January 19, 2016
While the gift is free, it cannot be earned, there is the condition that one must have the faith to accept the gift that has been offered.
Two prerequisites for that faith to be there:
1. A person has got to believe that God does indeed exist.
2. A person has to believe that God will reveal himself to the One who truly desires to find Him.
(Hebrews 11:6, my paraphrase)
An atheist cannot do that.
July 13, 2019
I was talking to one yesterday.
I don’t know his name, only his pseudonym. I assume he is a man, but I could be wrong about that as well.
He had compared God to an imaginary figure from an old South Park cartoon.
I felt like entering the discussion.
As a rule, this group just wants “evidence”, solid physical evidential irrefutable proof that this God we believe in is in fact as real as the doorknob on a door.
I told him he would never be able to “see” Him unless he was born again. I said that being born again (trusting in the payment God made for his rebellion) would open his eyes to the spiritual.
He asked me, “So what actually happens, then, like in reality. Brain synapses in a certain configuration or something?”
I responded with the Hebrews scripture that to come to God, you have to believe he exists, and you have to believe that he rewards those who diligently seek Him. The evidence of God is in those that have received this new life.
There are many. I am not the only one.
His response was that I was saying that something exists only if you believe in it.
I know, that is not what I said.
But, he did make me think.
Jesus said that one can’t see God unless he is born again, born from above by the Spirit.
In creation, God created all the animals before man.
He created each kind for a particular purpose, and the purpose appears to be built in (instinct) so the salmon knows when to swim upstream, birds know when and where to migrate, honeybees know how to build a hive and produce honey. The honeybee cannot say, “Meh, this is too hard. I want to be a sloth.”
All these animal occurrences had to be there from the beginning.
No learning process to discover their purpose, because they couldn’t survive one generation without already performing what they were programmed to be.
The animal kingdom does a dance of praise to their creator by living in their purpose.
Once, when Jesus was entering Jerusalem on a colt, the crowd was singing praises to him, and the Pharisees told him to make them stop.
“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
All creation, as it fulfills its created purpose, is “singing out” in praise of its creator.
Creation lives in “joy” by being what it was created to be.
Man was also created for a purpose, made in God’s image, so he would have fellowship with his creator. Made in love by the God who is love.
God knew that love had to be a choice, so he gave man His ability to think, reason, create, to search deep meanings, so that, in the process, he could choose to fellowship with God, or go his own way.
He chose to go his own way.
This is where I realized the meaning of the Hebrews scripture.
Since God is love, he made a way for man to come back to Him.
He paid the full price for man’s rebellion.
All he had to do was to realize that he was in rebellion to God (believe He exists) and accept the free gift of eternal life offered to him (and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him).
If an atheist doesn’t believe He exists (though,I think most just don’t want there to be a God) there can be no turning back to God.
My atheist friend proves that he can’t “see” the kingdom of God.
I asked him if God were to appear before him, would he be glad to meet Him, thinking he would say “No” again.
He told me to “go ahead, pray right now for your god to appear before me. You don’t know who I am, but, if he exists, he knows. I swear to your god, absolutely, as serious as a heart attack, I’ll wait right here in this room I’m in for your god to appear. And, if he appears, I will absolutely convert, and my blog will praise his name forever. I’ll change it to “the former atheist” even. Go ahead. I’m waiting.”
I wanted to.
But, I didn’t make the rules.
God is God, and He will not be manipulated.
I find a deep affection for this person and his followers, and a deep sorrow for their inability to discover the joy that comes from receiving this great great love.
So this is my prayer:
Father, I know that you alone can reveal yourself to man. I pray that you will open the eyes of my anonymous friends so that they will know that there is a choice they can make that will change them forever.
I pray that you will manipulate things in their lives to cause them to want you, to need you, to want to experience that love that you have had for them since the beginning of time.
I pray, beloved Father, that they will realize how great a love you have given to us, and that they might become children of God.
Because of Jesus!
Amen and amen!