I’m a little bit puzzled.
I hear people boast about not believing in God. Why? Is it a sign of strength, maturity, or independence? Is it an admirable quality; one that should be added to the Six Pillars of Character?
Let’s see if you can follow my line of reasoning for just a moment.
In some countries, people who choose to become a Jesus follower do so with great persecution. They risk everything they have for the kingdom of God. And that level of commitment for what they believe sustains them through anything. “They overcame by the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives even to death.” (Revelation 12:11)
That’s some serious believing.
Up to now, in the land of the free and home of the brave, we haven’t had to endure that level of persecution. Oh, things aren’t perfect by any means, but outside of Christians being ridiculed by special groups of God haters, things are relatively easy for us American Christians.
And you know what? Sometimes Christians act funny and ask for the extra attention.
Okay. Back to my puzzle.
If persecution and tribulation can help Christ followers whittle down their opinions and traditions to what they really believe, enough to even die for if necessary, will persecution and tribulation have the same pruning effect on atheists? Or how about with people who say they believe in God but don’t want to submit to God’s rule?
What do you think?
There’s coming a time when everyone on earth will be tested! Believe it or not. It will happen.
People who believe in God’s way will have the opportunity to prove it.
And there will be hell to pay as a result.
AND, during that SAME PERIOD OF TIME those who don’t want anything to with God will have the opportunity to back up their arrogance with action!
Only those folks will have Heaven to pay. Look at the next two passages:
I watched as the Lamb broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became as dark as black cloth, and the moon became as red as blood. Then the stars of the sky fell to the earth like green figs falling from a tree shaken by a strong wind. The sky was rolled up like a scroll, and all of the mountains and islands were moved from their places. Then everyone – the kings of the earth, the rulers, the generals, the wealthy, the powerful, and every slave and free person – all hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. And they cried to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to survive. (Revelation 6:12 – 6:17 NLT)
One-third of all the people on earth were killed by these three plagues – by the fire and smoke and burning sulfur that came from the mouths of the horses. Their power was in their mouths and in their tails. For their tails had heads like snakes, with the power to injure people.
But the people who did not die in these plagues still refused to repent of their evil deeds and turn to God. They continued to worship demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood – idols that can neither see nor hear nor walk! And they did not repent of their murders or their witchcraft or their sexual immorality or their thefts (Revelation 9:18 – 9:21 NLT)
I’ve got to hand to those folks! Though they recognize Who’s giving them what for, they still raise their voice in defiance to God.
One-third of earth’s population wiped out. Many others are just barely surviving. Yet the stalwart rebels, even in the face of extreme persecution, stand for what they believe. Or is it what they don’t believe?
Imagine what could be done if believers believed as stubbornly as atheists and God haters.
Yep, that’s some serious believing.