Officially an Atheist
Aug 23, 2020 by Tramaine C. Hannah
I recently encountered an Instagram post that asserted, “Christianity is a big lie! I’m officially an atheist!” The post caught my attention. It was from a young man that I knew to be a Christian and all of his prior post were Christ-centered. By the time I arrived at the comments, it was flooded with followers asking, Why? What happened?”
Apparently, his father had just lost his battle with cancer. His reply was, “After all the prayers he still died! This is a joke!” This grieved me truly. All I could think was that somewhere down this young man’s Christian walk, he got the idea that God is obligated to answer prayers just the way we want him to. Sadly, I’ve come across a few believers who have gotten this idea. When their prayers aren’t answered, they either blame themselves for not having enough faith, or in cases like this one, give up their faith altogether. I am not unfamiliar with losing a loved one or with wondering why God chose not to heal them. But what I seem to have that this young man doesn’t is a clear understanding of what actually makes or breaks the truth of Christianity. And I have to tell you, it’s not healing or lack thereof. So, let’s look at the foundation of the Christian faith.
What is Christianity?
Well, we don’t get Christianity without Jesus (Yeshua) the Christ (anointed one.) The coming of the Messiah (or Christ) was prophesied in the Jewish Scriptures (or Old Testament) as many of us know it. Those who came to realize that Jesus was the promised Messiah followed Him and later became known as “Christians.” The disciples were first called this at Antioch (Acts 11:26). Christianity is based on the belief that Jesus is God, second Person of the Trinity and has always existed. In becoming man, He was begotten of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He died on a cross according to God’s plan as an all sufficient sacrifice for our sins. He rose from the dead on the third day with all power and is the only way to salvation (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
You see, the salvation part was the whole point of Christ coming. Man had broken God’s law and were enemies of God. But God, in His perfect love, provided a way for our sin debt to be paid and for humanity to be reconciled back to God through the shed blood of Jesus (Romans 5:10). He then raised Him to life again and because He lives, we have assurance that we can also live eternally with Him.
(John 3:16) is probably the most recognizable Scripture for believers and unbelievers alike. Let’s look at it. For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. The promise in Christ was always everlasting life with Him which was made possible by his sacrifice. 1 Corinthians 15:17 NASB asserts, “and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.” This truly sums it all up. The truth of Christianity hinges on the resurrection of Jesus and nothing else!
Sometimes we get it wrong. Too often I hear sermon after sermon that focus only on the “Blessings and Benefits” of being a believer; and they seem to mostly be referring to physical or monetary gain. The real benefit, the real blessing, the real miracle of life in Christ is not healing, wealth or living our best lives. It’s the fact that we in all of our sin and shame can still stand before God one day completely blameless because we have been clothed in the righteousness of Christ.
Being a Christian is the security in knowing that you are not destined for the wrath of God but for life eternal with Him. So even when things don’t turn out the way we prayed for, we can cling to him all the more, knowing that our ultimate hope is in Him. And when death carries our loved one’s physical presence away from us, we have the assurance that if that loved one died in Christ, they now live eternally with Him.
Faith is a confidence in the person of Jesus Christ and in His power, so that even when His power does not serve my end, my confidence in Him remains because of who He is. -Ravi Zacharias