of your beliefs and your inherent integrity.

But I’m a good person!

The assumption needing closer examination is the third one. Many non-believers use it as a handy ‘escape clause’. You reassure yourself with the belief that because you don’t rob banks and assault little old ladies that your ‘goodness’ will ensure you get to heaven if God really does exist. This is quite wrong. Jesus is recorded as saying there is not one person who is good by God’s standards. In another reference to this issue the Bible says no one can be saved by what they do. They can only be saved by believing that Jesus died to pay the full and final penalty for you sins and sinful nature, rising three days later from death to prove that he has won the complete victory over sin and death. In another Bible reference God explains, through the Apostle Paul, that any goodness we think we possess is like a filthy rag to God.

 A good way to grasp the fact that we cannot measure up to God’s standards and must rely instead on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, is to refer to the Ten Commandments. The Bible explains that they are God’s teacher, pointing us to Jesus Christ. For example, have you ever stolen anything, even something small? That makes you a thief. Have you ever felt hate or sexual lust towards someone, other than your wife or husband. By God’s standards that makes you a murderer and an adulterer. What about the name of God - have you ever used it as a sword word? By God’s standards that makes you a ‘blasphemer’ – someone who has degraded God. What about your parents – have you ever shown them disrespect? If you have, by God’s standards, you have dishonoured them.You will readily accept that not doing one or more of these things is virtually impossible for anyone. It is now easier to see that, by God’s high standards, being a good person is impossible.

Wrapping it up

The single most important question is this: are we the product of blind chance acting on matter over long periods of time, or are we the creation of God? Getting the answer to this question is ultimately the most important thing you can do in life. If you get it wrong and Christians have been right all along, you have nothing to look forward to but death and a miserable eternity. Any happiness you may find in this world will be merely a brief spark on the time-line of eternity. Why not be happy in this life because you have found life in Jesus Christ and then go on to really enjoy eternity forever? Your problem is not a poor Christian example or evil in the world; it is your unbelief, based on ignorance of the great truths, found in the Bible. Your main aim in life, other than getting through each day, should be to discover Jesus Christ for yourself. If you are not the sort of person who can ‘find God’ by faith alone you will need to test the reasons for your unbelief by researching the arguments in favour of belief. We have given you some useful first step references to various books. We have also offered to help you if you contact us using the Truth Watch e-mail link.

Oh, by the way. Earlier, we said you might take comfort in you unbelief in the fact that you are part of a majority. Even that is wrong. Atheists are a small minority in the world. The great majority of people are religious. The tragedy is that many believe in false religions. But even those who call themselves Christian outnumber atheists. You are in a minority. Why not join the majority and find comfort in salvation. Christianity is not a crutch, as some like to call it, but an enlightened grasp of the great truths that give this life real meaning and an assurance of a joyful eternity with God.